News groups urge open trial in Ohio rape case

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Several news organizations including The Associated Press are urging a judge to keep the rape trial of two Ohio high school football players open, arguing that openness is the best way to ensure public confidence in the proceedings.

The news companies also say it's important to fully understand what happened the night of the alleged assault in August in Steubenville so measures can be taken to protect other young women in the future.

The filing in Jefferson County juvenile court Wednesday says the media has a well-established constitutional right to cover such hearings.

The state attorney general, the lawyer for one of the defendants and the 16-year-old accuser and her parents are all pressing the judge to close the trial.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday.