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Boardman writes: "If the rape convictions of two Steubenville, Ohio, juveniles in juvenile court turn out to be the end of the story, as some perhaps hopefully predict, then justice will be partly served but without disturbing much of the Steubenville community cover-up. And that leaves justice mostly obstructed."

Trent Mays, 17, and co-defendant 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond (back) sit at the defense table during a recess of their trial on rape charges in Steubenville, Ohio. Are they the scapegoats? (photo: AP)
Trent Mays, 17, and co-defendant 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond (back) sit at the defense table during a recess of their trial on rape charges in Steubenville, Ohio. Are they the scapegoats? (photo: AP)

Stewing in Steubenville

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

23 March 13


Google "Steubenville Rape Case" and you can get as many as 652 million results in about a quarter-second. This report draws on a limited sample of what seems to be some of the more credible documentation and reporting of a case that is clearly characterized by claims of non-cooperation and threats from people on almost all sides of the complex of issues roiling on and below the surface of a community struggling over whether or not to come to terms with itself honestly. -- William Boardman/Reader Supported News

Two convictions - are they part of a wider Rape Crew cover-up?

Scapegoat Is One Who Quietly Takes the Fall to Protect Others

If the rape convictions of two Steubenville, Ohio, juveniles in juvenile court turn out to be the end of the story, as some perhaps hopefully predict, then justice will be partly served but without disturbing much of the Steubenville community cover-up. And that leaves justice mostly obstructed.

The verdict and sentencing of March 17, following a three day trial, leaves little reason to think that Trent Mays, 17, or Ma'lik Richmond, 16, are innocent in any meaningful sense. What they did to a 16-year-old girl from another town was clearly unconscionable as well as criminal. But there is also ample reason to consider the possibility that they are not only guilty but, at the same time, scapegoats - taking the rap so that dozens of others in the community may escape accountability.

Who else should be held accountable for the horrible sequence of events during a drunken pre-season Big Red football team all-night celebration? The criminal possibilities surely include those who watched a felony in progress and did nothing, or those who learned of a felony committed and did nothing - categories that include an unknown number of parents, all the party hosts, perhaps all of the football coaches, and most of the players and their girlfriends, friends, and relatives - all possibly part of a widening circle of knowledgeable bystanders during or after the fact, almost all of whom who did nothing, when they weren't mocking or attacking the victim.

Who Defines a Community's Response? Who Represents It?

This is not to suggest that an entire community of 18,000 people should be condemned for law-breaking and/or ethical failure. But some significant segment of the community might well be ashamed and fearful: since there were some 50 or 60 partygoers on the night of August 11-12, then easily one per cent of the population, 180 people more or less, could be escaping meaningful accountability for their indecent behavior during and after an hours-long, semi-public sexual assault.

To underscore the point about community response, recall that three students did come forward last fall to testify at the probable cause hearing. For that, they were disciplined by Steubenville school authorities, who kicked them off the football and wrestling teams. Having apparently learned an important lesson from their elders, these students refused to testify at the trial without a grant of immunity from the prosecution.

This is not a pretty picture, but it helps to explain why the Ohio attorney general has announced plans to convene a grand jury in April to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against those who destroyed evidence, or failed to report a felony in progress, or failed to report a felony after the fact, or otherwise acted criminally to obstruct justice. Similar possibilities apply to the likely crime of providing alcohol to minors.

The State of the Evidence Is Both Detailed and Incomplete

When Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Lipps rendered his "delinquent" verdict, the juvenile court equivalent of "guilty" in criminal court, he did so using a standard of proof of "beyond a reasonable doubt." The evidence before the court was overwhelming that the defendants had committed a series of sexual assaults against the victim, officially "Jane Doe," over a period of several hours, including finger-rape, which Ohio law defines as rape as much as genital rape.

But what we know from the trial is a minimum - we know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least this much occurred, before an as yet undetermined number of witnesses, some of whom communicated about it in real time as it was happening, as well as many more who sent around reports, comments, pictures, and video in the immediate aftermath, leaving open the possibility that they committed two crimes before they were finished: watching without reporting one or more felony sexual assaults and/or destroying evidence of a series of felony sexual assaults.

