The attorney serving as a spokesperson for a teen seen in a leaked YouTube video in connection with an alleged rape said on Monday that no crime was committed.
Attorney Dennis McNamara, a Columbus attorney for a teen he only referred to as “Michael,” said that his client’s comments were foolish, dumb, inappropriate and insensitive.
He said that he held the news conference in Steubenville on Monday because his client’s social media accounts had been hacked and that his family feels threatened.
McNamara’s client, “Michael,” can be seen on the leaked YouTube video using derogatory statements in graphic detail about the alleged rape.
The attorney said that his client did not witness the alleged attack and heard about it after the fact.
“Disgusting, that’s probably as good as an adjective as any to use,” McNamara said.
According to McNamara, Michael never had any verbal interactions with the alleged victim but likely was present at the time the picture was taken of the alleged victim being escorted out of an underage drinking house party.
McNamara said that the alleged rape happened shortly after midnight at another home. He said that Michael learned of the alleged rape at about 2:30 a.m.
“It’s important that you know that Jane Doe was not in the house where the video was made at the time it was made, and Michael was not present in the house where she is alleged to be assaulted,” McNamara said.
Currently, McNamara’s client does not face any criminal charges for participating in the YouTube video.
The attorney said that Michael has been persecuted by anonymous Facebook, Twitter and even email hackers, who have in part caused him to at least temporarily leave The Ohio State University.
McNamara said that his client said that he is sorry and blames his own actions on poor judgment.
Attorneys for the two high school football players facing rape accusations said that they may try to have the case moved to protect possible witnesses.
Attorneys for the two 16-year-olds say potential witnesses have already been threatened and some are reluctant to come forward in court for fear of retaliation, including having their names and addresses published on the Internet.
Attorneys Brian Duncan and Walter Madison said Monday they're considering whether to make the request this week to move next month's trial.
Madison said the request would include moving the trial outside of Steubenville and also closing the proceedings.
A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says prosecutors will review all motions in the case.
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