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Attorney says his client in video didn't witness rape in Steubenville


Protests have occurred in Steubenville about the investigation of the alleged rape o fa 16-year old girl and social media remarks about the incident, and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla last week tried to addresses questions.

The Plain Dealer Enlarge

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - An attorney representing a young Steubenville man seen in a video callously describing an alleged rape victim in graphic detail the morning of her attack says his client did not witness the incident and was speaking from second-hand knowledge.

Columbus attorney Dennis McNamara agreed with Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine's assessment of the YouTube video as "disgusting."

"I think I would add disappointing, insensitive and unfortunate," Mr. McNamara said at a news conference held in Steubenville today.

Two members of the Steubenville High School football team, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, both 16, have been charged with assaulting a 16-year-old girl at an end of the summer party in August and face trial in February.

Mr. McNamara said his client, identified as Michael Nodianos, 18, cooperated with police and is not under investigation. He said he has not been called as a witness because he did not observe the attack himself.

The attorney also said the alleged assault did not take place at the home where the video was made and took place at another home. He said witnesses observed the attack and came to the home where his client made the video and described the incident.

Mr. Nodianos attended Ohio State University in the fall, but elected not to enroll this term.

His attorney said a "hacktivist" group who call themselves Anonymous, broke into his school e-mail account and reopened Twitter and Facebook accounts in his name that he had previously closed. He also said he has been threatened.

He said Mr. Nodianos hopes to return to school in the upcoming year and move on.

"There's no excuse or justification for the comments Michael made in the video and with some sober reflection he is ashamed and embarrassed to hear them himself," he said.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Post-Gazette wrote this story.

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