(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued the following statement on the resolution of community service in lieu of conviction reached today in the Lynnett Gorman case in Steubenville Municipal Court.
“The resolution reached today is in the best interests of the Steubenville community as the area continues to heal and move forward,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “Ms. Gorman will be part of the work that is being done in Steubenville to educate students and school officials about the seriousness of sexual assault and the need to report these incidents.
“We want something positive to come out of this tragedy.
“The interests of the community are served by having the principal acknowledge that she should have done things differently. And, she acknowledges how very important it is to report child abuse and neglect. This will make a difference in the future. The reality is that because the charge was a fourth degree misdemeanor, and she has no prior record, had this case gone to trial, the most that could possibly come out of this is that she would have been sentenced to a short amount of jail time, with no acknowledgement that she did things wrong and no ability to move forward.
“We want to change the culture. This is about the long-term healing of the community. And I believe this resolution is an important step."
The misdemeanor charges would be dismissed by June 1, 2014, if Ms. Gorman completes the following:
Perform 40 community service hours at a rape crisis center or victim assistance center.
Speaking to other teachers and administrators in the Steubenville City School District on the importance of reporting child abuse and child neglect.
Encourage the Steubenville City School Board to have a speaker from the Ohio Alliance Against Sexual Violence to come to Steubenville high and middle schools in April which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840