Photo courtesy of Twitter user @USMCBoonieRat
A college student who joked on YouTube about the alleged kidnapping and gang rape of an unconscious 16-year-old girl is no longer enrolled at Ohio State University, the school confirmed Monday.
The video featuring 18-year-old Michael Nodianos, which became a lightning rod in the case involving two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio, about 150 miles east of Columbus, where the university is located. The two 16-year-olds are facing trial next month as juveniles.
"Michael Nodianos is no longer a student at The Ohio State University," the school said Monday on its Twitter feed. Steubenville police said he is not facing criminal charges related to the alleged Aug. 11 assault.
In a news release Friday, the university said that the high school students had "no affiliation with Ohio State" and that "the student in question was in attendance at Ohio State only through Dec. 12," the end of the fall term.
The 12-minute video was originally posted in August, deleted later, then reposted last week by hackers affiliated with Anonymous.
A lawyer for Nodianos said he would release a statement Monday, saying his client's family "has been hammered ever since" the video resurfaced, the Steubenville Herald-Star reported.
The story gained national attention after The New York Times reported in mid-December about how the case has divided the Ohio River town of about 18,000. A blog called Local Leaks alleges the girl was drugged and assaulted by a "rape crew" that took her to at least one party.
On Saturday, activists with Anonymous and KnightSec protested at the Jefferson County Courthouse, accusing local authorities of not prosecuting sexual assaults. For their part, the city and police launched a website, Steubenville Facts, "to disseminate the most accurate information" about the case.
City Manager Cathy Davison said a major aim of the site is to debunk the notion that the Steubenville High School football program controls local police and politics. Because city authorities know people involved in the case, special prosecutors and a visiting judge are handling the case.
In a related development, Kent State University said it was reviewing the wrestling scholarship of an incoming Steubenville High School football player who may have hosted a party at which the girl was raped, Kent Patch reported.
"We understand the severity and the seriousness of the allegations, and as we collect more information we will take appropriate steps as warranted," a spokesman said. "We are now following the developments from Steubenville very closely."
Also on Saturday, the school posted a statement on its Facebook page stating, "University leaders are aware of the developing investigation in Steubenville, and we are gathering information from the proper authorities."
Michael Winter, USA TODAY