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Trial set for coach charged in athletes’ rape case

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – A spring trial is set for a former volunteer coach indicted after a grand jury investigation spurred by the rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl by two Ohio high school football players.

Matthew Belardine is among four people charged with trying to thwart the investigation into the August 2012 Steubenville rape. He has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts including making a false statement and contributing to underage alcohol consumption.

Authorities said his home was the scene of the underage drinking party that preceded the rape.

A spokesman for Ohio’s attorney general told the Steubenville Herald-Star (http://bit.ly/1lJ5nNP) that Belardine’s trial is now scheduled for April 22.

The district’s superintendent, technology director and a wrestling and conditioning coach also have pleaded not guilty to charges against them.

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