- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Cohn)
Reno Saccoccia, Steubenville's head football coach, could face charges of failure to report a rape if a grand jury agrees that there is enough evidence to prove he knew a rape had occurred. His two players, Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond have both been found guilty of rape and Saccoccia could be next in the courtroom.
Before the trial even began, Saccoccia's actions were under investigation by the media. The New York Times sent a reporter to the small town of Steubenville in order to investigate the young victim's story as well as the actions that were seemingly dividing the town. When approached by the reporter, Saccoccia adamantly defended the boys' actions and quickly began to lose his temper.
Saccoccia told the reporter he "did not do the Internet" so he had not seen any of the videos or photographs of the victim that had been posted online. The reporter pressed on and asked why none of the players had been disciplined for underage drinking or partying.
"You made me mad now," he replied, along with several expletives, according to the reporter.
"You're going to get yours. And if you don't get yours, somebody close to you will," he further threatened.
During the trial, text messages from Mays' phone were read and alleged that Sacccoccia definitely knew about the incident and "would take care of it."
"I got Reno," Mays texted. "He took care of it and [expletive] ain't gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like he was joking about it, so I'm not worried," the text continued, according to an agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation who testified in the case.
As a school official, Saccoccia had a duty to report any illegal activity, including rape. Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that he would convene a grand jury in April in order to determine if criminal charges should be brought against Saccoccia and anyone else who knew about the rape and did not come forward.
"You cannot bring finality to this without the convening of a grand jury. We have 16 witnesses who would not talk to us," DeWine said at a press conference on Sunday.