Published Thu, Jan 10, 2013 7:59 am Dateline
Updated Thu, Jan 10, 2013 9:26 am
The FBI is investigating cyber threats against officials in Steubenville that include death threats against the Jefferson County sheriff's family and an email that apparently shut down the police chief's computer.
The threats are part of a series of online messages that have targeted individuals and authorities in Steubenville amid increased attention over two high school football players who are facing rape charges.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Wednesday he'd provided the FBI a copy of an anonymous Facebook post in which someone threatened to kill his family.
Steubenville police Chief William McCafferty said he gave the FBI an email that he had opened Wednesday morning, which then disabled his computer.
FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren said he could not immediately comment.
Meanwhile, school officials are reaching out to students and parents.
The Steubenville Board of Education released a statement Thursday saying officials are in the process of communicating with students and parents in the aftermath of the boys being charged with rape. The students have denied the charges.
The statement says the district is encouraging other students with information to come forward.
It also says security measures have been increased in the schools, and education programs expanded to raise further awareness of sexual harassment, bullying, date rape and other issues.
Publicity and social media have drawn widespread attention to the case.