STEUBENVILLE - Two teen girls accused of making threats against a rape victim will remain in the Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center until an adjudication hearing scheduled for March 27 in Juvenile Court.
Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr ordered the two unidentified girls remanded after hearing a statement from Assistant County Prosecutor Sam Pate, who requested the two remain detained, "to protect a person from immediate or threatened harm."
Both juveniles were charged Tuesday morning with a felony count of intimidation of a witness, as well as misdemeanor counts of aggravated menacing and telecommunication harassment.
Attorney Francesca Carinci represented the 15-year old girl who is accused of threatening the rape victim. Carinci said her client is "a very good girl who was responding to comments made against her for showing support for one of two juvenile boys convicted of rape Sunday."
Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville and Trent Mays, 17, of Bloomingdale were sentenced to confinement at the Ohio Department of Youth Services by visiting Judge Thomas Lipps following a four-day trial at the Jefferson County Justice Center.
The 16-year-old female did not have an attorney at the detention center, but her older sister and guardian said the juvenile was quoting a rap song in her tweet. The guardian also said her family has been threatened on social media because they are related to Richmond.
Pate said the investigation into threatening messages on social media is ongoing.
Police Chief Bill McCafferty said he and juvenile Detective Erik Dervis are still pursuing information about a male juvenile who allegedly made comments about the rape victim.
"We take these threats very seriously," McCafferty said, adding the investigation is continuing.
McCafferty also said Nathaniel Richmond, the father of Ma'Lik Richmond, filed a report with the police department Monday citing "threatening messages made against himself and his family on Facebook."
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine also issued a warning late Monday to anyone making threats against the rape victim.
"Let me be clear. Threatening a teenage rape victim will not be tolerated. If anyone makes a threat verbally or via the Internet, we will take it seriously, we will find you, and we will arrest you," DeWine said.