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Students Petition Attorney General in Steubenville Rape Case

DeWine’s office has stepped in to prosecute the case. Dianna Sencherey, one of the students, says 65,000 people from around the country have signed the petitions, urging DeWine to make sure there is justice for the victim.

SENCHEREY: "To just get involved, make sure there isn’t any coverup, if anything like that. (And make sure that) the victim is getting her date in court, because she was being silenced, a lot of victim blame going on. And we just want to make sure that he's aware there are a lot of people -- not just here in Columbus, in Steubenville, but all over the U.S. -- watching. And we know that his office comes with a lot of power. So he can use that to make sure that the people are being prosecuted, and there isn't any kind of suppression going on."

DeWine says he shares that goal.

DEWINE: "I agreed with what they want. What they said they wanted was justice and that anyone who is guilty be prosecuted. They were concerned about the victim, and I share that was my prime consideration as well. So it was a good conversation."

DeWine and the defense have asked the court to close the trial to the public. Sencherey says she doesn’t have a problem with that, as long as justice is served.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.