Mon. 5:06pm: Ohio AG could target football coach, host of party
COLUMBUS (AP) – The head football coach at Steubenville High School and the owners of a house where an infamous 12-minute video was filmed could be investigated as Ohio prosecutors look into how adults responded to allegations of rape last year.
One day after a judge convicted two high school football players of raping the 16-year-old girl in August, Steubenville’s top official said she welcomed a new, wide-ranging probe into possible wrongdoing connected with the rape.
The announcement of the guilty verdict was barely an hour old Sunday when state Attorney General Mike DeWine said he was continuing his investigation and would consider charges against anyone who failed to speak up after the summertime attack. That group could include other teens, parents, school officials and coaches for the high school’s beloved football team, which has won nine state championships.
According to trial testimony, one of the two football players said the coach knew about what happened and “took care of it.”
Investigators interviewed the owners of a Steubenville house where the video was filmed, which was also the same place a photograph was taken of the girl being carried by her ankles and wrists, DeWine’s office confirmed today. That picture, Exhibit No. 1 at the trial, generated international outrage. There is no phone listing for the home.
Numerous students, including defendant Trenton Mays, referred to the girl as “dead” in text messages the night of the attacks, apparently in reference to her unconscious state. The girl, who acknowledged drinking, testified she had no memory of the assaults.
A grand jury will meet in mid-April to consider evidence gathered by investigators from dozens of interviews, including with the football program’s 27 coaches, which include junior high, freshman and volunteer coaches.
Text messages introduced at trial suggested the head coach was aware of the rape allegation early on. Reno Saccoccia “took care of it,” Mays said in one text introduced by prosecutors.
DeWine said coaches are among officials required by state law to report suspected child abuse. Saccoccia has not commented.