Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General

March 2, 2013 Columbus, OH – This Monday, Ohio National Organization for Women President, Jacqueline Hillyer, and Ohio women are gathering at 12 noon at Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Columbus office, and will attempt to meet with the AG to demand that he enforce Ohio law by charging the 18 year-old man, Michael Nodianos, with Failure to Report a Crime, under Ohio law revised code 2921.22 , related to the Steubenville rape case. Under Ohio law, failing to report a felony is a crime, and rape is a felony. Members of Ohio NOW and UltraViolet, and concerned Ohio women will hand-deliver a petition with over 85,000 signatures that demands the prosecution of Nodianos, who was shown laughing at the 16 year old rape victim in the now-infamous 12-minute video that has outraged Ohio citizens and men and women nationwide. 

Jacqueline Hillyer, President of Ohio National Organization for Women stated, “Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a February media interview on the Steubenville rape case that ‘If there’s evidence to prosecute someone, we’ll do it.’  There is overwhelming evidence in the 12-minute video that Michael Nodianos knew that the young girl had been raped – Nodianos stated over and over ‘They raped her,’ but he failed to report it to the police, which is a violation of Ohio law. Attorney General DeWine has a duty to enforce Ohio law by charging Nodianos with Failure to Report a Crime, based on this compelling evidence.”

Hillyer continued, “Ohio NOW and three other national groups sent a letter to DeWine in January calling upon him to enforce the rule of law and charge Nodianos, but DeWine has not done so. DeWine can command the respect of the nation by sending a strong message thatOhio law will be enforced, and that the crime of rape will be taken seriously.”

Hillyer futher explained: “Charging Nodianos with Failure to Report a Crime will help to fight  rape culture that says that rape is a joke, sexual assault is not a serious crime, and violence against women is socially acceptable. Michael Nodianos was a cheerleader for rape and rape culture – the way he gleefully laughed while making jokes like ‘They raped her harder than the Duke Lacrosse team.’ Nodianos crossed the line and broke Ohio law when he failed to report his knowledge of the rape to the police. Prosecuting Nodianos will encourage bystander interventionto report the crime of rape and show that rape is everyone’s problem and that those who fail to report this crime will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. One of the strongest factors in sexual violence is men’s belief that violence against women is supported by their peers. Nodianos’ prosecution will also help prevent sexual assault by showing that society does not condone rape, which in turn will create peer pressure and political pressure on bystanders to intervene, speak up and tell other men that degrading women or assaulting women is not okay, and that they should report the crime of rape to the police.”

“By taking this action, Attorney General Dewine can encourage rape victims to come forward because he will send a strong message that the crime of rape will be taken seriously, and that those who aid and abet the crime through failure to report will be prosecuted. We look forward to DeWine’s showing leadership on this issue by enforcing Ohio law and taking a stand for the young rape victim, Ohioans, and all women by charging Nodianos with Failure to Report a Crime,” declared Hillyer.

When:  Monday, March 4th, 2013 – 12 noon

Where:  Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office30 East Broad StreetColumbus,OH43215 – Rally in courtyard on ground floor of building

Who:  Ohio NOW President and concerned Ohioan women representing the Ohio Chapter of the National Organization for Women, UltraViolet,and over 85,000 concerned Americans.