Steubenville man talking on video about alleged rape was not a witness, lawyer says

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STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- An attorney representing a young Steubenville man seen in a video callously describing an alleged rape victim in graphic detail the morning of her attack says his client did not witness the incident and was speaking from second-hand knowledge.

Columbus attorney Dennis McNamara agreed with Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine's assessment of the YouTube video as "disgusting."

"I think I would add disappointing, insensitive and unfortunate," Mr. McNamara said at a press conference held in Steubenville today.

Two members of the Steubenville High School football team, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, both 16, have been charged with assaulting a 16-year-old girl at an end-of-the-summer party in August and face trial in February.

Mr. McNamara said his client, Michael Nodianos, 18, cooperated with police and is not under investigation. He said he has not been called as a witness because he did not observe the attack himself.

The attorney also said the alleged assault did not take place at the home where the video was made and took place at another home. He said witnesses saw the attack and came to the home where his client made the video and described the incident.

Mr. Nodianos attended Ohio State University in the fall, but elected not to enroll this term.

His attorney said member of a "hacktivist" group called Anonymous broke into his school email account and reopened Twitter and Facebook accounts in his name that he had previously closed. He also said his client has been threatened.

He said Mr. Nodianos hopes to return to school in the upcoming year and move on.

"There's no excuse or justification for the comments Michael made in the video and with some sober reflection he is ashamed and embarrassed to hear them himself," he said.

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Taryn Luna: tluna@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1985.


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