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After Steubenville Guilty Verdicts, Grand Jury To Weigh More Charges

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will convene a grand jury next month to investigate whether other charges should be filed in the infamous case of a 16-year-old girl who was raped by two high school football players last summer.

The case, involving players from the small city of Steubenville along Ohio's border with West Virginia, has attracted attention around the nation and the world because of images of the victim and text messages about her that the boys and some of their friends shared during and after the attack last summer. Those images and messages were spread via social media by people who were outraged by the crime and concerned that authorities in the football-obsessed city might be trying to protect the players rather than the victim.

Sunday, as we wrote and as WKSU also reported, the two players at the center of the story were convicted. One, a 16-year-old, was sentenced to a minimum of 1 year in juvenile detention. The other, a 17-year-old, will serve a minimum of 2 years.

After the verdicts, DeWine said a grand jury "would meet April 15 [and that] prosecutors from his office will present evidence to determine if other crimes were committed Aug. 11 and 12 at a series of parties the night of the assault," Cleveland's Plain Dealer writes.

As the newspaper adds:

"Testimony in the rape trial of two Steubenville High School athletes has indicated that a number of teens were drinking at the homes of several students. Photos of the nude 16-year old were also taken and distributed among party goers and others. Also, several party-goers saw what was happening and did little or nothing to stop or report the assault. A rarely used Ohio law makes it a crime not to report a felony, such as a rape."

After the trial, the Plain Dealer reports, the victim's mother released an audio statement. She told the players who were convicted that they displayed a lack of compassion and lack of any "moral code."

Her daughter, the mother said, will "persevere, grow and move on. I have pity for you both. I hope you fear the Lord, repent for your actions and pray hard for His forgiveness."

On Morning Edition, WKSU's Tim Rudell reported that the two players' attorneys said that they will be appealing the verdicts.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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