Steubenville Search Warrants Gather Evidence For Grand Jury - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Steubenville Search Warrants Gather Evidence For Grand Jury

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A local case that grabbed national attention is back front and center after investigators removed evidence they think may be related to the Steubenville rape case.

Armed with three search warrants, investigators with the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation hauled out bags of evidence and computers from Steubenville High School, Steubenville Board of Education and a Northeast Ohio private company called Vestige Ltd.

When NBC4 spoke to Attorney General Mike DeWine, he said the search warrants are all about finding out if others should be charged in connection with the crime. It is a move that those who petitioned for a larger investigation are happy to hear.

Sixteen witnesses refused to cooperate during the trial of two Steubenville High School football players who were convicted of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl. During that trial, a text message used as evidence indicates others at the school may have known about the assault and didn't report it.

Jacqueline Hillyer, president of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for Women helped deliver 80,000 signatures to the AG's office because her group wanted to make sure the investigation did not stop with the prosecution of just the two boys.

"If the football coach was aware of the situation and did nothing to report it, then he is in serious violation of a state law," said Hillyer.

She is also a school board president for Buckeye Local Schools in Ashtabula.

"Out of this should come the sense that you cannot just cover up and circle the wagons and pretend nothing happened to save your reputation," she said.

Investigators at the London, Ohio-based BCI will be searching through the seized evidence, building a case for the Jefferson County grand jury that meets next Tuesday.

"We do think some good can come out this. Hopefully there will be school programs that include dating violence in their anti-bullying programs, so the kids are aware of bystander responsibilities and aware they don't have to be victimized," Hillyer said.

The 14-person grand jury will not only look at who knew what before and after the rape, but how the kids got ahold of so much beer and alcohol.

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