Schools targeted in Steubenville rape case

STEUBENVILLE – The ongoing investigation into the Steubenville rape case targeted Steubenville City Schools on Thursday, when Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents executed search warrants at school system offices and at Steubenville High School.

According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, BCI agents executed search warrants at the Steubenville Board of Education offices and other facilities, Steubenville High School and Vestige Ltd. in Medina County.

DeWine would not specify what “other facilities” were searched or what agents seized from those locations. Court documents associated with the search warrants have been sealed.

The search began at 2 p.m. Thursday, and BCI agents were assisted by Steubenville police and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies.

Police Chief Bill McCafferty was among the officers still assisting BCI agents at 3:45 p.m. Thursday. He did not return a call seeking comment.

Sheriff Fred Abdalla was not available either, but it is unclear whether he was personally assisting BCI agents. He also did not return a message left Thursday.

According to its website, Vestige Ltd. is a company that specializes in computer forensics services. A request for comment Thursday was left on the voicemail of Donald Wochna, the company’s chief legal officer.

Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Mike McVey did not return a call seeking comment on Thursday.

A special Jefferson County grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence Tuesday in a session expected to last about 10 days. The goal is to determine whether any laws were violated by people surrounding the rape case involving two Steubenville High School student-athletes. Visiting Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove will preside over the proceedings.

Trent Mays, 17, of Bloomingdale and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville were found delinquent for rape March 17 by visiting Judge Thomas Lipps in an incident involving an intoxicated, underage girl on Aug. 11-12. Mays also was found delinquent on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for having a picture of the 16-year-old victim from Weirton in an outgoing text message on his cell phone.

Copyright 2013 The Intelligencer / Wheeling Ne