Wed., 1 pm: Steubenville schools employee pleads guilty

STEUBENVILLE – One of the defendants indicted by the Steubenville special grand jury on charges unrelated to the rape case has pleaded guilty today, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced.

Hannah Rhinaman, 20, of Mingo Junction, pleaded guilty today to two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of grand theft, all felonies of the fifth degree. Her trial before special judge Patricia Cosgrove was scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Rhinaman was indicted on the charges on Oct. 23 after the special grand jury reviewed whether additional crimes were committed surrounding the Steubenville rape case in which two high school football players were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. The investigation uncovered unrelated wrongdoing by Rhinaman, who was alleged to have stolen computer equipment from Steubenville City Schools while she was a contract employee for the district.

The court granted Rhinaman intervention in lieu of conviction pursuant to her pleas, according to a news release from the attorney general. She is eligible for intervention due to drug dependency that the court found contributed to the commission of her crimes. She will have to successfully complete a treatment plan over the next two years or face traditional sentences if she is unable to do so.

Rhinaman’s charges were unrelated to those of her father, William Rhinaman, who was indicted Oct. 7 on four counts related to the rape investigation. William Rhinaman, who was the IT administrator for Steubenville City Schools at the time of his alleged offenses, is scheduled to begin his trial April 7.