STEUBENVILLE - Two 16-year-old male juveniles who are charged with rape and kidnapping in connection with a sexual assault last week appeared before Jefferson County Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr on Wednesday and were ordered to be held in juvenile detention.
Kerr told the juveniles they face serious charges and had the right to have an attorney appointed.
Attorney James Abrams was retained to represent one of the juveniles. The father of the other juvenile said he was going to retain an attorney to represent his son.
Police began an investigation after parents came to the police station on Aug. 14 to report a sexual assault involving their daughter.
Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said the prosecutor's office provided assistance to City Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department with input on collecting evidence and beginning the investigation as soon as possible.
Hanlin has said she will step aside and ask the Ohio Attorney General's office to prosecute the case because she personally knows juveniles and adults involved in the investigation.
"When we get to the point the prosecution begins, we will determine the best way for justice to be served. The investigation is far from over. We will continue to collect evidence and vigorously work on the case," she said.
Hanlin said it was impossible for the investigation to go any faster.
"In the real world, it doesn't happen that way. You have to collect and analyze the evidence," she said.
Hanlin said there are a lot of rumors in the community from people who have no direct knowledge of the case.
"We have been working with law enforcement around the clock," she said. "There has never been an attempt to hide or down play the case."
Hanlin said she wouldn't directly comment on the evidence that has been collected.
She said it has been a difficult case.
"These juveniles face serious charges of rape and kidnapping. It is distressing to anyone who has children. I can understand the outrage. We are working to make sure justice is served. We want to get to the absolute truth in the case. I understand the public's rush to judgment. This will change peoples' lives forever. We just want to make sure it is done right."
Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Mike McVey issued a statement Wednesday following the arrest of the Steubenville High School students:
"We learned (Wednesday) morning that two Steubenville City Schools high school athletes were arrested. The school district is prohibited by law from releasing personal identification of students including details related to student discipline. The district intends to fully cooperate with any criminal investigation that may ensue from this situation. In accordance with our district's zero-tolerance athletic policy, any student who is arrested is immediately suspended from all extracurricular activities including sports."