Ex-coach who threw Steubenville drinking party to plead no contest
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A former volunteer coach whose house was the scene of an underage drinking party before the 2012 rape of a girl by two high school football players plans to plead no contest to charges connected to the case, law enforcement officials said Monday.
Defendant Matt Belardine is expected to plead no contest on Tuesday to one count of making a false statement and one count of enabling underage drinking, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Counts of obstructing official business and contributing to the delinquency of a child are expected to be dismissed, Tierney said.
A message left with Belardine's attorney seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.
Belardine was one of six people charged last year by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the case of the 16-year-old West Virginia girl who was raped after an alcohol-fueled house party in August 2012.
With Belardine's expected plea, four of those cases have been resolved. The players were convicted in March 2013 and sentenced to the state's juvenile detention system.
On April 11, DeWine announced that a teacher and coach charged with a single misdemeanor count of failure to report child abuse or neglect involving the rape will get the charge dismissed in exchange for community service at a domestic violence shelter.
In February, a former school worker pleaded guilty to stealing computer equipment in a case that arose from the grand jury investigation but wasn't related to the girl's rape.
In January, DeWine announced charges would be dropped against a Steubenville elementary school principal official in exchange for community service related to rape awareness. The principal was accused of failing to report rumors of a teenage sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the later rape.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled Tuesday for William Rhinaman, the Steubenville schools' former technology director, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.
Steubenville superintendent Mike McVey has pleaded not guilty to charges including obstructing justice and tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge alleging he made a false statement in April 2012.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Riots shake Keene State College in New Hampshire
- Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as spacecraft watch
- Indiana slaying suspect hints at more deaths
- Earth heads for record 2014
- Edible pot ban proposed, yanked in Colorado