Special jury awaits forensic work

STEUBENVILLE – A special grand jury called by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to look into the Steubenville rape case is waiting on outside forensic work before resuming its investigation into a rape case that led to the conviction of two high school students.

The grand jury adjourned earlier this month after three consecutive days spent considering whether other crimes might have occurred in the rape of a 16-year-old Weirton girl a year ago. DeWine said Monday that forensic work involving cellphones and computers had yet to be completed.

One of the key issues before 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.

Retired Juvenile Judge Tom Lipps found Trent Mays, 17, of Bloomingdale and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville delinquent of rape in March in connection with an incident on the night of Aug. 11-12, 2012. Mays also was found delinquent of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for having a picture of the 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.

Lipps has since ruled that Mays and Richmond are Tier II sex offenders, requiring them to report their address to the county sheriff where they are living or working every six months for the next 20 years.

After their conviction in March, DeWine called for a special grand jury to investigate all aspects of the case and whether others should be charged.

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

No date has been set for when the grand jury will reconvene.