This morning, Ohio's Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the findings of a grand jury investigation into the roles Steubenville school officials played in covering up the town's now-infamous sexual assault of a girl by football players a year ago in August. Among those charged? The school's superintendent.
One Steubenville school official has already been charged with his role in the crime and subsequent criminal shrug by adults in the community who should not have prioritized football over the bodily autonomy of a crime victim. But today's charges — some of them pretty damn serious — hold school employees accountable in a way that, until today, Ohio justice system maddeningly neglected.
Top of the list? Steubenville superintendent Michael McVey, who was charged with three felonies, including tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice. Also charged was Matthew Belardine, a volunteer assistant football coach at the time of the assault who supplied the teens with alcohol. He's been charged with allowing underage drinking, making a false statement, and obstructing official business. Seth Fluharty, a wrestling coach and trainer, was charged with failure to report child abuse. Lynette Gorman, an elementary school principal, faces the same charge as Fluharty. All four of the indicted Steubenville school employees/associates are scheduled to appear in court on December 6th.
Following the announcement of the new charges, Ohio AG Mike DeWine gave a pretty kickass/scathing statement about accountability of adults when children commit crimes. "How do we hold these kids accountable if we don't hold the adults accountable?" said DeWine. He later added, "It's up to the adults to intervene. It's up to the adults to set boundaries."
According to DeWine, these grand jury indictments are the last to come from this case, barring any new evidence.