Volunteer coach gets 10 days in Steubenville rape case

Volunteer coach gets 10 days in Steubenville rape case
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 12:37pm

An assistant high school football coach was found guilty of two misdemeanors in connection with the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case that captured national attention, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.

Matt Belardine, a volunteer coach at Steubenville High School, was sentenced to 10 days in jail Tuesday. The judge also ordered him to serve 40 hours of community service and pay fines totaling $1,000. He's the first adult sentenced to jail time in connection with the 2012 case.

Belardine was charged with four misdemeanors: allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business, making a false statement and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child.

He plead no contest to serving alcohol to a minor and falsification. The other two counts were dismissed.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office said Belardine was the only adult present at an August 2012 party held at his home and attended by convicted rapists Ma'lik Richmond and Trenton Mays. The victim, a 16-year-old girl, was also at the party.

Dan Tierney, spokesman for the Ohio attorney general's office, tells CNN Belardine was ordered to report to jail on Friday.

The counts to which the former coach pleaded each carried a six-month maximum sentence.

A special grand jury investigating the adults involved in the rape case indicted six people. Belardine is the fourth of the six cases to be resolved.

William Rhinaman, the director of technology for Steubenville City Schools, is also expected to appear in court Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing. He has been indicted on charges of tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey faces three felony charges. He's due back in court on a motion hearing on May 5.

In January, one of the two former high school football players convicted in the rape that shook the eastern Ohio community was released from juvenile detention.

Ma'lik Richmond was 16 when he was convicted last year of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in Steubenville. Richmond had been sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correctional facility, but he was credited for the time he served before the trial.

Richmond and Steubenville High School football teammate Trenton Mays were convicted in March 2013 of the rape after a trial that divided the football-crazed Rust Belt town.

Lurid text messages, social media posts, as well as cell phone pictures and videos helped raise the national profile of the case, which revolved around Richmond and Mays' actions during a series of end-of-summer parties in August 2012. It attracted the attention of bloggers, who questioned everything from the behavior of the football team to the integrity of the investigation.

Mays, who was 17 when he was convicted, also was found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor and was sentenced to two years.

Both Richmond and Mays have been classified as Tier II sex offenders and will be required to report to their local sheriff's office every six months for the next 20 years.

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