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Boardman writes: "The girl was from another state, across the river, and didn't go to the local high school, so she was disposable."

Boardman: 'Peaceful public demonstrations in Steubenville have drawn crowds in the thousands.' (photo: Jimmyz Photography/OccupySteubenville/flickr)
Boardman: 'Peaceful public demonstrations in Steubenville have drawn crowds in the thousands.' (photo: Jimmyz Photography/OccupySteubenville/flickr)



Character and Rape in Ohio

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

13 January 13


Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

If you Google "Steubenville Rape Case" you get more than 70 million results in less than a second. The trial of two juveniles is scheduled for February 13th, but a defense attorney is seeking a delay and a change of venue. This report offers a documented account of the initial events and investigation, and their context. Much remains uncertain or unknown, but it's reasonable to conclude that the most credible information has not come from the participants, the authorities, or the mainstream news media. And it's far from over. -- wb/RSN


Steubenville community is revealed in rape case responses.

he girl was from another state, across the river, and didn't go to the local high school, so she was disposable - apparently - not just to the high school football players who raped her or watched or took pictures, but she was also disposable to the lackadaisical police officers who investigated, to football coaches who testified as character witnesses for the accused, to the school authorities who let the football coach handle the situation, to the woman prosecutor with a football player son, and to all too many residents of the town of 18,000 with the need for a winning football team more on its mind than justice, or decency.

This image of the victim was posted online by Steubenville football player Cody Saltsman. (photo: Cody Saltsman/Instagram)This image of the victim was posted online by Steubenville football player Cody Saltsman.
(photo: Cody Saltsman/Instagram)

Although two of the 50 or more people taking part in the hours-long event were arrested eight days after the girl's parents reported the rape, there is little evidence that the authorities in the town acted as responsibly and conscientiously as they should have at the time, or at any time since last August. Rather, they appear to have done as little as they thought they safely could, without obvious dereliction of duty, out of fear of (or agreement with) prevailing community standards of behavior and local power structures. Perhaps the trial will dispel that impression.

Teenagers Drinking Was OK With Community

That impression, however, is the picture that emerges in early January from publicly available coverage of the "Steubenville Teen Rape Case," as one local Ohio TV station now brands it. The story is still evolving, attorneys are stepping up their media game, online observers of various sorts continue to weigh in, peaceful public demonstrations in Steubenville have drawn crowds in the thousands (another is called for February 2nd), people on all sides of the issues claim they're being threatened (an unsubstantiated Facebook post on January 8th led the high school to shut down and add permanent, unarmed guards), and the accused are not scheduled for trial until mid-February.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, the Steubenville High School football team held its last scrimmage before the start of the fall season and prepared to party that night at three or more local homes. At least one of the hosts would be one of the school's 19 coaches (most of them volunteers). To no one's apparent surprise, the venues offered beer and liquor to underage players and their friends. Even in retrospect, it's hard to find anyone who thought this was an unusual event at the time. Steubenville loves its high school football team, though not everyone in town thinks that's a good thing.

The party was on. Sophomore starting quarterback Trent Mays, 16, posted on Twitter: "Party at jake howraths!!!! Huge party!!! Banger!!!!"

Steubenville Has a Long, Checkered Past

Head coach Reno Saccoccia said that because he hadn't seen the Internet posts he had no reason to suspend players. (photo: Newbrough Photography/Roll Red Roll)Head coach Reno Saccoccia said that because he hadn't seen the Internet posts he had no reason to suspend players. (photo: Newbrough Photography/Roll Red Roll)

Steubenville, Ohio, has had a reputation as a dark and dangerous place for generations, as a good many current and former residents sometimes ruefully attest. As The New York Times put it December 16th, in one of the few detailed accounts of August 11th and its aftermath: "The city once was teeming with so much gambling, prostitution and organized crime that Steubenville was given the nickname Sin City." Today, reports allege a violent drug trade (including cocaine and heroin) as well as well-established gambling operations.

The city of 18,400 has been losing population since it peaked at 37,651 in the 1940 census; since 1980, the Weirton-Steubenville region has lost population faster than any other US urban area. But football fans still fill the newly renovated, 10,000-seat Harding Stadium, complete with press box and lights, for "Big Red" games. And the team has rewarded them over the years with undefeated seasons in 2005 and 2006, as well as a 68-game winning streak in regular season games that didn't end until 2009. So if a group of the team's 86 high school players referred to themselves as "The Rape Crew," not many people took it seriously, or as anything more than adolescent bravado. (The New York Times and others omit mention of "The Rape Crew" in recent coverage, but extensive, mostly reliable background information provided by Local Leaks, an anonymous WikiLeaks-type website, offers enough verifiable detail to suggest that it was a real enough high school clique in August 2012.)

Fundamental Question: Did They Use a Date Rape Drug?

There are two basic versions of the August 11th party. In December, The Times summarized the end of the revels this way:

"By sunrise, though, some people in and around Steubenville had gotten word that the night of fun on Aug. 11 might have taken a grim turn, and that members of the Steubenville High football team might have been involved. Twitter posts, videos and photographs circulated by some who attended the nightlong set of parties suggested that an unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted over several hours while others watched. She may have even been urinated on."

A darker version of the story has also been circulating for months, reported early in September by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as if it was already familiar news:

A protester asks a poignant question. (photo: Sutdog/OccupySteubenville/flickr)A protester asks a poignant question.
(photo: Sutdog/OccupySteubenville/flickr)
"Officials continue to investigate details of the reports - that the girl was drugged into unconsciousness, ferried from party to party, raped and urinated on before ending up at home where her parents, discovering she was disoriented, took her to a local hospital."

A few days earlier, the crime-oriented blogger on prinniefied.com reported that she had:

"... read many accounts of what transpired, but the end result was a young girl was brutally raped and attacked by members of the Steubenville High football team and it was videotaped and posted on the Internet. I am not solely pointing the finger at the football team because there were boys who took part in this attack who were also on the wrestling team, baseball team and track teams...."

