Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine has been interviewed in regard to the Steubenville rape case in which Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond have been charged with raping the Jane Doe, aged 16, at parties that took place on the night of August 11th and 12th. A change of venue was denied and the trial is set to take place in Steubenville starting March 13th. Probably the most newsworthy aspect of these interviews is the following, taken from the Marietta Times:
Q: There have been conflicting reports as to whether your office granted immunity to the three students who testified at the probable cause hearing. A letter sent to one of the three students reads, in part, “Although your client may not have conducted himself in a responsible manner or appropriate manner, his behavior did not rise to the level of any criminal conduct.” Can you explain what that letter means?
DeWine: First of all, we made no deal with any of the witnesses. We did not grant immunity, which actually has to be granted by a court. … We did send a letter … to three witnesses, and in essence what those letters say is we do not believe, based on the information we have at this time, that the elements of any crime are there to prosecute that individual. That was a statement of fact.
Q: So there’s no chance any of those three will be prosecuted in this case after the rape trial is resolved?
DeWine: We do not have the elements at this moment to charge any of them.
So, to dumb it down, this basically means if you go to a “banger” in Steubenville, and you witness a topless girl, so drunk she is vomiting in the streets, being “fingered” and having a penis being inserted into her mouth, and having a penis “smacked on her side” and instead of trying to stop it, you live-tweet it and post messages on the Internet like this:
and videos like this:
It isn’t a crime. At this point, no additional charges will be filed.
Mark Cole, who said he observed and shot video of one of the defendants inserting his fingers in Jane Doe in the back of his car but later deleted the video and Anthony Craig and Evan Westlake, who both testified they saw sexual acts being performed on the victim, at this point, these boys face no criminal charges. Boys will be boys, the Steubenville “rape crew” can go on with their happy little lives. Thankfully, Dewine did make this statement:
The postings that have been up on the Internet – the one that’s got so much attention, the man who was I would say obviously drunk who was talking for 10-12 minutes and degrading her. He wasn’t there at the event, but this was recorded in close proximity of time, at least, to when the event occurred, and it’s just obnoxious, and her family has to endure that. I think that’s what been particularly difficult about this case and what’s been unusual about this case.
I would personally use a much stronger word than “obnoxious” but that is just me. When asked if there would be charges filed against the owners of the homes where the parties took place, Dewine said there is a “possibility” of charged being filed but that “knowledge is not a crime under Ohio law.”
I’m still wondering who purchased the alcohol for these minors or how it was obtained.
As for the Jane Doe in the case, Dewine had this to say:
I think this is very difficult for the family. … I met with the mom and the dad, as well as the victim. If this was my child, I would just be torn up by it, the prospect of her having to testify. I think it would be very tough. She’s doing OK, this is a tough situation for her to go through. The judge has continued the trial, I fully understand that, I accept it, but the sooner this can get over with, I think the better it’s going to be for the victim.
We will just have to wait and see and hope justice is served. If no additional charged are filed against the people who just stood around and watched a girl being assaulted, that just doesn’t feel like justice at all.