Michael Nodianos, the teenager seen joking about a 16-year-old's rape in a widely circulated video, is no longer a student at The Ohio State University.
In a statement last week, OSU said the "student in question was in attendance at Ohio State only through Dec. 12," the last day of the university's fall semester final examinations. OSU's official Twitter account on Monday tweeted "Michael Nodianos is no longer a student at The Ohio State University."
The Huffington Post sought to clarify whether Nodianos left on his own accord or if he was expelled. OSU spokesperson Gayle Saunders would only comment that "the individual is no longer a student at The Ohio State University. As it relates to your specific question, the university is not at liberty to comment due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations."
Ma'lik Richmond and Trenton Mays, both 16 years-old and members of the Steubenville High School football team, face sexual assault charges for allegedly raping a fellow 16-year-old student at party in August 2012, Reuters reports. Both Richmond and Mays will be tried as juveniles.
Last week, a 12-minute video was posted online by the hacktivist group “Knight Sec," showing teens making jokes about the alleged assault. The 16-year-old victim was allegedly transported, assaulted and photographed by athletes from local Steubenville High, and the video containing Nodianos' comments was reportedly posted to YouTube on the night of the incident. The video was initially deleted but later reappeared thanks to Knight Sec.
In the video, which currently has more than 328,000 views, Nodianos makes insensitive comments while wearing an Ohio State t-shirt.
The people around Nodianos laugh, while a couple interject his remarks aren't funny. Nodianos is asked at one point what he would think if it was daughter being assaulted. "If that was my daughter, I wouldn't care. I would just let her be dead," Nodianos responded. "And is it really rape if you don’t know if she wanted to or not? She might have wanted it. That might have been her final wish."
A campaign was launched on Facebook to have Nodianos expelled from OSU, and a petition called for the school to yank his academic scholarship. Though many people who are offended by Nodianos' remarks in the video have called for him to face some sort of legal action, a website set up by the City of Steubenville and the Steubenville Police Department says it is unlikely.
"Nothing in Ohio's criminal statutes makes it a crime for someone to ridicule a rape victim on a video or otherwise say horrible things about another person,” the website states.
On Saturday, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla confirmed that no one else would be charged in the case.
"It's a disgusting video," Abdalla said. "It's stupidity, but you can't arrest somebody for being stupid."
There are similar campaigns targeted at other members of the Steubenville Rape Crew which aim to revoke scholarships and admittance to their universities through crowd-sourced pressure. The members were named in a document dump by Knight Sec.
UPDATE, 6:00 p.m.: Dennis McNamara, an attorney representing the Nodianos family, said in a press conference Monday that the Ohio State freshmen elected not to enroll for the spring term.
"There's no excuse or justification for the comments Michael made in the video and with some sober reflection he is ashamed and embarrassed to hear them himself," McNamara said. McNamara agreed the comments his client made in the video were "disgusting."
Nodianos, 18, hopes to return to college next year once the news about this case dies down, McNamara said. Nodianos has not been called as a witness in the case because he did not witness the reported rape, his attorney said.
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