ARREST: Has DeWine’s Steubenville Runaway Grand Jury Train Jumped The Tracks?

ARREST: Has DeWine’s Steubenville Runaway Grand Jury Train Jumped The Tracks?

UPDATE 1: The secret indictment is out and the dates indicate that it’s related to the Steubenville rape case, but it’s unclear how.

Has Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Steubenville grand jury runaway train finally jumped the tracks with the arrest of William Rhinaman?

I’ve been hearing rumors in the five months since Ohio Atty. Gen. decided to cave to the Alexandria Goddard / Anonymous narrative and convene an unprecedented grand jury in the wake of the successful rape conviction of Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond.

The “Steubenville Rape Case” made international headlines this past January. A previously unknown blogger and former Steubenville resident with a grudge named Alexandria Goddard had managed to hook herself up with a young Anon out of Kentucky named Deric Lostutter. He used the pseudonym KYAnonymous, created a video threatening the entire city of Steubenville and a media firestorm was created.

I wrote a summary of the story after Mays and Richmond were convicted, after blogging for months at a site I called Steubenville : The Real Story.

I called it ‘The Real Story’ because the mainstream media and the blogosphere had gotten the story so totally, completely and embarrassingly wrong that my main job was untangling the Gordian Knot of rumors, falsehoods and outright vicious lies that were being perpetrated by Goddard & company and then regurgitated without any critical investigation by the media.

One of the main falsehoods repeated by Anonymous and Goddard was that there was some sort of cover-up in Steubenville. One reason for the cover-up myth was self-aggrandizing; Goddard and Anonymous were all too happy to take credit for being the ones responsinle for the case coming to trial at all .

In reality, by the time Goddard began blogging about the case both Mays and Richmond were in custody and all the evidence that would later be used to convict them had already been gathered.

But that fact didn’t matter to Goddard or her boosters.

The facts never have.

Goddard wanted to portray herself publicly as Alexandria The Great: the one who had brought justice to Steubenville. She let innocent people suffer while she helped to promote a pack of lies that claimed that everyone from the town’s football coaches to its law-enforcement community had covered up the rape.

For some reason, Ohio Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine seems to have fallen for the Goddard-driven narrative. Just moments after Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were found guilty by the judge, DeWine took to the podium to say he was going after Steubenville, too.

So for the past five months, DeWine and an investigation team scouring Steubenville has spend untold amounts of money trying to indict someone. Anyone.

Multiple sources who have been following the secret grand jury proceedings have told me about aggressive and nasty conduct by the Ohio state investigators.

The grand jury itself has met in fits and starts as investigators have flailed around Steubenville searching for some kind of wrongdoing. I’ve heard that the investigation had gone far afield from the Steubenville rape case and that investigators seemed to be going after the school district itself.

Those rumors seem to be confirmed by the announcement today that a man named William Rhinaman, who works as an IT person for the Steubenville school district was arrested and jailed over the weekend.

We won’t know the exact charges against Mr. Rhinaman until tomorrow but the reports I’m seeing lead me to believe that when the indictment is unsealed we will probably find out that it has nothing to do with the Steubenville Rape Case.

West Virginia TV station WTRF quotes the Ohio A.G. describing the charges and they are interesting:

DeWine said William Rhinaman, 53, of Mingo Junction, was indicted by the grand jury on the following counts: tampering with Evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor and perjury.

Read those charges again.

I’m seeing nothing in those charges that clearly relates to the Mays / Richmond rape case at all.

In fact, the one that jumps out at me is the “second-degree misdemeanor.” That means that Rhinaman is apparently being charged with some crime that he committed on his own. For all we know right now, the rest of the charges could be related to that crime.

Of course, the same media who got the basic facts wrong over and over again in the original rape case are drooling all over themselves at this arrest and once again jumping to conclusions. They seem to think that this arrest relates to the Mays / Richmond case.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we’ll learn tomorrow that Mr. Rhinaman was part of some vast Steubenville conspiracy to cover for rapists, as Goddard and Anonymous suspected into the entire time.

Or perhaps we’ll learn that DeWine has continued Goddard’s assault on the city of Steubenville.

If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

If the rest of the media is wrong, expect them to do exactly what they did when they have been wrong every time about the Steubenville story in the past; not a damn thing.  


  1. I hope they are investigating into the death threats made toward Steubenville City School and innocent families.

  2. Stranahan, it’s easy to speculate and see “facts” and patterns that simply aren’t there but this guy works in IT and he’s accused mostly of obstructing access to information or evidence, or giving false information (perjury). If he had access to accounts with embarrasing information wouldn’t it be easy (and wrong) for him to act either on his on or on the wishes, expressed or assumed, to delete or modify records, emails, files, etc?

    The problem that this case presents is similar to the opportunity given by the unprecidented analysis of social media and communication records of students and, obviously, teachers and administration officials. If the guys involved at the center of the case had never taken pictures or “tweeted” about this it would have NEVER have been prosecuted. This grand jury investigation must have cost the state — what — tens of thousands of dollars? It would be interesting to know, because I dont’ think they’d be spending the money on this close to year-long investigation if they didn’t think they’d get their money’s worth for it.

    Maybe somehow the guy had access to information and records and altered them or helped someone else alter them and maybe because he’s at the top of the IT chain that was involved with some micro-conspiracy or quasi-conspiracy may have been involved, he gets caught. Maybe he’ll be the only one caught, too, because he was the only one who left enough of a trail to catch, or because others agreed to turn evidence against him in exchange for not being prosecuted for some lesser crime.

    I KNOW what I wrote above is speculation. But if one was to speculate, does anything else make more sense? Of course he could have acted purely on his own volition and he might even be not guilty of all charges. But if he’s guilty of something, there’s a mechanism and a process behind whatever he did. That needs to be understood and the public needs to know how the system was vulnerable, and how it will change for the better.

    • The investigation has cost quite a bit more than ‘tens of thousands of dollars’.

      The only thin is this piece that was speculation on my part was whether the indictment directly related to the rape case. I labeled it as speculation.

      Everything else is correct.

      This has been a long fishing expedition driven by a false narrative.


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