By NEWS9 and The Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state attorney general, the lawyers for both of the defendants and a 16-year-old accuser and her parents are all pressing a judge to close the rape trial of two Steubenville High School student-athletes.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is the latest to file the motion. Local court officials said they had not received word of DeWine’s motion as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, and a hearing is scheduled for Friday before Judge Thomas Lipps on all of the motions.Several news organizations, including WTOV9, are urging a judge to keep the trial open to the public.
The media’s filing in Jefferson County Juvenile Court on Wednesday said the media have a well-established constitutional right to cover such hearings.
The news companies said that openness is the best way to ensure public confidence in the proceedings. The Associated Press further said it’s important to fully understand what happened the night of the alleged assault in August in Steubenville so measures can be taken to protect other young women in the future.
On Tuesday, Robert Fitzsimmons, the attorney representing the teenage girl in the case, asked for the case to be closed because, he said, closure is the only alternative that can protect the girl from improper use of inadmissible evidence that is “either proffered, tendered to argued in open court.”Fitzsimmons further said in his motion that “counsel and the parents request their right to hear the testimony which involves the parents’ daughter sand counsel’s client. Jane Doe is not requesting to be present throughout the proceedings.”