Although some people continue to deny it, there seems little doubt that something awful and ugly happened for hours during the night and early morning of August 11-12, that it was perpetrated by teenagers, but that it went unnoticed by the adults hosting the parties and has been minimized as much as possible ever since by almost all of the other adults directly involved, except the sixteen-year-old girl's parents. When they had last seen their daughter on August 11th at their two-story colonial house in Weirton, West Virginia, she was still just a girl who attended a religion-based school where she was an honor student and an athlete.

Sixteen-year-olds Ma'lik Richmond (top) and Trent Mays have both been charged in the case. (photos: file)Sixteen-year-olds Ma'lik Richmond (top) and Trent Mays have both been charged in the case. (photos: file)

Aftermath: Agonizing Realizations and Questions

There is no credible public record of what the girl and her family went through all that Sunday or in the days after. The girl has said she had no memory of the evening before, from the time she was picked up to go to the party (early reports said she was given a "roofie" or date rape drug in the car). On Sunday, the parents - and the girl - couldn't avoid learning about the party through social media, thanks to friends who told them about the flood of comments, pictures, and video circulating through the community. At some point on Sunday or Monday, the parents took their daughter to the hospital and notified the Steubenville Police Department. Very late on Monday, August 13th (recorded at 1:38 am on Tuesday), the parents went to the police station to deliver a computer flash drive on which, downloaded from the Internet, were incriminating words and images from those who had acted and watched.

Steubenville Police Chief William McCafferty has been on the force for 23 years. He became chief 13 years ago, in the wake of a Steubenville scandal involving police patterns of making false arrests and using excessive force that resulted in a lawsuit against the city by the US Justice Department. In 1997, Steubenville became only the second police department in the country forced to sign a consent decree, promising to clean up its act - especially in handling domestic violence cases.

As a result, "Steubenville Facts" (the city's website put up January 5, 2013) notes:

"Prior to the Chief of Police being permanently appointed to that position, he was vetted and approved by officials in the US Department of Justice, which was at that time monitoring a Court Consent Decree involving the Steubenville Police."

Investigation: Who Was In Charge?

From the beginning of the gang-rape investigation, Chief McCafferty asked people to come forward if they had information. Five months later he was still asking. Only one witness had come forward, he told The Times. Three witnesses testified at a probable cause hearing in the fall.

The chief has complained publicly that the department has only one officer to investigate juvenile crimes, but the police department has 38 officers. It's not clear from McCafferty's public statements how seriously he took the investigation.

There's little mystery about the identities of most of those involved directly and indirectly. For whatever reason, it took about four days after receiving the flash drive for the authorities to seek warrants for cell phones and iPads of party-goers, eventually collecting 15 phones and two iPads, many of which had been scrubbed clean by that time.

In early September, according to the Plain Dealer:

Steubenville Police Chief William McCafferty. (photo: WTRF.com)Steubenville Police Chief William McCafferty.
(photo: WTRF.com)
"Police said they were still awaiting results on other physical and biological evidence collected at a crime scene and a local hospital. Lab tests should also reveal whether the victim was drugged."

In December, The Times was reporting that police said that a "medical examination at a hospital more than one day after the parties did not reveal any evidence, like semen, that might have supported an accusation of rape." The Times went on, with an odd bias toward the police, saying that the flash drive:

"... was all the evidence the girl's parents had, leaving the police with the task of filling in the details of what had happened that night. The police said the case was challenging partly because too much time had passed since the suspected rape. By then, the girl had taken at least one shower and might have washed away evidence, said McCafferty, the police chief. He added that it also was too late for toxicology tests to determine if she had been drugged."

Besides implicitly blaming the victim, the chief's assertions are clearly wrong. Why The Times accepted them uncritically is a mystery, given the availability of facts. While the passage of time - in this case something less than 48 hours - makes a difference, a medical exam is still relevant. Nor was it too late for a toxicology test, since date rape drugs can be detected in urine up to 72 hours later, and longer in hair.

Prosecutor Ignored Her Own Conflicts of Interest

The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, Jane Hanlin, actively participated in the investigation from the start, even though she personally knew many of those she was investigating, including her son - who was starting his senior year, was a lineman on the football team, and was one of its six captains. Reportedly, one of the August 11th parties was hosted by her son at attorney Hanlin's house, a report she answered in January 2013 with a non-denial denial.

Hanlin, 42, who is married to a Steubenville police detective, became the first female county prosecutor in March 2011, following a unanimous vote of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Central Committee. Appointed to fill the term of the retiring prosecutor, she faces election in 2013. Up until her appointment she was an assistant prosecutor who also served as president of the Steubenville City Schools Board of Education. While serving in the prosecutor's office, she has maintained her private law practice. She said at the time of her appointment that her goal was to work with county law enforcement:

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin. (photo: WTRF.com/WorldNow)Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin.
(photo: WTRF.com/WorldNow)
"That will be my biggest focus - improving relations with law enforcement. The success of the prosecutor's office only comes with cooperation with law enforcement. They put a lot of effort into catching criminals. Our job is to work with them to successfully prosecute the criminals."

Hanlin had provoked criticism of her ethics in the spring of 2012 as well when, despite being a public prosecutor, she chose to testify as a character witness for a Steubenville High School graduate who was an older friend of her son. The graduate had pleaded guilty to two charges of felonious assault and faced a sentence of 2 to 10 years on each. After she and fours others testified in West Virginia on the graduate's behalf, he was sentenced to 5 years probation and 250 hours of community service. Other conditions included abstaining from alcohol or drugs, random drug testing, continuing in Alcoholics Anonymous, and keeping a steady job.

