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  3. Republican Updates: Steubenville OH Rape Case and German Homeschooling Family

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Recently, two high profile cases reported on by Conservative media have been back in the news because of late developments. Here is the latest on these stories:

In August of 2012, in the small Ohio town of Steubenville, two of the town’s star football players, Trent Mays, and Ma’lik Richmond, both 16 at the time of the incident, were accused of rape by a 16 year old girl after an underage drinking party, and the gory details posted on social media. On March 17, 2013, both Mays and Richmond were convicted of rape. On that same day, Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine empaneled a grand jury to determine whether or not there was any possible criminal wrongdoing by any adults involved. Cited were accusations that Steubenville Head Football Coach Reno Saccoccia was trying to cover for his star players. On October 8, Steubenville City Schools IT Director William Rhinaman was charged with evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business, and perjury. On November 25, DeWine announced the indictments of Steubenville School Superintendent Michael McVey. He is charged with obstructing justice, evidence tampering, obstructing official business, and falsification. These charges however, are related to yet another rape case involving some members of Steubenville’s baseball team. Others indicted were, Elementary School Principal Lynett Gorman and Strength Coach Seth Fluharty, both for failing to report possible child abuse. Volunteer Coach Matthew Belardine was indicted on several misdemeanor charges, including making a false statement, and providing alcohol to minors. The party where the rape took place was held at Belardine’s house. All are due in court on December 6.

Another case gaining attention is that of the Romeike family. In 2008, the Romeikes fled their native Germany, and came to the United States, because they had chosen to homeschool their children. As Christians, they did not agree with the secular curriculum of German public schools. Under German law, it is illegal to homeschool, and violation of the law is punishable by possible fines, jail time, and loss of custody of their children. An Immigration Judge granted the family asylum in 2010, but the government appealed the ruling, arguing that laws against homeschooling do not constitute human rights violations. This ruling was an almost certain deportation order. But on November 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Obama administration to officially respond to the Romeike family’s deportation appeal. There is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will hear the case, in fact the odds are low, but the fact that the Justices want U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to respond could up the chances of the case being heard. The Department of Justice has until Dec. 19 to respond, however, Attorney General Holder can request an extension. will be watching these two cases very closely, and report on any new breaking developments



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