The Steubenville Rape Case's Party Host Has His Sports Scholarship Under Review

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Update 1:15 p.m.: On January 6, Keenan's mother, Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin denied the allegations that her son and her house were involved in the case. She said:

All allegations that me or my son or my home are involved in any way whatsoever in this criminal matter are 100 percent false. None of the alleged events occurred at my home. My son was not present at any time while the victim was alleged to have been unconscious, photographed, videotaped or sexually assaulted. Any statement to the contrary is 100 percent false.

Original: The Steubenville rape case is rapidly broadening in blame to include more of what the hackers at Anonymous and LocalLeaks have dubbed the "Rape Crew," as Kent State University became the second college to publicly acknowledge it's paying close attention. The school is now reviewing the status of an accepted student athlete who played for the Steubenville High football team — and may have hosted the party where the alleged rape took place.

On Saturday, the day after Ohio State University made note of Michael Nodianos and his viral video commenting on the alleged incident, Kent State posted the following message on its Facebook page: "University leaders are aware of the developing investigation in Steubenville, and we are gathering information from the proper authorities." And over the weekend, Kent State officials told a local Patch site that "gathering information" means they're reviewing the status of a future student. "We understand the severity and the seriousness of the allegations, and as we collect more information we will take appropriate steps as warranted," a spokesman told Patch. "We are now following the developments from Steubenville very closely."

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The future student in question is Charlie Keenan, a current senior at Steubenville High School. Keenan signed a letter of intent to wrestle for Kent State on scholarship in November — he played on the same football team as Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, who are currently facing charges as minors for raping a 16-year-old girl. (Mays's lawyer has moved to get his case postponed past its February 13 preliminary hearing date for ""what we perceive as threats to individuals.") According to the much discussed Steubenville Files put together by Anonymous and LocalLeaks, "One of the parties to which the unconscious victim of this horrible crime was dragged to took place at the Hanlin house." (Jane Hanlin is a prosecuting attorney in Jefferson County and Keenan's mother; Charlie Keenan Sr. is a former principal of Steubenville High, where he played football.)

The review of Keenan's scholarship and status at Kent State led to a quick reaction: 

On Friday, Ohio State University commented on another alleged member of the "Rape Crew," Michael Nodianos, who has been identified as the student making fun of the alleged victim in a video leaked by Anonymous that has already hit 325,000 plays on YouTube. While Kent State appears to be speaking out a bit more, an Ohio State spokesperson told The Atlantic Wire Unlike that the school was bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and was limited in commenting to confirm that "the student in question was in attendance at Ohio State only through Dec. 12." Today Ohio State returns from winter break.

Update 1:24 p.m. Ohio State has now confirmed on its Facebook page that Michael Nodianos, the boy depicted in the 12-minute video making fun of the alleged gang rape victim, is no longer a student there. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.