No motions to be released in rape case

Jan. 23, 2013 at 6:58 PM
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STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Court officials said they would no longer release to the public motions filed in an upcoming trial of two Ohio student-athletes charged with rape.

Two 16-year-old Steubenville high school football players are scheduled to go on trial next month in juvenile court on charges of raping a Weirton, W.Va. girl, also 16, in August 2012.

Court probation officer Fred Aballa Jr. said Tuesday Visiting Judge Thomas Lipps decided not to release any motions that have been or will be filed, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

If the motions are not released, no further information, including hearing dates, will be available, Aballa said.

Walter Madison, attorney for one of the defendants, asked that future proceedings be closed to the media, saying key witnesses have been threatened and are reluctant to testify.

The decision to deny release of motions in the trial countermands a 2005 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court in a previous case, which outlines access of the public and the press to information, but Aballa cited a Juvenile Court Rule saying general juvenile court records are not for public use.

The hacker group Anonymous posted a video, apparently recorded the night of the alleged rape, of teen males appearing to joke about it.

"They raped her harder than that cop raped Marcellus Wallace in 'Pulp Fiction,'" he said, and, "They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson raped that one girl."

One voice heard off-camera tells the speaker "this isn't funny" and that it is "childish."

"What if that was your daughter?" another off-camera male asked.

"But it isn't," said the teen making the jokes. "If that was my daughter I wouldn't care. I'd just let her be dead."

Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty said this month the police department was aware of the video.

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