Thu. 11:51am: Closure of rape trial at issue

STEUBENVILLE – Local and national news organizations are expected to argue Friday that further juvenile court proceedings involving two Steubenville High School student-athletes charged with rape should remain open to the media and public.

But Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, an attorney for one of the two defendants and the attorney of the 16-year-old victim are calling for the coming trial to be closed to the public.

Attorney Robert Fitzsimmons, who represents the victim, filed a motion Tuesday in Jefferson County Juvenile Court asking that he and the victim’s parents be allowed to be present at the trial of the two juveniles and that the public and media to be barred from the proceedings.

Trent Mays, 16, of Bloomingdale and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville have been charged with rape in connection with an incident that allegedly happened Aug. 11-12. Mays also faces a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for allegedly having a picture of the victim in an outgoing text message from his cell phone. Attorneys for both defendants have denied the charges in court.

Fitzsimmons will join attorney Walter Madison, who represents Richmond, in a hearing at 1 p.m. Friday in the Jefferson County Justice Center concerning motions filed in the case, including the closure of proceedings.

Read Friday’s Tribune Chronicle or for the complete story.