STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – A school superintendent accused of misleading authorities investigating the rape of a girl by two high school football players resigned from the district, prompting prosecutors to drop the charges.
Jury selection in the trial of suspended Steubenville schools superintendent Mike McVey was to begin Monday, but the Ohio Attorney General’s office agreed to dismiss all pending charges against him following his resignation.
McVey, who pleaded not guilty to felony charges of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence, had been accused of destroying data related to the school’s investigation of the August 2012 rape of the 16-year-old West Virginia girl.
McVey wiped computer hard drives, erased emails and lied to investigators about his knowledge of the allegations against the boys, authorities said.
The charges stemmed from an investigation of McVey’s actions after he learned of the allegations made by the girl in 2012 against the two members of the Steubenville High School football team. The teens eventually were found guilty in juvenile court and were sent to youth detention centers and classified as sex offenders. Both have since been released.
The case drew national attention in part because of the role of texting and social media in exposing the attack, which led to allegations that authorities were covering up the actions of football players.
McVey also was accused of concealing knowledge about rumors of sex and drinking at a teen party four months earlier.
McVey’s attorney Charles Bean confirmed the resignation and the dropped charges.
Along with his resignation, McVey cannot be employed by the Steubenville school district in the future and can have no contact with anyone involved in the case and related investigation, said Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
Judge Patricia Cosgrove agreed to dismiss the charges against McVey, but will not formally do so until she’s received confirmation that the school district has accepted the resignation, Tierney said.
A grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the case also brought charges against five other adults.
Charges against four of the adults have been resolved. William Rhinaman, the Steubenville schools’ former technology director, has pleaded not guilty to charges including tampering with evidence and obstructing justice.