While the trial produced ample evidence for a conviction of the defendants, the full picture of what took place at several locations and en route between them, over a period of probably 6-8 hours, is not yet complete. That was not the purpose of this trial, and the amount of evidentiary detail was further reduced by Jane Doe's limited memory of that night, as well as the defendants' decision not to testify.

Unanswered Question: Was Jane Doe Drugged?

The possibility that someone slipped Jane Doe a date rape drug was raised from the start, as Jane Doe, her family, and others tried to reconstruct what had been done to her. A timely test might have detected traces in her hair, but the police and local prosecutor didn't do any such test.

Most media reports have been content to report that Jane Doe was "intoxicated" and leave it otherwise unexamined. But the timeline established by state prosecutors at trial allows for the possibility in an obvious but only circumstantial manner.

According to the evidence, Jane Doe was drinking vodka with a girlfriend at the first party of the night and was fairly "sloppy drunk," but still more or less navigating on her own. Friends testified that they tried to keep her from driving away with four boys (including the two defendants), but she was not deterred.

In the car she was assaulted. Mark Cole testified that he videotaped the assault and later deleted the recording. The question of a date rape drug was apparently not asked.

After this car ride, Jane Doe's demeanor was demonstrably different from what it had been at the first party. She was mostly inert, carried around like a potato sack, referred to by several witnesses as "dead."

None of this is proof, but what competent attorney would want his client to take the stand and answer questions about a car ride that, at best, reflects badly on him?

If the defendants had testified, they almost surely would have been asked what, if anything, made them think Jane Doe was a willing participant in any of her own abuse. Before the trial, Ma'lik Richmond told ABC News he "felt like she was coming on to me," but he didn't take the stand to state that under oath.

Does Lying Limp and Silent Constitute Consent to Anything?

The defense attorneys used a typical rape-case defense in the trial: that Jane Doe consented to all the activity involving her, both conscious and unconscious. Her consent, they argued, consisted of her never having said "No." No doubt they knew it was a hard sell with a comatose victim.

Trying the case in the media in advance, defense counsel even allowed Richmond to do that pre-trial interview with ABC News in which he also claimed that she "had her arm wrapped around me ... " and that the picture of him carrying her limp body was taken by the girl's former boyfriend, and was "a joke."

Describing the circumstances surrounding the picture, Richmond said, "She was just like laughing, we were all talking, just clowning around and that's when her ex-boyfriend was like, 'let me get a picture of this drunk b****' and that's when we took the picture."

Defense attorneys did not try to put those assertions into evidence, despite being able to call at least three witnesses to corroborate the story. Besides the two defendants, the defense could have called the ex-boyfriend, Cody Saltsman, who still attends Steubenville High School, where he was on the football team with the defendants.

Without this kind of exculpatory evidence, the defense was reduce to arguing, in essence, that because there's no proof that Jane Doe ever said no, or physically resisted, the court should conclude that she consented to everything that was done to her.

The court rejected that argument, as applied to this comatose or semi-comatose girl, that the victim was to blame. The court held, as the prosecution had argued, that consent requires some clear, affirmative act.

Part of the Community Still Blames the Victim

On the day of the verdict, a student disc jockey at the University of Toledo expressed a sentiment apparently still shared by many in Steubenville, when he tweeted: "disgusting outcome on #steubenville trial. remember kids, if you're drunk at a party, and embarrassed later, just say you got raped!" He later apologized and suspended his show.

The university released a statement saying that the DJ's comments were "revolting and directly contradict the values of the University of Toledo. [He] is learning a difficult lesson about the power of social media and the consequences that come with the words we choose."

That lesson was reinforced the next day when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the arrest of two Steubenville juvenile girls, 15 and 16, for making online threats against Jane Doe, stating: "Let me be clear. Threatening a teenage rape victim will not be tolerated. If anyone makes a threat verbally or via the internet, we will take it seriously, we will find you, and we will arrest you."

