PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The trial for two teens accused of rape — which brought national attention to the small town of Steubenville, Ohio — will start Wednesday.
And on the eve of the start of a controversial rape trial, in the Ohio River city of Steubenville, Ohio, a judge in West Virginia held a hearing tonight, and ruled that three teenagers who live there, will be allowed to testify at the upcoming Steubenville trial.
Two Steubenville high school football players are charged with raping a 16-year-old girl one night last August, after a night of partying and heavy drinking.
The defense believes the testimony of the West Virginia teens will bolster their contention, that what happened was not a rape, but, rather a case of consensual sex.
Today, Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty said normal police patrols are expected while the trial proceeds in Juvenile Court.
McCafferty said during a news conference that city officials expect everyone to “act respectfully of each other, we don’t anticipate any problems, but, we’re ready for something, if it should happen.”
Since the allegations have come forward, many Steubenville community members have lashed out against the police force and stigmas against rape with protests such as “Occupy Steubenville.”
More protesters are expected to show up during the trial Wednesday as well.
The chief also thanked people for standing by the department, which had taken heat for the way the rape case was investigated.
Watch Ralph Iannotti’s report:
Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison said “regardless of the outcome, the case should not be reflective of our town, Steubenville is a good place.”
Critics say other teenagers who were at the party that summer night should also face charges, and they think that local officials tried to downplay what happened, so as not to put the football team, the school, of the city in bad light.