Criminal Justice

Special judge will handle grand jury probe into alleged Steubenville rape cover-up

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A special judge has been appointed to handle a grand jury investigation into allegations of a cover-up in the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a party in Steubenville, Ohio, last summer.

Patricia Ann Cosgrove, a retired judge from the Toledo area, will oversee the grand jury, report the Associated Press and the Toledo Blade. Two high-school football players were convicted on juvenile charges related to the rape last Sunday.

Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. had sought the appointment of an outside judge in a March 14 letter saying “nameless bloggers” had created “a substantial controversy” with their allegations, the AP story says. “These nameless bloggers, while having produced no evidence of a cover-up have managed to assemble quite a following locally, nationally and internationally,” Bruzzese said. He advocated appointment of a judge “as far away as possible.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine had sought the grand jury after saying 16 adults and juveniles had refused to talk to prosecutors about the party.

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