School employee indicted in Steubenville rape case

STEUBENVILLE – An employee in the school district where two Ohio high school football players were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl was charged Monday with interfering with a criminal matter, the first charges brought by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in connection with the rape case.

Information technology employee William Rhinamin was arrested at his Mingo Junction home about 4:30 p.m. by Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents and then transported to the Jefferson County Jail.

The 53-year old Rhinamin is facing several charges including tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; obstructing justice, a fifth-degree felony; obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor; and perjury, a third-degree felony.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday evening that Rhinamin was issued a no bond order and will remain in the county jail until his arraignment Wednesday afternoon in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court.

Two Steubenville High School students, Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, were convicted of rape earlier this year in connection with an incident in August 2012. Mays also was found delinquent of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for having a picture of the 16-year-old victim in an outgoing text message on his cell phone.

DeWine said the Monday the indictment naming Rhinamin “is the first indictment issued by the special grand jury reviewing whether additional crimes were committed regarding the Steubenville teen rape case.”

Summit County retired Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove is expected to preside over the Wednesday afternoon arraignment.

Cosgrove was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to oversee the special grand jury investigating the case.

Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey said Monday evening that he “was aware of the situation,” but declined additional comment.

The attorney general said the grand jury will continue to review evidence.

“The grand jury work is not done and the panel will continue to meet. Our goal is to find the truth. Some investigations take time and this investigation is ongoing,” DeWine said.

“I am not going to speculate on future indictments. That wouldn’t be fair. But the grand jury will continue meeting,” DeWine added.

The special grand jury has met 10 times since it was seated on April 15.

A chief issue before the 14-member panel is whether coaches, school administrators or other adults knew of the allegation but failed to report it as required by Ohio law.

DeWine announced the grand jury March 17, the same day a judge convicted two teens of raping the Weirton girl after an alcohol-fueled party following a football scrimmage in August 2012.

The grand jury has worked off and on since beginning work April 30. That day, investigators searched Steubenville High School and the local school board offices.

Investigators also searched Vestige Digital Investigations, a digital forensics storage company in Medina. The company’s connection to the case was unclear, and it has denied it’s the subject of a criminal investigation.