COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A day after two high school football players were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl, authorities arrested two Ohio girls suspected of making online threats against the accuser.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the girls arrested Monday posted threatening comments on Twitter on Sunday, the day the players were convicted in Steubenville. One of the messages was later reposted on Facebook.
The rape case brought international attention to the small city of 18,000 and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the Steubenville High School football team.
Steubenville police Capt. Joel Walker said the Jefferson County girls, ages 15 and 16, were being held in juvenile detention.
The older girl was charged with aggravated menacing for a tweet that threatened homicide and said “you ripped my family apart,” according to the attorney general’s office. A Twitter message from the younger girl threatened the accuser with bodily harm, leading to a menacing charge, the office said.
“These arrests, I hope, will end the harassment of the victim,” DeWine said. “We are simply not going to tolerate this. Enough is enough.”
The guilty verdict was barely an hour old Sunday when DeWine said he was continuing his investigation and would consider charges against anyone who failed to speak up after the attack last August. That group could include other teens, parents, school officials and coaches for the high school’s beloved football team, which has won nine state championships.
A grand jury will meet in mid-April to consider evidence gathered by investigators from dozens of interviews, including with the football program’s 27 coaches, which include junior high, freshman and volunteer coaches.
Text messages introduced at trial suggested the head coach was aware of the rape allegation early on. Reno Saccoccia “took care of it,” defendant Trent Mays said in one text introduced by prosecutors.