Hints of the Old Boys' Club of Steubenville

One of Hanlin's biggest boosters for prosecutor was Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairman John Abdalla, who said Hanlin had won a conviction in every case she'd tried over the previous six years, all upheld on appeal, adding:

"Jane Hanlin takes the bad guys to trial and then shows them the prison door. That makes her perfect for the job."

During the summer of 2010, Abdalla faced ethical questions as the result of the Ohio Inspector General looking into as much as $250,000 in missing road salt from the transportation department. The story and reader comments also refer to apparent political patronage: transportation department jobs dispensed through the Democratic county committee.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. (photo: Robin Rombach/Pittsburg Post-Gazette)Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.
(photo: Robin Rombach/Pittsburg Post-Gazette)

Although the Steubenville police had primary jurisdiction of the investigation into the events of August 11-12, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department also played a role. Steubenville is the county seat, and Sheriff Fred Abdalla is a Steubenville resident. In the fall of 2011, the sheriff worked with federal agents on the case of an Amish group terrorizing other Amish by cutting their hair. The case led to seven arrests. According to Abdalla, the leader of the Amish group is "evil," an issued a death threat to the sheriff.

Although both the city police department (with primary jurisdiction) and the county sheriff's office participated in the investigation, it's not clear who, if anyone, was in charge. The investigators, now including the state attorney general's office and the FBI, have said little publicly beyond indicating, as Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said January 7th, that the investigation continues and there may be more arrests or no more arrests. Prosecutors have time - 2 years for misdemeanors and 6 years for felonies - to bring further charges if evidence supports that.

Evidence Was Gathered - Slowly

On August 17th, after collecting cell phones and iPads, and three days after receiving the flash drive, the police sought forensic assistance from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) in the attorney general's office. After examining the materials, Joann Gibbs of BCI reportedly recovered two pictures of the victim, but said that deleted material could not be recovered from Apple iPhones.

On August 22, 2012, ten days after unknown persons left the still disoriented sixteen-year-old on the front lawn of her house, authorities announced the early-morning arrests of two sophomore football players, both 16 years old, with the possibility under Ohio law of being tried as juveniles or adults. WTOV News9 put the story on its Facebook page at 9:02 am.

The first two comments on the story were: "Its about time," and "I can't believe they arrested anyone at all, after all this is Jefferson County!" Another 50 or more comments that day mostly expressed similar sentiments, widespread familiarity with the story, and deep distrust of Steubenville authorities, who were then still in control of the case.

Two days after the arrests, under prosecutor Hanlin's direction, the county charged the two boys as juveniles, although Ohio law allows for them to be tried as adults if the court is persuaded at a hearing that the evidence warrants the change. Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were both charged as delinquents, with the underlying charges of rape and kidnapping. Mays was also charged with illegal use of a minor, based on a photo in his phone. Both were starters on the football team, Mays at quarterback and Richmond as a wide receiver. Mays was also a wrestler, Richmond a highly-regarded basketball player.

Arrests, but Still Suspicions of a Cover-Up

They had both been arrested without incident after 1 am, one by the city police and the other by the county sheriff. As WTOV News9 reported later on the day of the arrest:

"... officials said the suspects could face additional charges and more arrests may be forthcoming....

"During the juvenile detention hearing, one of the teens had legal representation and the second suspect's parent said they would obtain an attorney as well....

"The story is evoking much reaction from the public. The prosecutor's office, the sheriff's office and Steubenville police said they've all received an influx of calls from concerned citizens.

"[prosecutor] Hanlin said any claims of a cover-up are untrue....

"Hanlin said on Tuesday she would recuse herself from the case because she knows too many of the individuals ..."

Alex Goddard, 'Prinnie,'  has been writing about and investigating crime cases for over 10 years, and is a former resident of Steubenville. (photo: unknown)Alex Goddard, 'Prinnie,' has been writing about and investigating crime cases for over 10 years, and is a former resident of Steubenville. (photo: unknown)

In this context of fragmentary knowledge and sweeping suspicion, the arrest news drew the attention of a veteran Ohio crime blogger who had once lived in Steubenville. Two days after news of the arrests broke, Alexandria Goddard, 45, started posting on her blog, prinniefied.com, because, as she commented on December 30th,

"I wrote about the case to vent my outrage at everyone involved who did nothing to help this young lady. I am astonished at just how big this has gotten."

National Media Miss Story, Blame Messengers

The first national coverage of the story had come from The Times two weeks earlier, and has since spread in mainstream media and on the Internet. In its initial story, The Times had snidely, but wrongly, blamed Goddard for the way the story has grown, while the paper equally snidely cast doubt on the victim:

"Within days of the possible sexual assault, an online personality who often blogs about crime zeroed in on those public comments and photographs and injected herself into the story, complicating it and igniting ire in the community. She posted the information on her site and wrote online that the police and town officials were giving the football players special treatment."

In fact, Goddard's first online post was August 24th, two days after the story of the arrests was widely covered. Three days later, Goddard posted the evidence she had collected from social media, material that was still available despite the efforts of partygoers to delete anything incriminating.

With Mays and Richmond in jail and the authorities making no further arrests, the story largely disappeared from the mainstream media, but remained a subject of intense feeling on the Internet. On August 28th, after managing the case for more than two weeks, prosecutor Hanlin finally recused herself, turning her authority over to state special prosecutors Marianne Hemmeter and Jennifer Brumby of the Attorney General's Crimes Against Children unit, and they remain on the case.

Visiting Juvenile Court Judge Tom Lipps ruled that the defendants should be tried as juveniles. (photo: Mark Law/Weirton Daily Times)Visiting Juvenile Court Judge Tom Lipps ruled that the defendants should be tried as juveniles.
(photo: Mark Law/Weirton Daily Times)

Juvenile Court Hearing, Accused on House Arrest

On November 1st, Visiting Judge Tom Lipps held a two-hour hearing on the question of whether Mays and Richmond should be treated as adults by the courts. He heard from the defendants' parents and attorneys, all of whom asked that the case remain in juvenile court. The prosecutors asked that the court treat the pair as adults.

