WHEELING, W.Va. — A Wheeling attorney says the West Virginia teenager at the center of the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case is trying to move forward more than a year after the assault.

That 16-year-old girl is from Weirton and Bob Fitzsimmons has been representing her and her family members.

“She’s continued in school. She’s an honor roll student. She was elected to the homecoming court. She’s making application to go to college,” Fitzsimmons MetroNews “Talkline” on Wednesday. “Her family has weathered the storm as best as anyone can. They’re very strong, very united.

“For her to weather this is really an example to, I think, all women in the country that you do need to step up (and report sexual assaults).”

In March, Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, both Steubenville High School football players, were convicted of sexually assaulting the intoxicated and unresponsive girl during a party in August 2012.

They were charged and convicted as juveniles in a case that brought national attention to Steubenville after images of the abuse were shared via social media.

“It was these boys and their friends that actually posted things on social networks that lead to the ultimate conviction. Remember, this young girl that was raped, she was unconscious and didn’t know what happened or who did what,” said Fitzsimmons.

Last week, after meeting 18 times and hearing from more than 100 witnesses, an Ohio Grand Jury indicted four school officials, including Steubenville schools superintendent Mike McVey, on charges that included obstructing justice, impeding the investigation into the assault and failing to report the crime.

Newsweek has reported several of the charges in those indictments are connected to a separate alleged sexual assault that happened in April 2012 involving several Steubenville High athletes and a 14-year old girl.

Fitzsimmons confirmed he is representing that girl, who he said is not from West Virginia, and her family members, but offered few other details about the case citing the ongoing investigation.

At the time of last week’s indictments, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said, unless there is new evidence, the indictments will bring the Steubenville rape investigation to a close.

“What this grand jury did and what Mike DeWine did, I think for the community was, he said, ‘Look, I’m going to have a grand jury.  I’m going to check everything out and, if there are any crimes, I’m going to charge people,’” said Fitzsimmons.

The school employees who were indicted last week were initially placed on administrative leave.  Two of the three were reinstated by the school board Tuesday night. They’re all scheduled to make court appearances on Friday, Dec. 6.

Two other people, an information technology director for Steubenville schools and his daughter, were indicted separately last month.  They have already pleaded not guilty to their charges.

(MetroNews policy is not to identify sexual assault victims unless they come forward publicly.)

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  • Joe


    A completely out of line comment. What in the hell is the matter with you?!

  • Daniel

    Something tells me that this a reoccurring problem in the Steubenville area. High School athletes treated as "stars," doing as they please, all for the sake of a trophy and bragging rights! The bragging rights, I'm sure, also include how many young and uninhibited girls they can molest in one season. This is the epitome of filthy, disgusting, unacceptable social behavior in any state, country or inhabited place of existence for human beings. And this is what is being condoned in Steubenville, OH. Now they are investigating the assault of a 14 year old girl? Wow!

  • Anonymous

    The victim, in this case a young girl, is NEVER at fault. There is NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE. Women and girls should not have to worry EVER about whether they will be violently assaulted. These boys should have been punished further - in order to eradicate rape from our culture we need to make it an absolutely abhorrent act. The more we make excuses for rapists, we are giving them the ok to continue these actions. Also, lets think about it - are only drunk girls raped? NO. Are only girls dressed in revealing clothing raped? NO. These things are NOT the cause of rape. RAPISTS are the cause of rape, end of story.

  • grey4449

    Those boys deserve everything they got. The girl was at fault also. The parents have to also share some blame. Where were they and did they not call or go look for their daughter. Was the girl with friends and where were the friends. Who provided the beer etc. to minors? The trouble today is no discipline in schools or homes. Rape, drugs and alcohol are rampant in society today. I hope and pray that our homes and schools will put God back in their lives.

    • Peach

      Hey, Grey... I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste your comment for multiple uses in the future.

      While you think the boys "deserve everything they got", you don't actually blame THEM for their actions. You blame: THE VICTIM (no reason given), her parents (how do you know if they did or did not call/look for here?), her friends ("was the girl out with friends and where these friends)....what the hell does THAT mean? If she wasn't out with friends she was at fault and if she was they are supposed to assume guilt? Who supplied alcohol (the ONLY VALID POINT YOU BROUGHT UP), school (no discipline), homes (no discipline), society, drugs, alcohol.

      BUT let's get back to the ONE comment you made. That the girl was a fault also. Umm...how? Was she 'asking for it" because she drank? Was she "asking for it" because she went to a party? Was she "asking for it" because her friends weren't there? Maybe she was "asking for it" because of what she wore?

      NOW my gloves come off. YOU STUPID, IGNORANT, BACKWARDS, SOCIALLY RAPE ENABLING IDIOT. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED. Got drunk? DOESN'T MEAN YOU DESERVED TO BE RAPED. Went to a party and you didn't go with friends? DOESN'T MEAN YOU DESERVED TO BE RAPED. Told a white lie to your parents about your whereabouts? DOESN'T MEAN YOU DESERVE TO GET RAPED.

      I don't care (and thankfully, neither does the law), IF YOU SAY "NO" or CANNOT SAY "NO" IT'S RAPE!

  • Rich

    " not caring enough about herself to do what she did? Huh?
    Nothing anyone does is an invitation to rape. Nothing.


    I hope everyone who tried to cover this up is convicted but the girl is at fault also for not caring enough about herself to do what she did. She paid the price .

    • Sid

      You are a terrible person.

    • Mike

      Lee your a POS. I guess having no life you can make that statement.

    • culchiewoman

      Rape is NEVER the victim's fault...what about that do you not understand, moron?

    • Peach

      "but the girl is at fault also for not caring enough about herself to do what she did. She paid the price ."

      Congratulations! You posted the top comment here! I'll be copying and pasting the above article and your comment (as I will another one above) to multiple Rape Advocacy, Rape Survivor and violence against women web sites across the globe.

      While I could certainly tear your small mind apart with a flick of my wrist for you comments (like...would you blame yourself for getting drunk in a bar then getting sodomized in the parking lot because you didn't "care enough" about yourself, I'd rather unleash your comments to others who will serve you up better than I can.

      Sorry...but you "paid the price".

  • William

    Hang all on the court house square at high noon!


      I second the motion. Doesn't say much for Ohio school officials or their scum athletes.

  • Susee

    You go girl! It is great to hear that the brave rape victim is doing so very well -- and that the wheels of justice continue to turn!

  • Joe

    Steubenville isn't hell, but you can almost see it from there.

    • Jason412

      Joe, that's the truest statement I've ever read on metronews.