Thu. noon: Witness cooperation urged in football rape case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Students withholding information about an alleged rape in an eastern Ohio city last summer are thwarting investigators, school officials said today as they encouraged students to contact police if they know something.

The Steubenville school board is also expanding programs to raise further awareness of sexual harassment, bullying, date rape and substance abuse in the wake of the alleged incident in August in which two high school football players are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl.

The district is lining up training programs for faculty, staff, parents and students, with “targeted sessions” for all student-athletes.

“Going forward, we will expand these programs and involve the community with the goal of creating a meaningful dialogue about these difficult issues, how we can deal with them, and how we can prevent them,” the board said in a statement.

The statement said officials were troubled to learn police were having difficulty getting cooperation from witnesses.