COLUMBUS, Ohio - The lawyer for a 16-year-old girl raped by two Ohio high school football players is disputing a prosecutor's account that the girl's father initially wanted the investigation into the case dropped.
The prosecutor said Wednesday that she stands by her earlier statement.
The lawyer, Bob Fitzsimmons, said the girl and her family were only taking time to consider the effects of an investigation on their daughter and her mental health, including the possibility of her testifying.
"At no time did the parents request to terminate the investigation and proceedings," Fitzsimmons wrote in an email to The Associated Press this week. "They fully cooperated with law enforcement throughout all of the proceedings."
The two boys were found guilty last month of raping the girl after an alcohol-fueled party in August. The case had been furiously debated online and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the celebrated Steubenville High School football team.
The girl ultimately testified at trial, though she has no memory of the attacks. The prosecution was built largely on eyewitness accounts, text messages and cellphone photographs of the girl.
Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin had said investigators decided to pursue the case even after the victim's father asked that it be dropped, the Steubenville Herald-Star reported Sunday.
Her office couldn't take the time to wait on the family because evidence needed to be preserved, she said Wednesday.
"We have to collect all the evidence and do as many interviews as we can before the evidence disappears," Hanlin said.