Printed on: April 22, 2014

Coach plans to plead no contest in case involving rape


STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- A former volunteer coach whose house was the scene of an underage drinking party before the 2012 rape of a girl by two high school football players plans to plead no contest to charges connected to the case, law enforcement officials said Monday.

Defendant Matt Belardine is expected to plead no contest Tuesday to one count of making a false statement and one count of enabling underage drinking, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Counts of obstructing official business and contributing to the delinquency of a child are expected to be dismissed, Tierney said.

A message left with Belardine's attorney seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

Belardine was one of six people charged last year by a grand jury investigating whether other laws were broken in the case of the 16-year-old West Virginia girl who was raped after an alcohol-fueled house party in August 2012.

With Belardine's expected plea, four of those cases have been resolved. The players were convicted in March 2013 and sentenced to the state's juvenile detention system.