Tue., 12:53pm: Former Steubenville coach to enter guilty plea

STEUBENVILLE – A former Steubenville High School volunteer football coach, who was one of six people named by a special grand jury investigating aspects of the Steubenville rape case, is expected to enter a guilty plea on April 22 in Jefferson County CommonPleas Court.

Matthew Belardine of 113 Wilma Ave. was named in an indictment charging four misdemeanor counts including allowing an underage person to consume beer or liquor, obstructing official business, falsification and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child.

A pretrial for Belardine and two other defendants in the case was held Monday by telephone with Visiting Summit County retired Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove, attorneys for the defendants and attorneys with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Belardine is being represented by attorney Dennis McNamara of Columbus. McNamara also represented another defendant indicted by the special grand jury. That case resulted in a guilty plea, with the charges to be dismissed if certain conditions are met.

Another defendant indicted by the special grand jury has pleaded guilty to theft of computer equipment from the Steubenville school district and was allowed to enter treatment in lieu of conviction.

Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Mike McVey was named in a five-count indictment charging one count of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice, both felonies. McVey was also indicted with two misdemeanors including one count of falsification and one count of obstructing official business.

The indictment claims McVey allegedly committed crimes starting on April 5, 2012.

A hearing has been scheduled for May 7 concerning pending motions in McVey’s case. A trial date for McVey is expected to be determined at the hearing.

A hearing is scheduled for April 22 for William Rhinaman of Wintersville for Rhinaman to change attorneys.

Rhinaman was indicted by the special grand jury on charges of tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

Rhinaman was charged with tampering with evidence by altering, destroying, concealing or removing evidence from Aug. 11, 2012, to April 25, 2013, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Rhinaman also is charged with attempting to stop the prosecution of another person by either concealing or destroying evidence and getting the person to withhold information or communicating false information from April 8 to Oct. 4.

The third count charges Rhinaman with obstructing official business from April 8to Oct. 4.

The perjury charge claims Rhinaman made a false statement under oath to the special grand jury during a July 8 proceeding.

Attorney General Mike DeWine called for the special grand jury following the convictions of two Steubenville High School students in March 2013. The students were convicted of rape in connection with the August 2012 rape of a Weirton teenage girl following a series of alcohol-fueled parties.