"They knew better than to treat a girl as they did," Brumby told the court. "Instead of helping her, they sexually assaulter her."

The girl's mother also testified as to her daughter's continued suffering, ostracized by her friends and their parents, not sleeping much, crying at night. But as to trying the defendants as adults, she said only, "I thought about it over a million times, and I leave it in God's hands."

In the end, Judge Lipps ruled that the boys would be tried in juvenile court. He released them to their families on electronically monitored house arrest, allowed to leave home only for church or the special education program at the jail. He ordered them to have no contacts with others involved in the case, or with the victim.

She has her own form of house arrest.



William Boardman runs Panther Productions.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+104 # Depressionborn 2013-01-13 07:23
When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.
–Frederic Bastiat
 
 
+72 # cordleycoit 2013-01-13 08:29
I live in a football governed town where sports are everything.Ther e is of course a tie in with the churches, police, and social services. Their is partying drugs sex car wrecks rape rampant. Boys will be boys is the way this community faces. As the young studs age there are problems with abuse rape and beatings. Every couple of years youthful drunk kids kill some one on the roads and every now then one of the high school hero's kill a woman. Females are replaceable in ranch country. Children who show intelligence are streamed out of the ever new school environment. "The Road goes on forever and the party never ends."
 
 
+54 # pbbrodie 2013-01-13 09:54
I believe you meant to write, "and the sickness never ends."
This whole thing is part and parcel of the war on women. They want to drug 'em, rape 'em, and throw 'em away with impunity, and, unfortunately, often do.
Our society suffers from a deeply ingrained sickness that needs to be addressed in the quickest and most stringent terms. Every time I read any sort of news, it appears that there is another insane act being reported and my fear is that people will begin to accept this as "normal."
 
 
+20 # genierae 2013-01-13 10:38
I think this sickness is terminal, but I also think that we are in transition to a new society; one where everyone counts and no one is left to fend for themselves. The transition is going to be turbulent and unsettling, but "this too shall pass".
 
 
+20 # Regina 2013-01-13 12:27
It's been going on, one way or another, for millennia. The U.S. might well be called India West.
 
 
-36 # bmiluski 2013-01-14 10:33
This is why I get sick whenever I see one of those stupid women with the rag on their heads. They promote the type of male thinking that led to the horrendous treatment of this girl.
 
 
+19 # genierae 2013-01-14 17:24
Are you serious? Blaming women for the brutal treatment they endure from men? These "stupid women" have been conditioned from birth to "obey", and those who rebel are murdered, which is legal. Blaming the victim is a sign of ignorance, you need to wake up.
 
 
+42 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-13 13:00
'Boys will be boys' is a frequent statement by dishonorable, callous 'men' who are still teenage boys mentally and emotionally.
Such 'boys' need to be punished severely for their despicable stances on women's value as full human beings!
Males live with a disgusting, sanctioned sense of entitlement in a childish society which glorifies violence (and sports!) over decency and civilized behavior (especially when it comes to women.)
 
 
+85 # mrkuffler 2013-01-13 08:47
Makes me wonder how many of these kids will be graduating to go on an play football at Penn State? Oh yes, another football cover up that went really well. One more interesting correlation: Bill Johnson is the congressional rep for the 6th District: Pro NRA, Anti Abortion, Anti Gay, big coal supporter. Guess rape doesn't figure into the politics too much in Steubenville.
 
 
+43 # kelly 2013-01-13 10:35
Sure it does. But if it's legitimate, they can't get pregnant. Remember, Steubenville is where Santorum waited for results on Super Tuesday.
 
 
+30 # Regina 2013-01-13 12:28
Two of those jackasses got dumped from Congress. We need to get the rest of that ilk out of legislatures in the next round of elections.
 
 
+69 # humanmancalvin 2013-01-13 08:48
I do not understand why the feds have not involved themselves yet as the delinquent police work seems at least obvious from the reading. It is like reading a story from the tent cities in Haiti.
 
 
+37 # Glen 2013-01-13 09:31
The feds aren't likely to involve themselves in messes such as this. The government dismisses all but issues such as guns and similar. Local communities must step up to insist on decent behavior, local politics, generally protecting each other, and so much more. Those who protect athletes who cannot follow rules except those meant only for their privilege must be kept under pressure and reminded of the community as a whole.

Sports are becoming the worst example of American behavior.
 
 
+30 # kelly 2013-01-13 10:43
You're right about the likeliness of it occurring, Glen, but they could do so, I believe, if they saw something untoward and were looking for a reason to step in.
I was looking at the fact that they took her from party to party, unconcious and just for the purpose of performing sex acts. That is under their definition of kidnapping a minor since she is under the age of consent and she is being transported for that excuse.
 
 
+9 # Glen 2013-01-13 17:01
There are many reasons for the feds to step in, but unless locals press for federal inclusion, it is unlikely. Just as there are many instances in which there should be assistance from federal law, that law directs itself toward all else and rather than punish violence, jumps in and knocks on marijuana.

Decent folks should insist on help, but probably won't and probably won't get it anyway.
 
 
+37 # solange 2013-01-13 13:02
the girl was from another state, which makes it an interstate crime, and the feds could get involved if they so chose.
 
 
+8 # readerz 2013-01-13 21:44
If there is a dead body involved, or money, the Feds will act on an interstate crime. However, the Feds do not recognize women as important as a fraud case. People should picket in Washington when they have that little party there this weekend.
 
 
+2 # kelly 2013-01-14 09:42
People will but they will be wearing tin foil hats or carring proNRA signs...totally counter to what you are calling for, I'm afraid.
 
