Decisions came down today regarding the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. Last week, visiting Juvenile Judge Thomas Lipps heard various motions regarding the trial originally scheduled to start in mid Feb, but now wil not start till March.
1- Closure of the courtroom to the public: Denied
2- Change of venue: Denied
3- From the prosecution: Motion to exclude alleged victims sexual activity and partners:
The alleged victims Sexual relationship with the defendants, evidence on the number of partners she’s had, STD’s and pregnancies are prohibited.
Any evidence in this nature must be heard first in front of the judge at least 3 days before the trial begins.
4- Motion to refer to the victim as “the accuser”
The victim will be referred to as “alleged victim.”
5- Motion on the Nodianos video
The court refused to as they call it “take judicial notice of the Nodi video.” It further says the court has not viewed the video and won’t unless submitted into evidence.
6-Motion to take judicial notice of 3 immunity deals given by the prosecution:
Denied. “The existance of agreements may be pertinent regarding the credibility of witnesses”
7- Motion to ask Jefferson County to pay for private investigators:
Approved. Both defendants were declared indingent, so the court approved the county to pay $2,500 for a private investigator.
Also approved because the case is complicated and the court is concerned about the defendants getting a fair trial.
8-Motion to continue the trial because extra time is needed to prepare:
Approved. The trial scheduled to start in Feb will now start in March. The trial dates are March 13, 14 and 15th.
Side Note: Although the court proceedings will remain open, the media must comply with “Rule 12” Witnesses and victims have the right to object to being photographed and video taped. If they do object, the media will not video tape or take pictures of them.