Late yesterday, William Rhinaman, the IT director for the Steubenville, Ohio school system, became the first adult to face criminal charges related to last year's rape there.  He faced charges that clearly indicate investigators suspect a cover-up--including tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.  I diaried on this earlier today.

Well, a few more details came out this afternoon with the unsealing of the indictment against Rhinaman.

According to the charges, William Rhinaman, 53, tampered with potential evidence related to the rape dating back to August 11, 2012 -- three days before it was reported to Steubenville police.

The indictment also accuses Rhinaman of obstructing the investigation by the grand jury for months and lying under oath on July 8.
The tampering charge isn't specific in what actions grand jurors believe Rhinaman took in regards to evidence in the case. But the charges indicate he knew an investigation was underway and altered, destroyed, concealed or removed a record, document or thing. Or that he created or made a false document or record to mislead an investigator or public official.

Read the indictment here or here.  It charges that Rhinaman began tampering with evidence on the night of the rape and continued doing it right up until April 25 of this year.  It also charges that from April 8 until just last week, Rhinaman interfered with the investigation.

The indictment doesn't offer many specifics.  Notably, there aren't any details on who else was in on the cover-up, even though state attorney general Mike DeWine said that this is only the first indictment in an investigation that is very much underway.  However, DeWine has indicated the charges are related to Rhinaman's duties with the school system.  The impression I get is that investigators found out Rhinaman was lying early on and gave him multiple chances to recant--and Rhinaman didn't take them.  And apparently it's serious enough that Rhinaman is being held without bond pending his hearing tomorrow afternoon.

If convicted, Rhinaman could face up to four years in prison--longer than the two boys who actually raped that girl will get in a youth facility.  As always, the cover-up gets you in more trouble than the actual crime.

Originally posted to House of LIGHTS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 03:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Trial Watch.

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