Recently, a grand jury investigating the 2012 rape case of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, indicted four school employees, including the school’s superintendent, who now face felony charges.
Steubenville High School superintendent Michael McVey is facing felony charges for tampering with evidence, and obstruction of justice, in the case of the sexual assault of a 16 year old girl, by two high school football players, after an alcohol fueled party in August 2012.
Thomas Kenniff, founding partner of Raiser & Kenniff, had this to say regarding the charges, “From Watergate to Penn State, we’ve learned time and again that the consequences of the cover up are often more severe than that of the underlying crime. If the allegations contained in the indictment are true, than the school’s administrators sought to protect their own reputation while sacrificing the safety and dignity of a young woman whose well being they were charged with protecting.”
In addition to the superintendent, wrestling coach Matthew Belardine was charged with allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business, and making false statements. In addition, two other employees, wrestling coach Seth Fluharty, and elementary school principle Lynette Gorman, were charged with failure to report child abuse.
Steve Raiser, founding partner of Raiser & Kenniff, PC, weighed in, “Anyone who would cover up the rape of a 16 year old girl may not only be morally culpable, but criminally liable as an accessory. If it can be shown through the evidence that they assisted in covering up this crime they could likewise be charged for the crime itself. As adults, their liability will be even greater than the boys who committed the actual rape itself.”