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Football coach pleads no contest in Ohio rape case

Volunteer coach whose house was scene of party in Ohio football rape case pleads no contest
Posted on April 22, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A volunteer football coach whose house was the scene of an underage drinking party that preceded the rape of a girl by two high school football players in 2012 pleaded no contest to two charges on Tuesday, the Ohio attorney general’s office said.

Defendant Matt Belardine entered no contest pleas in Jefferson County court to one count of making a false statement and one count of enabling underage drinking. Charges of obstructing official business and contributing to the delinquency of a child were dismissed.

Special Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove sentenced Belardine to 10 days in jail, one year of supervision and 40 hours of community service. She also fined him $1,000.

A message left for Belardine’s attorney seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Belardine was one of six people charged last year by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the case of the 16-year-old West Virginia girl who was raped after an alcohol-fueled house party in August 2012.

With Belardine’s plea, four of those cases have been resolved. The players were convicted in March 2013 and sentenced to the state’s juvenile detention system.

On April 11, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that a teacher and coach charged with a single misdemeanor count of failure to report child abuse or neglect involving the rape will have the charge dismissed in exchange for community service at a domestic violence shelter.

In February, a former school worker pleaded guilty to stealing computer equipment in a case that arose from the grand jury investigation but was not related to the girl’s rape.

In January, DeWine announced charges would be dropped against a Steubenville elementary school principal official in exchange for community service related to rape awareness. The principal was accused of failing to report rumors of a teenage sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the later rape.

A pre-trial hearing was scheduled Tuesday afternoon for William Rhinaman, the Steubenville schools’ former technology director, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

Steubenville superintendent Mike McVey has pleaded not guilty to charges including obstructing justice and tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge alleging he made a false statement in April 2012. He has a motion hearing scheduled for May 5.




 ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014, AT 12:01 A.M. AND THEREAFTER -  In this May 22, 2014, photo, train cars containing coal roll into an unloading facility at Dominion Terminal Associates' coal terminal in Newport News, Va. As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world, where they could create even more pollution. With companies looking to double America’s coal exports, the nation’s growing position in the global energy trade could make global warming worse, fueling the world’s demand for coal when many experts say most fossil fuels should remain in the ground to avert the most disastrous effects of climate change. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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 ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014, AT 12:01 A.M. AND THEREAFTER - In this May 22, 2014, photo, sunlight reflects off of a chunk of coal at Dominion Terminal Associates' coal terminal in Newport News, Va. As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off polluting fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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 ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014, AT 12:01 A.M. AND THEREAFTER -  In this May 22, 2014, photo, a ship is docked at Norfolk Southern's Lamberts Point coal terminal as a man plays golf in Norfolk, Va. As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world, where they could create even more pollution. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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