Michael Nodianos is no longer an official Buckeye.
The Steubenville High School graduate with a role in a video at the heart of an alleged rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, is “no longer a student at The Ohio State University,” according to the school’s Facebook and Twitter pages Monday.
OSU spokeswoman Gayle Saunders confirmed to The Lantern Nodianos was no longer enrolled, but would not disclose the terms of his leave, citing Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.
OSU released a statement Friday that said “the student in question was in attendance only through Dec. 12,” the last day of the university’s final examinations. Saunders reiterated that statement to The Lantern Sunday, as well.
“Find People,” the school’s faculty, staff and student directory, showed Thursday that Nodianos was a student in electrical and computer engineering.
Nodianos, who has not been charged criminally, did not respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.
Nodianos’ involvement in the Steubenville case, a town of about 18,000 along the Ohio River, has pulled OSU into a situation that’s increasingly garnered national attention in recent weeks.
The video taken from an August night of back-to-school parties where, allegedly, 16-year-old Steubenville High School football players Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays raped a 16-year-old girl, shows him talking and laughing about the alleged rape for more than 12 minutes.
Some found the video so offensive that it prompted a Facebook group titled, “OSU expel Michael Nodianos ‘Rape Crew’ member,” which amassed about 3,000 “likes” by Monday evening.
The video itself, which can be found on YouTube under various names, shows Nodianos, wearing an OSU T-shirt, talking and laughing about the alleged incident.
Nodianos makes several analogies that the alleged victim was “deader than” or was “raped harder than” as most voices off-camera laugh at his comments. Some rebuke him for his choice of words.
Nodianos is reportedly being represented by Dennis McNamara. The attorney, according to multiple sources, held a press conference with members of the media in Steubenville Monday. He did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, McNamara said, “there was no excuse or justification” for Nodianos’ comments.
The Plain Dealer wrote that Nodianos attended OSU on an academic scholarship.
McNamara, according to the paper, said his client was interviewed by Steubenville police not long after the incident and that he was elsewhere at the time of the alleged assault.
McNamara told reporters, according to the Plain Dealer, that Nodianos was “ashamed and embarrassed” at his actions in the video.
It appears, though, some OSU students are confused as to whether or not Nodianos left on his own terms. While there is no confirmation that the university kicked Nodianos out, some students seemed to carry that impression.
Samantha Arrowsmith, a second-year in psychology, applauded Nodianos’ departure from the university, but was also under the impression that the Steubenville High School graduate was forced out.
“The kid that got kicked out of Ohio State, I’m happy about that … I wouldn’t want someone here that was like that,” she said.
There is, however, no known evidence to suggest that Nodianos was expelled by OSU nor is there any formal indication that he will be charged with criminally.
“I wasn’t aware that a student here had been involved at all … If he hasn’t officially been arrested or charged with anything, it might be a little premature for them to permanently expel because I guess, innocent until charged or proven guilty,” said Nathan Cotton, a first-year in public affairs.
According to The New York Times, Richmond and Mays are under house arrest and awaiting a trial that has been set for Feb. 13.
Dan Hope contributed to this story.