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Published: Friday, 3/22/2013

Retired judge from Akron area to preside over Steubenville grand jury


COLUMBUS — A retired judge from the Akron area has been named to convene and preside over grand jury proceedings to consider additional charges related to the rape of a 16-year-old girl by a pair of Steubenville High School juveniles.

In an order dated today, the Ohio Supreme Court appointed Patricia Ann Cosgrove, formerly of Summit County Common Pleas Court, as the second visiting judge connected with the case. Cincinnati-area Judge Thomas Lipps had presided over the trial.

Jefferson County Common Pleas Presiding Judge Joseph Bruzzese, Jr. had requested the appointment, saying that “nameless bloggers” alleging a cover-up in the case have made it a good idea that a judge from “as far away as possible” should preside over the grand jury.

On Sunday, Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were convicted of the juvenile equivalent of rape and were sentenced to at least two years and one year in juvenile detention respectively. They could remain there until they turn 21.

They were accused of assaulting a Weirton, W.Va. girl in the midst of a series of alcohol-fueled parties on the night of Aug. 11.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office stepped in to investigate and prosecute the case, has announced his wish to convene a grand jury to further delve into whether charges should also be filed against other juveniles and adults who did nothing to stop the crime as it took place, failed to report the crime afterwards, or tried to obstruct the subsequent investigation.

Mr. DeWine, a Republican and former U.S. senator, has said 16 adults and juveniles known to be at the parties later refused to talk to prosecutors.

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