One of the girls, a relative of Ma'lik Richmond, posted on Twitter: "You ripped my family apart, you made my cousin cry, so when I see you bitch it's gone be a homicide."

Both girls are being held until their March 27 hearing, in the same juvenile detention facility that held Mays and Richmond last summer.

The Point of Any Cover-up Is to Keep Truth From Coming Out

While some have claimed that Steubenville officials engaged in a cover-up from the time they first learned of the August 11 assaults, there is little evidence to support the claim. The investigation may have been slow to start, but that was largely because the events were unknown to authorities, and even moreso, unclear to Jane Doe and her family, who needed two days to piece together enough evidence to file a complaint with the police.

Both the police and the sheriff's department were involved with the investigation. There was apparently some difficulty resulting from overlapping jurisdictions, and there is a competence issue raised by the failure of authorities to carry out any lab tests for rape or drug evidence. Nevertheless they did gather the evidence that led to the convictions of Mays and Richmond.

Almost from the beginning of the process, Police Chief William McCafferty was making public pleas for people with information to come forward, and soon he was lamenting the fact that he was getting little cooperation from the public. This is where the heart of any cover-up lies, with those who suppressed information, either directly or indirectly. In spite of the resistance, police arrested Mays and Richmond on August 22, ten days after the event, charging them in juvenile court with rape and kidnapping, leaving the court to decide whether or not to try them as adults.

Prosecutor Stayed on Case Despite Conflicts of Interest

More troubling is the role of Jane Hanlin, the local prosecutor, who supervised the case for weeks despite her glaring conflicts of interest through numerous personal contacts related to the investigation. She's married to a police detective. And her son, Charlie Keenan, was another member of the Big Red football team and a reputed member of the "Rape Crew" clique that reportedly also included Mays and Richmond, as well as Jane Doe's former boyfriend Saltsman and Michael Nodianos, who is the subject of an infamous 12-minute videotape in which he ridicules Jane Doe to the enjoyment of others.

Hanlin did not recuse herself until August 28, when she turned the case over to the state prosecutors who brought it to trial. On the same day, Jefferson County Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr also recused himself from the case for similar reasons of community and football team connections.

Grand Jury Directly Threatens Community Cover-up

Even the earliest online comments last August were riddled with suspicion of a cover-up in Steubenville, given local awareness of the apparent interconnectedness of the Steubenville power structure. Jefferson County Common Pleas Court Judge Frank Bruzzese, for example, owns the law firm that employs Jane Hanlin, who in her other role as prosecutor has an assistant prosecutor who is the judge's son. Not surprisingly, then, the judge declined to empanel and oversee a grand jury, asking the Ohio Supreme Court to do the job.

Judge Bruzzese, in his request for an outside judge, failed to distinguish between an official cover-up that suppresses (or fails to gather) evidence and a community cover-up that withholds evidence. Rather, the judge complained of "a substantial controversy surrounding this case provoked primarily by nameless bloggers making allegations of cover-up. These nameless bloggers, while having produced no evidence of a cover-up, have managed to assemble quite a following locally, nationally and internationally."

The Supreme Court obliged the judge's request on March 21, naming a retired judge from another county, Common Pleas Court Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove. The judge, who served 35 years in public service, including 18 years on the Summit County bench, had retired in August 2011 to care for her husband during a serious illness. She had also served as the court's chief administrative judge, elected to that position by her fellow judges. At the time of her retirement, a lawyer who had practiced before her for years, lavished praise on her:

She's special for a lot of reasons. She has experience. She is intelligent. She made decisions that were difficult, but if the law commanded it, that was the result ...

Maybe above all, she had great judicial temperament. Even if she ruled against you, you knew she did it for the right reason, even if you disagreed. Everything about her is what you would think a person would want if you were going to do a template for a judge in common pleas court.

The Grand Jury Has a Target-Rich Environment

Grand Jury proceedings are secret, but there are some clues as to who will be called by Ohio prosecutors. Attorney General DeWine has made quite clear his dissatisfaction with the 16 people, unnamed, who have refused to cooperate with investigators for the past seven months. Others likely to be called might include any of the 56 people already interviewed and all those who are likely well-known to prosecutors as being involved directly or indirectly in the rape of Jane Doe and its aftermath.

Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison promptly endorsed the further investigation, saying that the attorney general "wants to make sure that everyone that was involved is held accountable and obviously we do want that to happen."

Implicitly acknowledging the community cover-up, the attorney general issued a statement on March 17, announcing the Grand Jury and explaining in part:

I have reached the conclusion that this investigation cannot be completed - that we cannot bring finality to this matter - without the convening of a Grand Jury ... The Grand Jury could meet for a number of days, and, I should point out, that the convening of a Grand Jury does not necessarily mean that indictments will be returned or that charges will be filed. However, indictments could be returned and charges could be filed ...

And this community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth ... Everything that has happened in Steubenville has been very difficult - very, very sad - and very tragic. But let me be clear - this is not just a Steubenville problem. This is a societal problem.

What happened here is shocking, and it is appalling ...

Rape is not a recreational activity. We, as a society, have an obligation do more to educate our young people about rape. They need to know it is a horrible crime of violence. And it is simply not ok.

And After the Grand Jury and the Good Intentions, Then What?

Reading the students' emails is an illuminating if not pleasant experience, and there are hundreds in evidence.

In one that expresses the dominant tone of the exchanges, Trent Mays responds to a friend's inquiry about his activities: "Yeah dude, she was like a dead body. I just needed some sexual attention."

In the courtroom immediately after the trial, Jane Doe's mother spoke briefly to the defendants, telling them, in part:

You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code. Your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you. You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on.
This does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow, and move on.

The Grand Jury will give Steubenville an opportunity, as a community, to persevere, grow, and move on. And maybe Steubenville, if enough of its people persevere, will make progress on questions of rape and violence to women. And maybe the Big Red football team's Rape Crew will fade to an ugly local memory.

And then maybe the American military can persevere and grow and teach the troops not to rape their fellow soldiers.

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. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+42 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-23 09:23
It should have been obvious thirty five years ago when the vocal celebration of anti-politics, anti-public life, anti-government , anti-civil society as THE path to prosperity began to emerge, it should have been obvious then, and at every point since then where we have heard this same political message it should have been obvious: celebrating anti-social behavior without ceasing is THE path to uncivilized behavior.

But, hey, we got game to watch, right?
+28 # Glen 2013-03-23 11:41
It is much more complicated than this, Walter J Smith. Most is social issues and loss of genuine child rearing practices. As a society dies, the most obvious symptom is the loss of attention to children. Child abuse and neglect has been growing for decades, regardless of what the government might be involved with. The population is too big and too diverse to maintain consistent social practices, and let's not forget mass marketing, insisting we all stay young, good looking, and stupid. Oh, and that athletes are the new/ancient gods.
+11 # wwway 2013-03-24 09:48
Walter J Smith and Glen are both right in my opinion but it goes much deeper for much longer than "decades." We're looking at centuries of social and legal traditions designed to abuse women and children. For example, one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton was declared illigitimate. His father legally declared Alexander illigitimate so that his children by his mistress could be lititimate. Until Rov v. Wade women were not persons under the law.
This explains why there's such a push to overturn Roe, why ERA never got enough support to be ratified, and why state and federal legislative proposals and accomplishments have undermind equality for women and children under the law.
+4 # Glen 2013-03-24 15:47
Right, wwway. By decades, I was referring to the most obvious and immediate issues with children in the U.S. Past years, much of this was covered up. As I say, it is very complicated. Social issues and violence always are.

Once again it is necessary to promote local community involvement to coordinate better social communication and decent behavior. Men must also involve themselves more in that effort. Laws and the federal government cannot determine social and medical behavior - perhaps I should say SHOULD not. Local communities in the past handled many behavioral and medical issues that the federal government eventually took over. Gotta get back to basics when possible. The rest of society will no doubt succumb to chaos.
+9 # rosaleee 2013-03-24 21:33
Excuse me, but none of this behavior is new. It just hasn't been in the public eye before.