 
+22 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-13 13:06
'Bread and circuses' was the Roman answer to genuine issues being swept under the rug.'
Sports (our version of 'circuses') are inanely boring to those who read, but seductive to violent-prone males that routinely disrespect women.
Like faux noise they distract and amuse, but do not inform or deal with serious issues sensibly or factually.
 
 
+27 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-13 13:02
Or the stories from India in Western blogs and press which make 'us' feel like we are supposedly 'superior' when in fact our police are as complicit and corrupt as any where in the third world!
 
 
+38 # nirmalandhas 2013-01-13 08:57
There is something going on here. Probably big time drug dealing that has bought over the justice system as well.A complete investigation of what is going on in this city must be launched.There must be a reason for this undertow of fear..
 
 
+25 # genierae 2013-01-13 10:41
I agree. Did you see the picture of the judge? He looks like he's scared to death.
 
 
+28 # tm7devils 2013-01-13 15:53
Of course he's scared...he's wondering if anybody is going to find out who mandated him to go as easy as possible on the kids.
If I was the judge, I'd try the two perps as adults and tell them that their sentence would be mitigated only by their telling who else they saw, or heard, had raped the victim and give every detail they could remember...no info...THE MAX!
The moral turpitude of the school officials and law enforcement(not to mention the kids involved and their parents) in that town defies all belief in humanity.
(Ref., see: Sodom and Gomorrah)
 
 
+50 # Susan1989 2013-01-13 09:16
We are living in a culture of aggression which is expressed via sports, guns, profanity, pornography, violent entertainment, as well as our political system. Women, gays, the elderly, those who a different are the victims.
 
 
+7 # bmiluski 2013-01-14 10:38
We women tried to tell everyone when those mysogenistic "rap" songs began to be played as "new cool" music. No one listened to us then and now you people are surprised???
 
 
+67 # Dr. Amy L. Beam 2013-01-13 09:20
If the "boys" are tried as juveniles, presumably because they are too young to have as yet developed a solid moral foundation in which they can distinguish right from wrong, then I recommend that their PARENTS be tried as accomplices for enabling their behavior.
 
 
+68 # genierae 2013-01-13 10:44
Isn't it strange how inner city teens are so often tried as adults, while spoiled, middle-class jocks get off easy?
 
 
+8 # tm7devils 2013-01-13 15:54
That's one way to it the nail on the head!
 
 
+57 # genierae 2013-01-13 10:00
Sports programs at high schools have become big, fat leaches, depriving the schools of much needed funds for necessary things. All other school programs are cut drastically, but not sports. Their egos puffed up to gargantuan proportions by the constant adoration of their fans, these athletes come to believe that they are above the rules. Teenage girls are just objects for their use and abuse. What if that happened to your daughter? Or your sister? Or your granddaughter? And not one person, throughout that hideous night, did anything to help her. These boys are hell personified.

Writing about the innate capacity boys have to become outlaws and brutes, Emerson said, "Better unborn than untaught."
 
 
+32 # massager2002 2013-01-13 11:42
Amazing story. Has been kept very quiet by major new media, even the Democrats did not jump on this. What a farce when obviously adult persons were in charge of the parties! They should be gone after by the parents for providing alcohol to minors!
 
 
+14 # X Dane 2013-01-14 01:15
massager.
Of course they want to keep it quiet.
It's Football == money. When football players look bad, money is lost. No girl/woman is worth loosing money over.
Pretty sickening.
 
 
+29 # kelly 2013-01-13 10:23
Before I even read the story, I want to say this:
What you say about the Steubenville case on google may be true now but a week and a half ago when I was trying to get info about it...actually I started looking for it much earlier than that(thank goodness CNN had run a program on it, I went back and got Alexandra Goddard's name), the only thing when I got Steubenville was the place that Santorum stayed in on Super Teusday!
The press has been woefully inactive.
People are getting mad at Anonymous but they didn't open this up. Goddard did and they followed suit.
 
 
+14 # kelly 2013-01-13 10:48
And why ask for a change of venue? If it's a juve court, the only judge they have is: the judge. They don't have to worry about the community. Even if they did, I'd think they'd want to stay in their little protective shell. Why take the chance of going elsewhere where they don't believe you hung the moon?
 
 
+38 # kalpal 2013-01-13 10:53
How exactly did the adults who supplied kids with the alcohol avoid prosecution? Whose arm was twisted? Was there a payoff involved or is it simply that it was coaches who broke the law in this case and as such will not ever be punished?
 
 
+21 # Michael_K 2013-01-13 11:04
Ohio is notorious for this sort of crap. There was even a southern county in Ohio that had a known felon as County Prosecutor.

What's far more surprising is the NYT's protective coverage of the story, ever attempting to minimise the depraved corruption of Jefferson County.
 
 
+21 # genierae 2013-01-13 11:58
The Good Old Boy's Club protects its own.
 
 
+14 # Michael_K 2013-01-13 14:58
Quoting genierae:
The Good Old Boy's Club protects its own.


Never forget that there are many female members of that club. In this case, the local prosecutor, until she finally was forced to recuse herself.
 
 
-19 # genierae 2013-01-13 17:38
Any woman who would want to be in that club has lost touch with her womanhood. Margaret Thatcher is a good example of that. So's Hillary Clinton. Women trying to be men.
 
 
+5 # opinionaire 2013-01-14 06:26
While it is quite possible the ex-prosecutor of this case fits that mold, there are problems with your characterizatio n in general.

Women being strong are not necessarily bought into the old boys club; some women are simply able to act on the same terms men set for each other. Hillary Clinton is one such. The bought in women are the ones who act in an authoritarian, more typically male way, and who join the bretheren in blocking the path for more women joining them. They more often "suck up" to the males in stereotypic female fashion, and are more often than not in the upper third of generally accepted attractiveness (to men). Those are the classic Queen Bees. I have seen too many strong women disparaged to keep them down to sit quietly and accept this characterizatio n.
 
