STEUBENVILLE - A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 14 in Jefferson County Juvenile Court for two juveniles charged with a sexual assault.
Fred Abdalla Jr., juvenile court chief probation officer, said he held a conference call Thursday with Hamilton County retired Juvenile Judge Thomas Raymond Lipps, defense lawyers and lawyers with the Ohio Attorney General's office concerning the date for the probable cause hearing.
Trent Mays, 16, of Bloomingdale has been charged with one count of rape, one count of kidnapping and one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. Ma'lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville, was charged with one count of rape and one count of kidnapping.
Both are being held in the county juvenile detention center.
Richmond is being represented by attorney Walter Madison, who has offices in Akron and Youngstown. According to Madison's web site, he has handled many high profile criminal cases in Summit County and Ohio, which have received national and international media coverage.
Mays is being represented by attorney Brian K. Duncan of Columbus. Duncan was born in Mingo Junction and is a graduate of Indian Creek High School.
City Police began an investigation after parents came to the police station on Aug. 14 to report a sexual assault involving their daughter.
Jefferson County Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr and Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin both stepped aside from presiding over or prosecuting the case.
Assistant Attorney General Marianne Hemmeter and Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Brumby, both with the Ohio Attorney General's Crimes Against Children unit, were assigned the case after Hanlin contacted the attorney general's office. Hanlin said their representation will not cost the county money.
The Ohio Supreme Court assigned Lipps to preside over the case.
The county prosecutor's office has filed a motion to have both juveniles tried as adults.
Abdalla said if probable cause is determined by Lipps, the court will begin an investigation to determine if the juveniles are amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system. That study could take a couple of months, he said. Another hearing will be held for the judge to announce his decision on whether the juveniles stay in the juvenile system or are released to the county grand jury to begin the process of being tried as adults.
Lipps was one of three judges appointed by Gov. John Kasich in July to the Governor's Council on Juvenile Justice. The council advises the Ohio Department of Youth Services on matters related to juvenile justice and the administration and implementation of federal grant programs that support state and local delinquency prevention and intervention efforts and juvenile justice system improvements, according to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Lipps retired in 2010 after serving 12 years on the bench and a total of 37 years as a juvenile court employee in Hamilton County.