The Steubenville rape case judge denied three juvenile defense witnesses the right to testify. The West Virginia tasked with deciding the fate of the witnesses ruled that not a single legal case was cited to support compelling the three witnesses to testify.
The two Steubenville High School football players have been accused of raping the teenage girl after a night of partying and drinking alcohol. Defense attorneys for the accused rapists deny the claims. At least 40 witnesses have been subpoenaed to testify in the Steubenville rape trial.
The alleged rape of a teenage girl by the Steubenville High School football players garnered national attention after the group known as Anonymous took issue with the timeframe of arrests after a complaint was filed.
Anonymous felt that special treatment was being given to the Ohio football stars. Local police officers maintain the case, like all others, was handled as quickly as the timely investigation allowed.
The testimony from the three subpoenaed West Virginia juveniles was allegedly expected to help the case of the Steubenville football players. One of the defense attorneys stated Judge Ronald Wilson’s ruling put his client in a “tough situation.”
The West Virginia judge searched not just Ohio, but cases from all 50 states to find a precedent for compelling the minors to testify. Judge Wilson also stated in his four-page ruling that Ohio and West Virginia law differ on the matter.
He also noted that a trial judge does not make new law, he is simply tasked with following existing legal codes.
The court filings by the defense attorneys reportedly did not indicate what the three juveniles would be testifying about in the Steubenville rape case. The teens from West Virginia reportedly do not want to travel back to Ohio for the trial and have allegedly refused to answer questions posed by defense investigators.
A video shot on the evening of the alleged rape went viral online. Ohio NOW is pressuring Attorney General Mike DeWine to prosecute the young man who made the video for not reporting the alleged felony. The video contains some very graphic language about the alleged rape. Although the teenage videographer has not yet been charged with a crime and is reportedly cooperating with law enforcement, he has not been granted immunity.
What do you think about the Steubenville rape trial?