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Berkeley Springs rape case postponed

July 22, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The trial for one of two former Berkeley Springs High School students accused by a minor female of rape in 2008 has been postponed in Morgan County Circuit Court. 

Morgan County Prosecutor Debra MH McLaughlin said an order to continue the trial of Nicholas J. Campanelli, 19, was given Friday by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh.

The trial was to begin Tuesday.  

Campanelli's attorney, Deborah Lawson of the West Virginia Public Defender's office in Martinsburg, W.Va., filed a motion for continuance because of an unavailable witness.

McLaughlin said Wednesday that no date had been set for Campanelli's trial. 

Blair McCann, 19, the second student accused, is scheduled to stand trial beginning Nov. 3. 

Campanelli, of 637 Mawani Village Lane in Berkeley Springs, and McCann, of 16 Cubby Hole Lane in Berkeley Springs, were indicted in April 2008 by a Morgan County grand jury and charged with second-degree sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

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Both entered pleas of not guilty. 

According to a report from Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Link, the students were at a party that began Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008, and went into the early-morning hours of Feb. 3. 

After the party, Campanelli invited students back to his house to sleep, and the girl was in a truck that was full of students, according to the report.

Campanelli told Link he asked the girl to instead ride with him and McCann in their car. He said he got in the back seat with the girl and McCann drove. 

Campanelli told Link the sex was consensual on the ride back to his house, and after they arrived, sex was consensual with both him and McCann, according to court records.

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