Grand jury will convene to consider more charges in Ohio rape case

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine reacts to verdict in Ohio rape case and announces a grand jury will be convened next month. (Cleveland Plain Dealer screenshot).

A grand jury will convene next month to consider whether other people, possibly including Steubenville football coach Reno Saccoccia, should be charged with failing to report what happened in the rape of a teenage girl last year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says.

On Sunday, a juvenile court judge found two Steubenville, Ohio,  football players guilty of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl. 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that an Ohio law makes it a crime to not report a felony such as rape. During the trial, numerous teenagers got on the stand and admitted they didn't think digital penetration was considered rape, said Rachel Dissell, courts reporter for the Plain Dealer.

"Even the victim testified that before this whole thing happened ... she did not know that was rape in Ohio," she said.

Dissell, who teaches a public policy reporting course at Kent State, says after discussing this issue of rape with her students, the verdict was spilt.

"Some of them clearly felt like the students should've known that this activity was wrong, even if they didn't know it was a specific crime under the law. Other students said that they really feel like school does not inform them well enough about what (are) the legal ramifications," she said.

Determining if someone is too intoxicated to have sex was another issue Dissell's students brought forth, because they said it wasn't part of what they learned in school and wasn't a conversation they had with their parents.

The two teenagers found guilty of rape were Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16. Mays was also found guilty of taking and sending nude photos of the victim. Both will be sent to a juvenile facility, but they won't necessarily have to register for life as sex offenders, Dissell said.

Before they're released from the juvenile facility, the judge will hold a hearing to decide if they have had sufficient rehabilitation and whether sex offender registration would be required.

Ohio Attorney General DeWine says there were at least 16 individuals who refused to be interviewed and could be called before a grand jury. Some have alleged Saccoccia was aware of the accusation, within a day of it happening.

"There's also a possibility that some people who either deleted messages or maybe encouraged someone to delete messages could be charged with tampering with evidence," Dissell said.