The Ohio football coach who knew about the gang rape and serial humiliation of a teenage girl by his players but did not report it has had his administrative contract renewed for another two years. According to Atlantic Wire, the Steubenville City Superintendant confirmed Monday that Coach Reno Saccoccia was approved over the weekend for another two-year term as an administrator on the school board, separately from his coaching contract.
The news comes even as grand jury charges may be pending against Saccoccia, a Steubenville legend who goes by the single name “Reno.” The Ohio Valley’s Herald-Starreported without fanfare Saturday that Saccoccia’s administrative contract had been renewed.
“Two-year administrative contracts for Charles Kokiko, administrator; Bryan Mills, assistant middle school principal; Reno Saccoccia, director of administrative services; Joseph Yanok, middle school principal; Melinda Young, director of programs; and Sara Elliot, school psychologist,” read the report of the Steubenville School Board’s minutes.
Steubenville School Superintendent Mike McVey told WTOV Channel 9 that Saccoccia is on his third year of a five year coaching contract, and that his administrative contract is a separate matter.
The contract renewal comes after the conviction last month of two of Saccoccia’s players for the August 2012 rape of an unconscious 16-year-old girl and distribution of electronic records of the assaults. Players Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richardson were both tried as minors and sentenced to juvenile detention.
Text messages from one of the rapists indicated that Saccoccia was aware of the crimes, but declined to take action against the players.
“I got Reno,” Mays wrote to a friend. “He took care of it and shit ain’t gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried.”
Thousands of text messages, videos and photos about the assault were sent back and forth by members of Saccoccia’s team and their classmates. The teenage girl, who attended a rival school, was purportedly targeted because she had previously rejected the advances of a team member.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said that a grand jury tasked with deciding who, if anyone, should be charged with obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence and failure to report child abuse, will announce its ruling next week.
“We want to bring finality so the community feels that justice has been done — that nothing has been swept under the rug and everyone has their day in court,” DeWine said at the conclusion of the juvenile trial.
“We’ve gathered a lot of evidence, but we cannot put this to bed,” he said. “My prosecutors will present evidence to this Grand Jury for it to determine if other crimes have been committed.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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