STEUBENVILLE — Attorney Dennis McNamara, who represents Michael Nodiano, the teen seen in the 12-minute video, says his client was not involved in the incident and regrets saying what he said on the video.
McNamara called a press conference Monday afternoon. McNamara said “..there’s a reason the words ‘young’ and ‘stupid’ often appear in the same sentence…”
McNamara says he wanted to talk to the media to clear up any misinformation.
He said what Nodianos did while highly intoxicated was “…foolish…inappropriate…and dumb…” and said Nodianos had been questioned and not charged because he wasn;’t involved in the alleged rape and only said on the video what he had heard from others.
He says Nodianos graduated from Steubenville High School and had been on scholarship to the Ohio State University.
He said Nodianos was taking some time off because of what happened and will resume at a later date.
The Ohio State University confirmed that Nodianos, who graduated from SHS this spring, was a student until Dec. 12. Nodianos was wearing an Ohio State T-shirt in the video.
Nodianos, now 18, was drunk and made statements about things he had heard or been told and did not participate in any of the events, McNamara said.
McNamara said that he was hired by Nodianos’ parents “not to defend Michael…but to get the facts out…Michael has been questioned and is not being charged…”
Meanwhile, the situation remains tense in Steubenville after a weekend rally was held to protest alleged “special treatment” of two accused of rape.
Protestors dubbed it “Occupy Steubenville” and some wore Guy Fawkes masks.
Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays, both 16 and members of the Steubenville High School football team, are charged with raping a 16-year-old fellow student at a party last August, according to statements from their own attorneys.
Mays is from Bloomingdale and Richmond is from Steubenville. Mays has also been charged with the illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
Their attorneys have denied the charges in court.
On Monday, attorneys for the two high school football players facing rape accusations here say 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, scehduled for now to start Feb. 13.
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.
The “Occupy Steubenville” rally Saturday was organized by the online activist group Anonymous.
They focused of Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla’s decision not to take the investigation over from Steubenville police, thus creating more furor.
Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty said the investigation was thorough.
From tense moments with local law enforcement to emotional testimonials by women who said they’d been the victims of sexual assault, Saturday’s rally centered around the Jefferson County Courthouse.
This second rally to protest that more individuals haven’t been charged with the alleged rape of an underage girl and organized by the Internet hacktivist group Anonymous drew an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 peopl.
That was more than a rally held Dec. 29, which drew an estimated 300 to 400 people.
This weekend’s rally came in the wake of a video that surfaced on YouTube.com Wednesday morning that quickly went viral on social media sites.
Article Courtesy of WKYC Channel 3 News