Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, both 16, are accused of raping a drunk and unconscious 16-year-old girl at a party on the night of Aug. 11 while other partygoers tweeted and Instagrammed about the attack.
On Aug. 14, the incident was reported to the Stuebenville police, and on Aug. 22, the boys were arrested and charged. As they await trial, their attorneys have asserted their innocence, saying the girl was conscious enough to consent to sex, yet a picture has surfaced on the internet that shows two of the accused holding her limp unconscious body by the hands and feet. The high-profile criminal case spotlighted by social media has put not only the defendants on trial but the football culture surrounding them. Some town residents have said that without the media attention, nothing would have been done at all. Steubenville, a city of about 18,000 on the Ohio River, practically worships its Big Red football team.
A blogger and a native of Steubenville, Alexandria Goddard, was among the first to flag the attack, saving screen shots from social media at the party and using students’ names. Many other wonder why more students at the party weren’t charged; while the county sheriff claimed investigators interviewed 59 people and decided that only the two boys were responsible.
But the scandal has entangled more than those two. Hacker collective Anonymous recently posted video of youths who were said to be Steubenville High School students and alumni joking about the rape victim.
The New York Times published an in depth report on the case in December. At one point in the story, when football coach Reno Saccoccia was challenged about why he didn’t bench more players who were at the party and might have been involved, he reportedly got in the reporter’s face and said, “You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.” Sounds to me like this coach needs to get his!
As for the girl, her mother said at an October hearing that she has been ostracized since the attack and cries herself to sleep at night. I pray this girl finds peace and heals from this tragedy. Getting drunk, as mistaken as that might be, does not deserve punishment by rape.
Officials said the trial, expected to be held in juvenile court, was scheduled to begin Feb. 13.
- Ohio rape case: Why nobody trusts Steubenville (news.yahoo.com)
- Everything You Really, Really Didn’t Want to Know about the Steubenville Rape Case
- Hundreds rally in Steubenville (toledoblade.com)
- Ohio HS Football Players Accused of Party Rape (fox8.com)
- Hackers Leak Video of Steubenville High School Students Joking About Abused Girl (news.softpedia.com)
- ‘Occupy Steubenville’ Gathers To Support Rape Victim, Call For Coach’s Job (deadspin.com)
- Protesters Demand Justice in Steubenville (fox8.com)
- Steubenville addresses rape video (newsnet5.com)