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- Steubenville teen rape case grand jury indictments (6 pm video)
- Steubenville teen rape case grand jury indictments (5:30 pm video)
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Steubenville schools employee pleads not guilty
Updated: Thursday, November 21 2013, 11:19 AM EST
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio --
The Steubenville City Schools' director of technology pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a special grand jury reviewing if other crimes were committed in the Steubenville teen rape case.
William Rhinaman, 53, of Mingo Junction, was arraigned before Judge Patricia Cosgrove Wednesday. Rhinaman is free on $25,000 personal recognizance bond with the stipulation that he reports to an attorney and makes all court appearances.
Rhinaman was arrested Monday afternoon on four counts as a result of the special grand jury investigation. He is charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor.
Judge Cosgrove said Rhinamans finances were of concern to the court, because she stated he should proceed on this case with council.
“The court might consider appointing council, but requiring Mr. Rhinaman to repay the county and the state of Ohio the public defender fees as well as the expert fees from his pension,” Judge Cosgrove said.
The Judge appointed attorney Stephen Lamatrice for the day’s proceedings.
“This is not your normal run of the mill case. You’re talking $20,000 to $50,000 retainers from some law firms to represent him along with costs of expert fees and so on,” Lamatrice said.
Steubenville City Schools Superintendent, Michal McVey confirmed to NEWS9 that Rhinaman is currently on paid leave, and his access to pension monies would be determined by the State Teachers Retirement System.
The judge said she plans to further review Rhinamans finances, and set a pretrial court date for Oct. 25.
--OFFICIAL COURT DOCUMENT: William Rhinaman Secret Indictment
His pre-trial hearing is set for Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. At that time, it’s expected to be announced if he is eligible for an Ohio public defender.
Attorney Stephen Lamatrice was appointed Rhinaman’s defense attorney for today only.
The defense handed over a financial affidavit to detail some of his Rhinaman’s finances, so it can be determined if Rhinaman can access his pension now to help retain legal counsel.
The judge will determine if Rhinaman can be appointed a public defender. If a public defender is appointed, Rhinaman may have to repay the state of Ohio or Jefferson County.
The 14-member special grand jury is reviewing evidence and hearing testimony as part of a state-level investigation connected to the original teen rape case.
In March, a visiting judge found Trenton Mays and Ma'lik Richmond delinquent for raping a teenage girl in August 2012. Immediately after the two teens were sentenced, Ohio Attorney General Mike 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.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office released Rhinaman's three-page indictment on Tuesday, detailing each count.
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 their 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.
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.
On Monday, during an interview with NEWS9, DeWine said he does not anticipate another indictment before the grand jury meets again on Oct. 21.
Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.
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