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4 pre-trial conferences held for Steubenville teen rape case indictments

Updated: Friday, January 17 2014, 03:55 PM EST

By: NEWS9 and Ryan Eldredge
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio --

A spokesman with the Ohio Attorney General's Office has confirmed for NEWS9 that four phone pre-trial status conferences were conducted today in connection with the special grand jury investigation into the Steubenville teen rape case.

The spokesman said that Hannah Rhinaman, Matthew Belardine, Michael McVey and Seth Fluharty had dates set for future appearances.

Hannah Rhinaman has a trial date set for Feb. 19.

Matthew Belardine and Seth Fluharty had another phone pre-trial status conference set for Feb. 11. Belardine was indicted on four counts, all misdemeanors. Fluharty was indicted on one count regarding reporting child abuse or neglect, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Michael McVey also had another phone pre-trial status conference set his is scheduled for March 4. He was indicted on five counts, including three felonies and two misdemeanors.

The spokesman told NEWS9 that no other information was available.

A total of six people were indicted by a special grand jury. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called for the grand jury in March after two teens -- Trenton Mays and Ma'lik Richmond -- were convicted of raping another teen in Jefferson County.

The panel of 14 jurors reviewed evidence and heard testimony as part of a state-level investigation into other possible crimes connected to the original case. Since first meeting in April, they heard from 123 witnesses. A visiting judge found Mays and Richmond delinquent of raping a teenage girl in August 2012. Mays and Richmond were student-athletes at Steubenville High School at the time of the crimes.

Immediately after the two teens were sentenced, DeWine called for the grand jury to be an "investigative tool" into other claims and questions that have dogged the case, such as whether anyone else knew about the rape and failed to report it.

Earlier this month, an agreement in court was announced that a misdemeanor charge against West Elementary School Principal Lynnett Gorman will be dismissed by June 1.

Gorman previously pleaded not guilty to failure to report child abuse or neglect while acting in official capacity in a school district.

According to Jan. 8 hearing, the dismissal is contingent upon Gorman completing 40 hours of community service work and speaking to other teachers and administrators in Steubenville City Schools on the subject of recognizing and reporting child abuse and child neglect.

William Rhinaman, the former director of technology for Steubenville city schools, previously pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

The Ohio Attorney General's office confirmed Tuesday that a tentative trial date for William Rhinaman has been scheduled for Feb. 24 in Summit County, Ohio. He is set to have a pretrial on Jan. 28.

Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.

4 pre-trial conferences held for Steubenville teen rape case indictments


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