Special Jefferson County Grand Jury reconvenes

STEUBENVILLE – A special grand jury investigating aspects of a juvenile rape case met Monday and is scheduled to meet again today.

Two teens – Trent Mays, 17, of Bloomingdale, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville – were found delinquent of rape in March for their roles in an incident involving a 16-year-old girl from Weirton in August. 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.

Mays was sentenced to a minimum of two years in a Department of Youth Services facility. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a state youth detention center.

A special grand jury was called by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine immediately after Mays and Richmond were convicted to investigate all aspects of the case and whether additional people should be charged.

One of the key issues to be looked at by the grand jury is whether adults who are required to report crimes knew early on of the rape last August but didn’t say anything.

Up until Monday, the grand jury had met only five days since it was seated on April 15. The delays were needed, according to the attorney general’s office, to continue interviews with people and to analyze computers seized from Steubenville City School facilities in April.

Visiting Judge Thomas Lipps in June ruled that Mays is a Tier II sex offender, requiring him to report his address to the sheriff of the county where he lives every 180 days for 20 years. A sex offender classification hearing for Richmond was continued after his attorney filed a motion challenging the constitutionality of the juvenile sex offender law.