 
+4 # genierae 2013-01-14 17:42
Whether you "sit quietly" or yell from the rooftops makes no difference to me. You call women "strong" when they are warmongers, I call that a weakness. I did not vote for Hillary Clinton because she was way too hawkish, and if she had been elected odds are that we would be in a war, probably with Iran. If you think that's the way women should be that's your problem, but don't presume to tell me how to think. I don't disparage, I tell the truth. Strong women act from a loving heart, they reject war and division, and instead work to bring people and countries together. You are right about one thing though, truly strong women are ignored by the old boys club, they are too much of a threat to the status quo. They would spoil all the fun.
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2013-01-15 11:47
Gee, this sounds like "real feminism". Something most "feminists" need to be schooled in!
 
 
+8 # bmiluski 2013-01-14 10:42
Madeline Albright once said... "There's a special place in hell for women who do not help other women." I hope all those girls that saw what was happening and said nothing remember this. And think about the fact that it could be one of them...next time.
 
 
0 # Michael_K 2013-01-14 12:06
Ironically, I think Madame Albright and Madame Clinton will almost certainly find themselves in that "special place". If you doubt Hillary Clinton's malevolent hypocrisy, all you need to do is go look at her attempts at justifying her votes against the Levin amendment, and against banning the use of cluster bombs and land mines on civilian populations. I admire strong women and I think women need accomplished and admirable role models to look up to. These two are unfortunately NOT strong women, they are criminally ambitious sell-outs.
 
 
+5 # genierae 2013-01-14 17:44
How many Iraqi children had to die because of Secretary Albright? A million was it? Oh but she's a strong woman isn't she.
 
 
+9 # readerz 2013-01-13 21:38
The NYT often takes its stories straight out of the pages of any public relations memo from a local government without any further investigation.
 
 
+29 # womyn 2013-01-13 11:10
Patriarchy is the paradigm under which we live and which allows these brutal vile unconscionable violent acts perpetuated against women!

Until the patriarchal paradigm ends, I fear these vile acts,
wars, poverty, dominion over the masses, oppression against women, children, people of color and gays will be the victims of increasing numbers of perptrators!
 
 
+24 # genierae 2013-01-13 12:26
There is a new wave of the women's movement that is definitely making a difference around the country, but what is also needed is for good men to step up and say "Enough!" They need to get involved and become unflinching advocates for the universal rights of women. When situations arise where women are being threatened or abused, men need to intervene and try to defuse the situation. Yes it's dangerous, but do it for the sake of the women in your family. It's also very important to educate your sons about respect and taking responsibility, they will thank you for it when they become men themselves. I truly believe that men need to be liberated more than women do. They need to break through all the crap that they have been taught and go back to their spiritual roots. Men are quite amazing creatures once they discover who they really are and put it to work in the world. Look what Jesus accomplished.
 
 
+10 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-13 13:14
exactly!
 
 
+5 # Michael_K 2013-01-14 12:11
The thing about equality is... it reveals equality in unflattering aspects.

Every flaw present in the male is also present in the female. It is revealed, when given the opportunity to manifest itself. Similarly, all the qualities are there also. Let's not get into the unfortunate habit of embracing any "successful" female as a role model.. Elizabeth Warren, Yes! Absolutely! Hillary Clinton, Hell NO!
 
 
+3 # genierae 2013-01-14 17:50
You've nailed it Michael_K! Elizabeth Warren is a real woman and she's not afraid to be herself.
 
 
+26 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-13 13:13
And other males will excuse themselves as not culpable. ("I" never raped anyone , so I am a good guy.) But the fact is (as Brownmiller made quite clear many years ago) that those men who do not INTERVENE, nor step up to speak and CONDEMN such behavior as uncivilized and vile PROFIT from RAPE as a 'normalized' behavior. How many males would actually stop watching or PAYING FOR violent, ugly sports like football, or tell their sponsors that they will stop BUYING products that encourage such despicable behavior towards women. How many males will put their money where their mouths sometimes are??
 
 
+5 # genierae 2013-01-13 17:43
So true!
 
 
+15 # JohnMayer 2013-01-13 23:46
Well, I’ve given up NFL football for its reinstating Michael Vick with a wink and a nod. In truth, though, I always preferred baseball as a spectator “pasttime.” I believe men, in general, are so fearful of one another that they fear getting metaphorical wedgies if they get out of line. Notice how much less experimental men are, for example, in their wardrobes than women are. I got over caring what other men think as a high school outcast, and it was very liberating. The more men can come to free themselves from the herd and to heed their better natures the better our society will be. But I don’t know how to bring that about.
 
 
+2 # genierae 2013-01-14 17:54
They need to start telling themselves the truth, JohnMayer. I forget who said this but it works:

"Face what you don't want to face, long enough and bravely enough, and it will change the kind of person you are."
 
 
-4 # DaveM 2013-01-13 11:29
Why didn't anyone stop it? Perhaps because the average citizen would not care to face off with up to 50 hormone-ridden drunks. Mind, a citizen with a 12 gauge shotgun might well have succeeded. In that case, the headlines would be screaming about the "vigilante" who terrified the "poor frat boys having fun" with his weapon.
 
 
+19 # kelly 2013-01-13 12:49
To heck with the guns already! It would just have been nice to see someone on one of those videos try to stop it or even say something about it was wrong. They weren't frat boys, they were high school kids. Underage. 16-17.
Remember all it took the other day in California was a teacher with a cool head to talk a kid WITH A GUN out of killing his class.
 
 
+10 # genierae 2013-01-13 17:50
Excellent point kelly.
 
 
+15 # genierae 2013-01-13 17:50
Someone could have at least notified the parents. This was a group of unarmed teenagers at a party where adults were. Someone should have been paying attention, and I find it hard to believe that no one noticed that poor girl being carried in and out of houses. There's more here than meets the eye. I hope they all get jail-time. Throw away the key! And I hope her family sues their asses for every dime they have! This has got to stop.
 
