Charges dropped against two Steubenville school employees

Published 1:27 am Thursday, July 3, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) — Charges have been dropped against two school employees as part of an investigation into whether other laws were broken in the rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players.

Strength and wrestling coach and elementary school teacher Seth Fluharty had been accused of failing to report the August 2012 rape.

Elementary school principal Lynnett Gorman had been accused of failing to report rumors of a teen sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the West Virginia girl’s rape.

Email newsletter signup

The Ohio attorney general’s office confirmed Wednesday that misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect were dropped June 20 after Fluharty and Gorman met conditions of deals to avoid prosecution.

Gorman had to perform 40 hours of community service at a rape crisis or victim assistance center and talk to teachers and administrators in Steubenville about the importance of reporting child abuse and neglect.

She also had to encourage the school system to host a speaker from the Ohio Alliance Against Sexual Violence during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

Fluharty had to complete 20 community service hours at a domestic-violence shelter and attend anti-sexual violence training at Steubenville city schools.

Gorman and Fluharty were among six people charged following a grand jury investigation announced March 17, 2013, the day a judge convicted the two players of rape.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said it was necessary to continue investigating to ensure the community knew justice had been done.

The case was dogged by allegations of a community cover-up to protect the celebrated Steubenville High School football team and a lack of cooperation.

Charges against two other officials also have been resolved. Still ahead is the trial of district superintendent Mike McVey on Aug. 18 in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court.

McVey has pleaded not guilty to charges including obstructing justice, tampering with evidence and making a false statement.

No trial date has been set for the district’s former technology director, William Rhinaman, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.