Ask any woman in her 50s, 60s and 70s.
+9 # rosaleee 2013-03-24 21:44
35 years ago, hmmm? I wonder how you came up with 1978 as the date of the start of the decline of civilization.

Btw, my mom was raped at age 40, in 1959, by a man who assumed that because she let him take her home after a party that my dad didn't attend that men she was consenting to sex.

She never even told my dad about it, much less called the police.

The ONLY REAL difference between now and then is that more people are reporting it. Not some hoked up idea about the decline of civilization based on some critique of liberalism.

Rape has been around since the beginning of time. It is everywhere. It existed in Victorian America and the British Empire. It existed in Medieval times. It existed in Biblical times, and it existed back when we were all living in caves.
+79 # FactsFirst 2013-03-23 09:29
The real irony is that we, as a nation, will declare war on another culture so we can show them how to treat women.
+25 # Annette Saint John Lawrence 2013-03-23 13:34
Quoting FactsFirst:
The real irony is that we, as a nation, will declare war on another culture so we can show them how to treat women.

Yes #Facts First. I'll add that those in this Country who profit from War, are always attempting to justify it because this nation has to teach every other culture how to live when across the board we are NOT a living example for anything. We have become Barbaric.
+2 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:38
Despite that the US isn't perfect when it comes to women's rights, if you compare the US to Afghanistan, Iran, or Saudi Arabia, it's much better to be a woman here than over there.
+52 # tswhiskers 2013-03-23 09:44
I hope the state of Ohio will encourage its citizens to rise above its mania for high school football and demand justice not only for the 2 boys guilty of the rape but common sense from Ohio parents. I know from my own youth how ugly and unkind all adolescents can be, esp. boys. I wish parents would understand that their good little boys are not very good when away from family and family friends. Most young boys are like herd animals. With their friends they behave in any way that will impress their friends. Girls are nearly as cruel in their own ways too. But boys love to see girls as sex objects. I don't excuse them for it, but I do lay much of the blame for their behavior on neglectful and willfully blind parents. I beg any of you who have teenaged children to watch their behavior and language, esp. when they are with friends. Boys need to be taught to respect women. Girls need to be taught to respect people who are different from themselves. I tell you from my own experience that teens are liable to be cruel unless their parents explicitly demand that they practice respect and kindness to all. Those 2 boys could have been anyone's sons. You should be thankful if they were not yours.
+14 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:37
Most boys do respect women and don't become rapist. Unfortunately kids can be cruel and brutal to those who are different and physically weaker than others. But at 34 I have to say that, in some respects, high school never does end. It's just that, in adulthood, the clicky behavior and brutality manifests itself in different ways.
+4 # bmiluski 2013-03-25 14:09
If that were true then the rappers and their "dreck" that espouse the treatment of women/girls to be nothing more than objects to be used/urinated on and thrown away would not have been allowed to be become popular and idealized. Look to the fact that when these songs hit the air-waves NOBODY SAID OR DID ANYTHING. And NOW you're surprised?
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-04-02 15:48
Most boys 'will be boys' when given the chance, if they think they can gt away wiht it, or that they're ENTITLED to it because they're such great 'jocks'... when all they're really entitled to is 'JOCKstraps'!
+75 # Nebulastardust 2013-03-23 10:16
It is clear in my mind that everyone that laughed and had a good time with this are guilty also.

Anyone that did not stand up and say, "No." is guilty to some degree.

The light sentences are ridiculous.

I guess crime and sentencing depend upon your stature in the community.
+9 # JSRaleigh 2013-03-23 16:03
Quoting Nebulastardust:
The light sentences are ridiculous.

I guess crime and sentencing depend upon your stature in the community.

The light sentences in this case depend upon this case having been tried in juvenile court. The judge handed down the maximum sentences allowed by law.
+12 # Texas Aggie 2013-03-23 16:49
I saw a report that the two boys got everything the law allowed the judge to give them. The light sentences are due to the legal system, not any sort of malfeasance on the part of the judge.
+16 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:34
Why couldn't the DA try them as adults?
+3 # WBoardman 2013-03-24 16:02
That was an open question when they were arrested.