 
+13 # readerz 2013-01-13 21:33
Ohio has laws about people serving intoxicating beverages: if you have a party at a house, and then somebody leaves your party and gets into a car wreck, the owners of the property where they were drinking can be charged, sued, etc. So why isn't that law being used? The parents in all of those houses are at least accessories to her intoxication and rape, and yes, that means jail time for the parents. But there is an unwritten rule in rural Ohio: if you are friends with the people in power, you can get away with anything.
 
 
+11 # kelly 2013-01-14 09:48
Maybe because the prosecutor was one of the people having a party at her house...
 
 
+6 # bmiluski 2013-01-14 10:46
I think a call to 911 would have been a bit more effective then a 12 gauge shotgun. But then I don't have as much testosterone as you.
 
 
+25 # cafetomo 2013-01-13 12:48
So much for the self righteous finger pointing at India.
Allowing less than full consequences to be applied from a fear of embarrassment shows how little women are valued. That our progeny can pretend to be so clueless is tied to our willingness to accept ignorance as an excuse. That not even one person could step up with enough of a conscience to provide an unequivocal "No", shows how we fail to teach even the basics of right and wrong.

America's incapacity for the most fundamental elements of compassion continues to shock not only ourselves, but the world.

We become a nation of infamy.

Sociopathic behavior is exhibited in our culture by all manner of individuals, most often hiding behind a group to accomplish selfish, nefarious, even disgusting ends. Corporations, government, all occupied by people who know better, yet surreptitiously profiting on, even trafficking in the harm of others. Why should a football team think they cannot do the same?

We stand together as a nation, indicted as a whole for our failings and the implicit permissions in not stopping these entities and individuals, of any size. There is plenty blame to go around.
 
 
+5 # genierae 2013-01-13 17:57
I disagree, cafetomo. There are millions of people across this country who work their butt's off every day to create a better world. If they stopped caring things would be much worse. We are in the minority but we are growing, and we will not be denied. We will take this country back and it will be sooner than you think.
 
 
+5 # readerz 2013-01-13 21:29
I want to think so. We might not take the whole country back though, but we can make a network of good people that accomplish necessary things. The rest of them will be watching football while we do.
 
 
+4 # genierae 2013-01-14 18:02
Your thoughts create your life. Think about what kind of society you want to live in, and refuse to back away from it. Then go out and help to bring it about. You have no idea how powerful human beings are if they are determined. Miracles are waiting for those who refuse to accept defeat.
 
 
+21 # toast 2013-01-13 13:09
These "boys" (and they ARE boys, as apparently are all of the adult males involved in the coverup - not seeing any MEN step up so far) will get away with it because all around them are role models who get away with it. We live in a society where might makes right and "others" are dispensable. Remember Abu Ghraib?
 
 
+35 # bettif@earthlink.net 2013-01-13 13:41
I graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1952. I've lost touch with that community, but when I was there, Steubenville was essentially the whorehouse for Cleveland boys and men. It's interesting that Steubenville, all these years since, considers it all right for girls from outside their own social village to be used impersonally as just so much meat. Makes terrible sense.. this is all one attitude. In my youth, a woman expected to serve as not much more than assistant person, but this is supposed to have changed. It is very different in New York, where I live now: a women is a whole person, period.
This outrage is nothing more than slavery.. exactly the same as what those Indian hooligans did to that woman on that train. The whole Indian nation is demanding that laws be enacted and enforced to stop this worse-than-ensl avement of women... if Ohio -- and this country -- wants to hold our heads up, they -- we -- had better do the same. I'm particularly appalled at that mother of a football player who feels her son should have license to rape a girl to improve the chances of a football win. Disgusting.
 
 
+11 # kelly 2013-01-13 14:35
That would be 60 years, if i'm correct in my math, considering this happened in 2012. My how things change.
In 60 years, it came to the forefront of national attention once.
Let's take advantage of the situation now before another 60 pass.
 
 
+14 # jcadams 2013-01-13 14:51
As always, good reporting by RSN. I just watched the 14-minute interview dated August 31, 2012 with the girl who was raped as originally posted by the Courier Journal in Louisville KY. This person appears very articulate and credible. And she is a very brave young woman to stand up to this injustice. I don’t know where the criminal case will go --- but I certainly believe she has a great civil case for damages. And I hope any verdict bankrupts the City of Steubenville. She was subjected to a horrible criminal assault --- followed by a complete miscarriage of justice by the Steubenville police, the prosecutor and its court system.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-08-31/teens-thought-sex-asssault-funny/57488766/1
 
 
+7 # WBoardman 2013-01-13 17:13
My hunch is that the interview you watched was with a different girl who, outraged by the court's decision in her case, set out to violate the court's gag order by speaking out. She is, indeed, both brave and articulate. The lawyers for the two perps filed contempt charges against her, then withdrew them.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57478443/kentucky-teen-savannah-dietrich-spared-contempt-charge-after-naming-attackers-on-twitter/

As far as I know, the girl in the Steubenville case remains a Jane Doe.
 
 
+1 # kelly 2013-01-14 09:52
The case of the girl speaking out was in a story in TDB last week called "Thanks for Ruining My Life", I believe.
 
 
+14 # Quickmatch 2013-01-13 15:03
Steubenville, Ohio: you are the future of America. Thank you for this vision of the ugly underbelly of a decaying nation.
 
 
+5 # genierae 2013-01-13 18:01
They are NOT the future, they are the past. We will leave them behind in the dust.
 
 
+11 # suzyskier 2013-01-13 19:40
If these "boys" get off easy it will be another symptom of what's wrong with this country and how we treat women and girls. I thought things had changed, maybe in many places but obviously not in Steubenville! Take away these football teams that cause coaches and parents to assist in idolizing these teens and allowing them to get away with this despicable behavior. It should be an earned privilage not a right to be on a team.
 
