If one can have a favorite part of this terrible Steubenville nightmare, mine would be this statement from Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine in response to the most recent round of indictments. He said, “How do we hold these kids accountable if we don’t hold the adults accountable?…It’s up to the adults to intervene. It’s up to the adults to set boundaries.” And that’s one of the most important messages I’ve heard so far and some language that’s been sorely lacking in this case. Are the kids responsible for their actions? They most certainly are. But the first questions I always find myself asking in cases such as these is: “Who raised these children? How did we get here?!” In a case that’s been so plagued by victim-blaming, it’s a comfort to see that DeWine is not done holding people accountable.
In addition to William Rhinaman, the director of technology at Stuebenville high school who was arrested in October, here are the four adults being held accountable: 1) Steubenville superintendent Michael McVey, charged with three felonies, including tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice. 2) Matthew Belardine, a volunteer assistant football coach, charged with allowing underage drinking, making a false statement, and obstructing official business. 3) Seth Fluharty, a wrestling coach and trainer, charged with failure to report child abuse. 4) Lynette Gorman, an elementary school principal, charged with the same. McVey, Belardine, Fluharty and Gorman will all appear in court on December 6th.
Conspicuously missing from the list of indictees is head coach Reno Saccoccia who has no only escaped any criminal charges, but had his contract renewed by the district. The coach was mentioned by name by the rapists in their attempt to cover up their crime. One text reads, “I got Reno. He took care of it and sh— ain’t gonna happen, even if they did take it to court.” Not exactly a molder of men, is he? You can read more about Saccoccia’s involvement and petition for his removal here.