The juvenile court held a hearing on the question and decided, based on the evidence and the law, that they would be more appropriately tried as juveniles.

As I understand Ohio law [not very well] the question for the judge to decide was whether the defendants were good candidates for rehabilitation and he decided they were.

The one year and two year sentences are a minimum. Either defendant could be held to the age of 21 if they do not work sufficiently well at rehabilitating themselves.

So far as I can tell, based on the realities of the case, the judge got it right.
-23 # grouchy 2013-03-23 11:12
We must realize here that football players are special guys and well deserve special rights and treatment. I expect this to be the ultimate consideration here too.
+13 # Texas Aggie 2013-03-23 16:50
Poe's Law states:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing.
+5 # tm7devils 2013-03-23 18:48
We also realize that you, and your football buddies are complete assholes...if you believe this.
-4 # tm7devils 2013-03-23 19:05
Well shut my mouth...I didn't realize that immorality was pandemic...
-14 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:34
Well, despite what these two boys did, there are thousands of athletes who don't rape or harm others. Unfortunately the media doesn't cover them.
+8 # rosaleee 2013-03-24 21:36
Umm. Excuse me. The media cover athletes all the time. Sports sections are FULL of that coverage.

In any case, why should it be remarkable that someone DOESN'T commit a crime? So there should be a story about Joey Jimbob who is an athlete but didn't commit rape?

REally absurd.
+1 # hobbesian 2013-03-24 22:53
What an extremely stupid thing to say; If you don't have anything useful to say, don't say anything. Or do you live in Ohio or something?
+44 # womyn 2013-03-23 11:44
Great informative piece! I am glad the new Grand Jury will be convened. I hope justice prevails and that each and every coach, parent, student, friend, relative who were present, or later learned about these heinous crimes committed against an impaired 16 year old girl by 16 year old boy rapist perpetrators, who participated in the cover-up, gets arrested and must face trial for their unconscionable roles in this horrific shameful felonious crime.

I wonder just how many of those involved, from the sexual rapists to the entire "cover-up" community are Christians. My guess is that they all consider themselves Christians. Another example of religious hypocrisy in action.

Further, will there be an investigation to the Steubenville school authorities who retaliated against three students who appeared to testify in the early court proceedings but were duly punished for speaking truth about this shameful event.
Those school authorities must be prosecuted for halting justice.
+15 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:33
I agree that a full-fledged investigation needs to happen. What I found even more sickening was how the football team coach continued to rationalize the two boys.
+38 # Regina 2013-03-23 11:47
Football is no longer a sport -- it has become a racket. It was bad enough when football overran colleges -- now it overpowers high schools in gruesome imitation. The debauchery has gone from post-adolescent s to just-kids. Steubenville is a tawdry successor to Penn State.
-7 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:32
Despite what happened at Penn State and in Stuebenville, most men who play football aren't rapists or child molesters. There are many men who play football who don't get in trouble or break the law. I think that you're being a little too generalizing in your comment here.
0 # bmiluski 2013-03-25 14:12
Unfortunately, MOST men/boys will either participate or stand by and allow the rape of a female.
+44 # womyn 2013-03-23 11:48
To the two girls arrested for sending death threat messages to Jane Doe:
Death threats to the victim? Are you crazy? Get your heads out of the sand! How ignorant are you? Put yourself in Jane Doe's shoes that night. Did you want what happened to her to happen to yourselves?

To Ma'lik's cousin: Your cousin Ma'lik made the decision to rape an impaired vulnerable girl! Yell at him for "ripping your family apart" don't be so stupid and blame Ma'lik's victim!
+8 # Rain17 2013-03-23 20:49
Yeah indeed. The rapist chose to "rip his family apart", not the victim. And maybe she was a "slut", but that didn't give those two monsters the right to violate her.
-1 # Cassandra2012 2013-04-02 15:51
Does that mean that all males are 'sluts"?????
+15 # David Starr 2013-03-23 12:21
Rape Crew? Now rape is "cool," as well as "legitimate?"