 
+15 # angelfish 2013-01-13 20:26
"Released into the custody of their parents under "house arrest" and allowed to leave home only for Church...", Church? CHURCH? WHAT would these imbeciles know of Church or of a merciful God or of loving sons, for that matter? These people are an INSULT to humanity! HOW do they raise such creatures? I saw some of the tapes of these Cretins laughing and joking after the fact of this poor young woman's assault. WHAT was so funny? Suppose it had been THEIR sister or girlfriend? No empathy, no regret, just hilarity at another human beings violation and humiliation. I hope SOME day the enormity of what they have done, and more than that, what some of them DIDN'T do, comes to disturb their dreams on that not so distant night when their OWN daughters are at that vulnerable age.
 
 
+7 # kelly 2013-01-14 09:58
Why should they think about girlfriend or sister? If you listened to the tape really well, they said what if she was your daughter? And the laughed about letting her lay there because she seemed dead anyway. That is how they think about their own kid, fer christsakes! And they relieved themselves on her. Are we raising new Jeff Dahmers? Why not just raise them to be moorticians and let them have their dead bodies if that's what they are into. Disgusting.
 
 
+13 # readerz 2013-01-13 21:24
Why are acts specifically aimed at women not called "hate crimes?" The definition of "hate crimes" ought to be any assault that is caused by some kind of stereotyping of a group. Women have more violence aimed at us than any other group has.

Ohio's gerrymandered Republicans want to put in place the same kind of "heartbeat" law that killed the woman in Ireland whose fetus became septic.

Sports: Not all sports are bad, but football is more a ritual to the god Mars than a sport. It involves human sacrifice --- of beaten brain tissue, and some think it should involve fertility rites. But these games are promoted by local and regional governments as a distraction from the lack of jobs or any creativity in an area. What do those players do after they are too old to play? Are they building their society? Heck no.

Finally: Steubenville was the home of a strange new Roman Catholic theology: that of the Virgin Mary as "Co-redemptrix, " praying to her, not asking her to pray with you to God. That was the town that (supposedly) was holding up a woman to the rank of equal to God. Obviously major hypocrisy when they actually treat women like their own vomit.

It disgusts me. Not all of Ohio is like that. There are plenty of towns that promote the arts and academics more than sports.
 
 
+9 # Scott479 2013-01-14 10:00
No need to go to the middle east to witness subhuman acts-we've got our own stars in depravity.
 
 
+5 # GGmaw 2013-01-14 12:24
Guess this is a Republican town!! Bet they almost all voted Republican.
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2013-01-14 16:45
Actually, the power structure appears to be
mostly Democratic Party people --
not the cluse in the Jane Hanlin section.

From the NYTimes May 3, 2012 --
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — This is the land of die-hard Democrats — mill workers, coal miners and union members. They have voted party line for generations, forming a reliable constituency for just about any Democrat who decides to run for office.
 
 
+4 # genierae 2013-01-14 18:15
Many of these "die-hard Democrats" refused to vote for Obama because he was black. Rural Dems aren't quite as progressive as those in cities and suburbs.
 
 
+4 # daholden 2013-01-15 07:42
Slate magazine covered Anonymous's actions to blow open this case when it appeared to get stonewalled. Part of their report:
"The Atlantic Wire has a good rundown of the various Anonymous accusations and leaks, including very serious allegations about extensive justice system corruption and a 12 minute video of a Steubenville student who claims to have witnessed some of the assault and takes extreme pleasure in the alleged rape, laughing about how the victim appeared "dead," and asserting that the victim has been anally raped. At one point, the student scolds another young man for checking up on the victim, which suggests very strongly that this video was taking place during or right after the alleged assault."

The whole post (much more detailed)is at:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/03/steubenville_ohio_rape_anonymous_gets_involved_and_the_case_gets_even_more.html
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2013-02-12 13:30
The video you're referring to is probably the 12+ minute tape that mostly shows Michael Nodianos making jokes about the victim, to a group of maybe 6-7, including one female.

Apparently shot the video Aug 12, around 2 a.m.

You can see it here: http://jezebel.com/5972553/anonymous-leaks-horrifying-video-of-steubenville-high-schoolers-joking-about-raping-a-teenager-deader-than-trayvon-martin
 
 
0 # daholden 2013-01-15 12:52
Sorry, the url of the Slate story got cut off:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/03/steubenville_ohio_rape_anonymous_gets_involved_and_the_case_gets_even_more.html
 
 
0 # ghostperson 2013-01-16 20:50
Even in the time of Aristotle, the older generation thought that the younger generation had gone to hell in a handbasket. So I automatically assume that I suffer from old timers' intolerance.

BUT...societal gestures of courtesy and politeness and requirements of external responsibility have a very definite roll in keeping nastines, hostility and agression in check.

E.g. Last night, after a ball busting day, I ran into a place with my daughter to get take out. I managed to place an order despite the worker having limited functional English (no, it wasn't a Latino). Not a problem. I got to the register and a "youth" asked me if I wanted to pay. "Yes," I answered. A younger female jumped in front of me out of nowhere and began requesting things from the cashier. The cashiers entertained her requests instead of saying "I am waiting on someone."

Rather that kick the crap out of both of them, as is actually my nature, I stood there like a potted planet waiting for the "youth" to turn around so we could continue with my "yes" seque.

She didn't. Whereupon another younger female, behind me, asked the cashier if she would ring her up as though I were invisible.

In a moment of clarity, a "flucid lash," I realized that basic rules of order and courtesy are now totally absent in society allowing hostility to run amok.

I said something that shocked the "youngersters" and left while their jaws hung lack. What is wrong with courtesy and order?
 

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