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Indictment details released in teen rape case
Updated: Thursday, November 21 2013, 11:19 AM EST
By: NEWS9 and Ryan Eldredge
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio --
A man who was indicted by a special grand jury, arrested on four counts and is being held without bond is the Steubenville City Schools' director of technology.
William Rhinaman, 53, of Mingo Junction, was arrested Monday afternoon as the result of a special grand jury reviewing if other crimes were committed in the Steubenville teen rape case.
Rhinaman is charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor. The Ohio Attorney General's Office released the three-page indictment on Tuesday, detailing each count that Rhinaman faces.
--OFFICIAL COURT DOCUMENT: William Rhinaman Indictment
In a news release, the Steubenville City Schools Board of Education said Rhinaman is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the district's technology infrastructure, hardware and software.
On Tuesday, the district said Rhinaman was placed on a leave of absence effective immediately pending the outcome of the criminal case.
The district's statement read, in part, "The board is not privy to the grand jury proceedings and has no knowledge or information about the evidence leading to these charges. The board will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities in their ongoing investigation, as we have since this investigation first began."
In the indictment itself, the grand jury detailed more about each of the four counts Rhinaman faces.
In the tampering with evidence charge, investigators said the alleged crime happened sometime between when two Steubenville High School student-athletes raped a teenage girl and when the grand jury first met.
The special grand jury alleges that Rhinaman altered, destroyed, concealed or removed some sort of records to impair its value or availability as evidence, or presented records in order to mislead officials.
With regard to Rhinaman's obstructing justice charge, the grand jury alleges he destroyed or concealed physical evidence.
He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing official business, and jurors allege Rhinaman impeded a public official from completing his or her lawful duties.
The final count is perjury, which allegedly happened during the grand jury investigation. Rhinaman is accused of knowingly making a false statement under oath, or to have affirmed one he previously made while under oath.
PREVIOUS NEWS9 COVERAGE:
--Oct. 7, 2013: Grand jury indicts Steubenville schools employee
Rhinaman's arraignment is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday. Until then, officials said he will remain at the Jefferson County Justice Center without bond.
On Monday, during an interview with NEWS9, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he does not anticipate another indictment before the grand jury meets again on Oct. 21.
The panel of 14 jurors is reviewing evidence and hearing testimony as part of a state-level investigation connected to the original case.
In March, a visiting judge found Trenton Mays and Ma'lik Richmond delinquent of raping a teenage girl in August 2012. Immediately after the two teens were sentenced, DeWine called for the grand jury to be an "investigative tool" to probe other claims and questions that have dogged the case, such as whether anyone else knew about the rape and failed to report it.
NEWS9 legal analyst Mike Nogay reviewed Rhinaman's indictment and said, "The problem is that when you try to defend cases with this vagueness, it's almost impossible to determine what your client did or did not do or is accused of doing. And so the defense lawyer will have to obtain -- through a Bill of Particulars or through discovery -- a more specific allegation, because that's how you protect people in double jeopardy."
When NEWS9 reporter Ryan Eldredge asked Nogay if it's possible Rhinaman was charged with the four counts to get him to cooperate with the investigation in some way, Nogay said, "I don't know for sure, but that's always the idea when you join several counts. It would logically put a little more pressure on the defendant."
Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.