Perhaps another entity is needed to discourage a rape crew: A Sodomize Squad.

Traditionally, U.S. society has been uptight about the subject of sex, treating it, publically anyway, as something to be ashamed of and/or only for procreation. Meanwhile, violence is glorified.

Maybe this is comparable to forcing a lid on a boiling pot: natural urges that could be geared toward being socially and personally responsible, but with the latter pushed aside because of shame and sin invectives based on a holier-than-tho u morality, which ironically results in violent consequences like rape.
+20 # indyrn 2013-03-23 12:38
The two Criminal Sexual Predators should be made an example of -- it would serve as a graphic lesson for any other would be rapists. At the Top of their resumes, "Registered Sex Offender" should be Unequivocally listed. Unless such Criminals are made to accept the Serious Consequences of their Serious Crime (and I don't mean a slap on the wrist as is customary for "juveniles"), they and the rest of our society will not be deterred from both Committing the Crime or Condoning it. Now's the Time and the Opportunity to take a Very Hard-Core Stand Against Sexual Assault and Bullying. If this Serious Crime Doesn't Set Our Thinking Straight, then Nothing Will!
0 # hobbesian 2013-03-24 22:57
Yes; I said at the time, tattoo it on their foreheads; then cut off the offending articles.
+19 # fredboy 2013-03-23 12:39
After all I have read I believe it would be best if Steubenville is erased from the map. I never imagined a 21st Century American community so based in avoidance, denial, negation, and the support of those who harm others.
-2 # handmjones 2013-03-23 12:43
These underage children drank in more than one home, including according to one news release, that of the prosecutor. These adults are the ones who should have been charged.
Secondly, race is never mentioned. If they had been white players would they have been charged? I presume Jane Doe and Cody Saltsman are white. I find it hard to believe there is not a racial element that even this author is co-operating in covering up.
+21 # indyrn 2013-03-23 14:05
Umm, one of the criminals IS white. Have another look at the article!
+3 # WBoardman 2013-03-24 16:07
Interesting comment about race, since one of the better aspects of community behavior is the apparent absence of racism.

Trent Mays is white, it seems.
-3 # bonnettoboot 2013-03-23 14:40
WHB. The comment fron David starr,"U.S society has been uptight about the subject of sex",surely is wrong. The public exposure to sex became widespread here in 1950's hollywood. Actors such as Jane Mansfield, Marylin Monroee were simply sexual figures leading to todays virtual sexual and violent entertainment. This has been fed into the minds of all of us and particularly young people. They are sexually aware at very young ages, How else are they going to react, We have lost all connection to decency, morality and virtue. In spite of this the Military see no problem in allowing females to serve "shoulder to shoulder" with men. The larger picture is that we, The USA have become the leader in the worlds entertainment and political correctness, basically spreading our immorality. It becomes easier to see why societies who are based on moral culture see us as depraved. I see no way of turning back short of a huge natural catastrophy.
+5 # dkonstruction 2013-03-25 09:06
So, now Jane Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe are responsible for men raping women (watch Some Like It Hot and tell me that Marilyn is portraying a character who, if nothing else, is not very aware of the role/position that the dominant society/culture has put her in and that in many ways this is what the movie is commenting critically on)? and the US military is responsible for the (according to their own estimates) 19,000 sexual assaults annually because the military put women "shoulder to shoulder" with men?

What happened to individuals being responsible for their own actions not to mention being responsible for the crimes they commit?
+13 # Eliza D 2013-03-23 15:05
What a travesty of justice that the two predators received such light sentences! Misogyny is alive and well in America. Football,beer and guns have replaced integrity and community as ideals. I have little faith that the grand jury will make any meaningful difference in providing justice. Fredboy, remember that there were as many people who were outraged at the idea of removing Joe Paterno's statue as were outraged by his vile, criminal behavior. There are more Steubenvilles in the US than we would like to think.
+4 # Texas Aggie 2013-03-23 16:54
As juveniles, they were given the toughest sentences that was legal to give them.
+12 # Rain17 2013-03-23 19:28
Frankly this is the type of case where, had I been the DA, I would have tried them as adults. I know some liberals bemoan the "pipeline to prison", but there are some juveniles who are monsters and sociopaths who belong in jail. These two men fall under that rubric.

