Ohio judge weighs whether to keep rape trial open

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge plans to decide whether the trial of two high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl should be closed to the public.

The girl and her parents, one defendant and state Attorney General Mike DeWine all want next month's trial closed, either to protect the accuser or, in the defendant's case, to guard against possible witness intimidation.

News organizations including The Associated Press have argued that openness is the best way to ensure public confidence in the proceedings.

Judge Thomas Lipps plans a hearing Friday afternoon where he'll take testimony from both sides, then decide.

The football players are accused of attacking the girl after an alcohol-fueled party in August in Steubenville. The girl attends a different high school across the river in West Virginia.

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.