There’s a firestorm happening in Steubenville Ohio. On August 11, 2012, there was a party, or maybe a series of parties. During the night a sixteen year old girl was allegedly raped.
Rape isn’t all that unusual. Some studies suggest that more than half of all women will be raped, or sexually assaulted during their lifetimes.
And that’s pretty damned disgusting. Consider the recent gang rape in New Delhi, where the victim died from her injuries. That stuff like this happens all the time, to our mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, cousins, and friends is criminal.
In the First World things have changed over the last century. Where rape was once almost winked at, there’s now a far more serious view of it. One of the most popular shows on North American television is Law and Order: SVU.
So why is the Steubenville case causing a firestorm?
Athletes and Sex
The accused attackers are athletes, members of the local High School Football team. Members of the team, which is highly popular, are rumoured to be pampered by the school, and the town.
There have been accusations that things like this have happened before, and been covered up. Currently we don’t know. Historically cover ups have happened when athletes have engaged in sex with fans (some of whom were under-age). Cover ups have also occurred in cases of rape.
Has this happened in Steubenville? We don’t know. Yet. We may never know for certain.
One of the reasons that we know about the case, is that blogger Alexandria Goddard used to live in Steubenville, and decided to cover the case. She’s still following it, and you can read her coverage here.
Alexandria worked really hard, archiving messages from Twitter and other sources. Since those messages were later deleted, her screenshots are the only source of information that we have for a lot of the background. Her earliest post about the case was on the day of the arrests.
A group of Anons who specialize in crimes against women, also got involved. They claim to have hacked into the email of one of the backers of the High School Football team, finding images of what appear to be underage girls, which they claim were emailed from Football Team members.
The also claim that they’ve determined that the team has a “Rape Crew” that assaults young women at will, and that the coach and other adults are helping to cover up the crimes.
Some of the information that Anonymous has posted is supposed to have come from students at the school, who are upset about what has been going on.
The Cops and Prosecutor
One of the cops has stated he’s upset, because almost no witnesses have come forward. Another cop is rumoured to regularly meet with the coach of the Football Team at a local cafe.
If true, I wonder if there’s any connection with the lack of witnesses?
Oh, and there are also rumours that the Prosecuting Attorney tried to talk the victim out of filing charges. Her son plays on the team.
Well, isn’t this a horrendous mess
This all happened in a small town. I know about small town life. Steubenville is huge compared to where I live.
Everyone knows everyone, or at least knows their neighbour/relative/friend. Everyone is connected. Instead of Six Degrees of Separation, it is Two Degrees of Separation.
Effectively the only disinterested party, and the only party that might not be lying from self interest, is Anonymous.
Friday January 4, 2013