I'm all for "rehabilitation " when it comes to the traditional juvenile offenses, such as stealing a candybar from 7/11, spraying graffiti, nonviolent drug offenses, and skipping school. But when it comes to severe violent crimes like rape, murder, armed robbery, shooting people, stabbing people, and so forth, I have no problem with charging them as adults. Those kids clearly have shown that they don't respect or value the lives of others and a danger to larger society.
0 # WBoardman 2013-04-05 17:04
It was up to the judge, under Ohio law,
to decide whether they'd be tried as juveniles,
and he held a hearing for that purpose.

As for whether these boys are monsters,
it's impossible to know from this distance,
or with any future certainty.

One showed emotion and empathy,
the other didn't, apologizing only in the
language of denial for pictures being sent around --
not accepting responsibility for even that.
0 # Dion Giles 2013-06-14 21:12
The decision of a judge constrained by pro-bully laws and procedures and traditions is not a statement of what's right. And sorry, but even if you are thousands of miles away and you know nothing of the perps bar what they did you can definitely tell that anyone whose bullying of a captive girl extends to violating her very body is a monster. Anyone, anyone on earth, in any culture, at any time in history. No academic discussion of sociology or psychology or legalism can make a jot of difference to that fact. Nor can a surrounding culture which produces other monsters make the perps and anyone else like them any less than monsters.

In prison those two monsters will sooner or later, however strict the protective regime, fall prey to other monsters. Hopefully at those moments they will get SOME notion of what rape inflicts on its victims.
+6 # luvdoc 2013-03-23 22:22
So the steubie boys stuffed their little winkies into unconsious flesh. What macho warriors they were---then, some of their community chose to be accessorys to the crime. I want to vomit. luvdoc
+1 # WBoardman 2013-03-24 16:09
This is not the crime for which they were convicted,
nor does it appear to be the crime they committed.
+5 # randrjwr 2013-03-24 00:16
A fundamental question: Why ever was there such a party (or parties) in Steubenville that night, where underage kids could get seemingly unlimited quantities of alcohol and engage in stupid, outrageous and illegal behavior with no oversight? And why has no one (that I know of) even asked this question? Are we now to believe that this is the normal and acceptable way for kids (or adults, for that matter) to "have a good time"? I am in no way excusing the kids who violated "Jane Doe". They were certainly not forced to do what they did, but they were surely facilitated by the drunken, orgiastic atmosphere that was allowed to develop. Where were responsible adults that could have and should have stopped the "celebration" before it got out of hand? There was no adult who was aware, at any stage of the affair, of what was happening and of what more could happen?
+11 # Hacienda View 2013-03-24 04:58
To fredboy and others who never imagined a 21st Century community so based in avoidance, denial negation and the support of those who harm others. Look around - There are Steubenvilles all over the 'Good Old U.S.A' they just haven't hit the headlines - yet.
+5 # Bev 2013-03-24 11:40
Unfortunately we have not seen the end of this type of barbaric behavior. Years of conditioning throughout society have promoted violence from an early age to the point that we are desensitized to violence and totally lacking in compassion.Wher e are the adults in this community? Rather than a marriage license, perhaps we should require a license before procreation?
-2 # bmiluski 2013-03-25 14:17
Sorry Bev, I have to disagree with you. Violent behavior in boys/men has been around since the beginning of time. If you don't believe me, look how little boys play.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-04-02 16:00
And condoning such behavior is endemic not just here in the US but wherever males are considered 'ENTITLED' to sexual 'favors
for whatever reason (being football stars being upper caste, or having lots of money etc. ....)
Those that neither teach nor ENFORCE decent, moral (i.e. non-violent) or considerate behavior (such as the Steubenville 'adults') are equally, if not more, culpable than these selfish, thoughtless little drunken louts.

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