COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The Steubenville teen rape case continues to attract the attention of activist groups around the country.
And on Thursday morning, two of them presented Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine with a petition urging him and state investigators to pursue additional charges.
An online petition with more than 70,000 signatures calls for full prosecution of everyone who may have been involved in the alleged incident. The petition was delivered by members of two separate groups: UltraViolet and the Ohio state chapter of Choice USA.
DeWine met them outside his office in Columbus, reviewed the petitions and told prosecutors that they’re on the same page.
“Our intent, like theirs, is to seek justice. My job is not just to get a conviction. My job is to seek justice,” DeWine said.
Two Steubenville High School student-athletes are charged with raping the girl in August. A hearing is set for Friday on defense motions to close, delay and move the trial to another venue. A non-jury trial before a visiting judge is set to begin on Feb. 13.
One of the groups that went to DeWine’s office — UltraViolet — is the same group that paid for a mobile billboard, which rode through Steubenville, calling for action.
The mobile billboard was directed toward Attorney General Mike DeWine and read: “Prosecute everyone who’s involved in the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, including those who posted photos and videos on the Internet instead of trying to stop or report the crime. The world is watching Steubenville.”
According to a Jan. 16 news release from the group, UltraViolet is an online community of more than 300,000 women and men “who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media.”
In that news release, UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary, said, “70,000 UltraViolet members demand that Attorney General Mike DeWine step up his work in this case to show that when it comes to a crime as serious as rape there (are) no ‘get out of jail free’ cards.” Chaudhary added, “The world is watching Steubenville, and we want to see justice. This billboard is only the first step.”