STEUBENVILLE, Ohio—Aftershocks from the high-profile Steubenville High School rape case continued to ripple through the once-quiet Ohio community on Monday when four more school employees were indicted for their roles in costing the Steubenville “Big Red” football program the 2012 OHSAA championship.
Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey is among four employees indicted on felony and misdemeanor counts that include obstruction of justice, failure to report child abuse, and conduct detrimental to an undefeated season.
In March, Steubenville High School football players Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays were convicted of the customary rape, which authorities said took place at a party in August 2012 and subsequently ruined Steubenville’s chances at another undefeated season. The case gained national attention when photos and videos of the incident went viral after being posted to social media channels.
“What happened here in Steubenville can and does, sadly, happen across this nation,” stated Ohio Attorney General Mark DeWine at a press conference regarding the indictments.
“But by handing down justice, the grand jury is saying to this community and to victims of rape everywhere that there are consequences for disrupting gridiron excellence.”
High school football has long been a great source of pride for the economically depressed city of Steubenville. While “Big Red” has made playoff appearances in the two seasons since the rape case, it has yet to reclaim past championship glory.
“I think the community needed justice like this to move on,” said Sam Lamey, a prominent booster for the team.
“[The ruling] says to those boys and their parents, ‘Hey, maybe if you’ve got a big game tomorrow, you should stay home. There’s no need to be out carousing with girls,” Lamey added.
The grand jury’s indictments come only days before Steubenville faces archrival Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the state semi-finals on Friday, but with the rape distraction finally out of the way, the team—and the entire community—believe they can transform adversity into victory.