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And they're worried about the *football team*?
January 3, 2013 4:11 PM   Subscribe

The football team might be harmed! The Steubenville, Ohio football team, parents, and law enforcement and legal staff are not very pleased with Anonymous right now. They've just released extensive details on a terrible case involving team players and other associated personnel... [warning: triggers / rape]
Perhaps one quote, from one of Steubenville High's 19 football coaches, best summed up the controversy: "The rape was just an excuse, I think ...What else are you going to tell your parents when you come home drunk like that and after a night like that? She had to make up something. Now people are trying to blow up our football program because of it."
After the original NYT story got buried a few weeks ago in the aftermath from Sandy Hook, Anonymous took up the case of a girl who had been repeatedly raped by members of the team by posting information about the people involved, including the person who runs the team's website (who himself had some questionable photos in his personal email).

The documents were released 1 January and picked up by the Huffington Post and the Atlantic, among other websites. The Atlantic has created an everything you need to know compilation as well as additional highlights from the files released by Anonymous.

Like so many other small towns, everyone knows/is related to/works for people on various sides of the equation. Social media has amplified the effects of tweets and other relevant items posted by participants in the alleged crimes.

Head Football Coach Reno Saccoccia, who has been criticized for not disciplining the team members involved, "reportedly has links to the juvenile court system" and had this to say to a reporter: "You're going to get yours. And if you don't get yours, somebody close to you will."
posted by bitter-girl.com (272 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sadly, this type of mentality permeates all small towns and even most larger ones - football teams are the local gods and get away with lots of stuff.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:12 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm really tempted to start one of those White House petitions to make Steubenville change its name to "Rapeytown" or something.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:13 PM on January 3, 2013 [20 favorites]


When this popped up on Reddit a few weeks ago, it disappeared almost immediately. Something about releasing information about people who have not been charged with a crime. There were also dark mutterings about lawsuit threats.

If these guys are guilty, I say string 'em high. I have no love for small town politics or for the entitlement, sexual or otherwise, of athletes. But we might take a pause to consider if MetaFilter is well served by amplifying Anonymous's vigilantism.
posted by R. Schlock at 4:16 PM on January 3, 2013 [15 favorites]


Jesus, what is it with American school teams and rape? Wasn't there a case a few years ago where a girl was gang raped and they found traces of someone else's vomit either on her or in her mouth?
posted by marienbad at 4:17 PM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


A sex scandal involving football, juveniles, and people allegedly valuing a team's reputation over punishing sexual assault?

Why does this all sound so... familiar...
posted by delfin at 4:17 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jesus, what is it with American school teams and rape?

You really have to ask?
posted by mhoye at 4:18 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slight derail (although perhaps a telling fact about "high school football culture") but seriously, a small town high school with 19 football coaches?
posted by ShutterBun at 4:22 PM on January 3, 2013 [45 favorites]


Football teams are the local gods and get away with lots of stuff. Hopefully these boys will learn a thing or two and hire a couple of off-duty cop "bodyguards" next time.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Saccoccia, pronounced SOCK-otch, told the principal and school superintendent that the players who posted online photographs and comments about the girl the night of the parties said they did not think they had done anything wrong. Because of that, he said, he had no basis for benching those players."

"Approached in November to be interviewed about the case, Saccoccia said he did not "do the Internet," so he had not seen the comments and photographs posted online from that night."


Talk about burying your head in the sand.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:24 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


While I'm generally against 'doxxing' of anyone, the shady shit that's keeping all but two of the HS players out of jail is making me steam.

It's also not just the players that Knight Sec goes after here, the coach, DA, police department... though the only allegations I've seen in that whole mess that have any kind of backing to them are of a school affiliated non-student with a stash of pornography of what looked like students in his email and the DA whose extended family is apparently involved with the crime itself and with the police investigation.

Add to that 'accidentally deleted' videos of the incident in police custody (something the department itself, er, cops to) and it may well take a higher (state) power to fix this mess.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:24 PM on January 3, 2013


If these guys are guilty, I say string 'em high. I have no love for small town politics or for the entitlement, sexual or otherwise, of athletes. But we might take a pause to consider if MetaFilter is well served by amplifying Anonymous's vigilantism.

It seems to me that one of the problems here was that these asshole kids were so well connected there was little hope of them being arrested, held, charged, or prosecuted.
posted by nevercalm at 4:24 PM on January 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well that and nobody around there seems to think what they did was wrong.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:27 PM on January 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Do none of these assholes have mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, aunts and/or female friends they think of as human? I just don't get it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2013 [39 favorites]


It's an Anon campaign that makes people feel good about participating. Expect everyone involved to get hacked all day every day.
posted by jaduncan at 4:31 PM on January 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Head Football Coach Reno Saccoccia, who has been criticized for not disciplining the team members involved, "reportedly has links to the juvenile court system" and had this to say to a reporter: "You're going to get yours. And if you don't get yours, somebody close to you will."


Coming from somebody with a connection to the authorities and the justice system in Steubenville, that's perhaps more than just an idle threat. Steubenville's no ordinary small town: the Department of Justice had their police department under a consent decree in the '90s because there were so many instances of corruption and police brutality, and it has a long history as a mafia stronghold.

All of which maybe goes some way to explaining the environment in which this case happened and makes a lot of these allegations seem extremely plausible to me.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 4:32 PM on January 3, 2013 [30 favorites]


Can anyone with a legal background comment on the admissibility in court of documents, videos, images, et al that were surfaced and made public by hacking accounts or other questionable means? Is anonymous helping or hurting the case of the victim?
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:40 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Watch the kid joke around about the victim at the end of the main Atlantic link. Yeah, basically, that's a pretty shitty kid. Hopefully, this video will, at the very least, lead to his parents sitting down and having a long, long conversation with him about why he's currently a pretty horrible person and how he can stop being a horrible person before he becomes an adult and that shit becomes permanent.

On the one hand, yeah, internet vigilantes can do a lot of harm. On the other hand, its not like the New York Times didn't cover the story first. I feel like Anonymous has made it a lot harder for the town and the justice system to look the other way.

To follow up on what to sir with millipedes just asked, have they damaged the possibility of getting a conviction?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:42 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


OH MY GOD NOT THE FOOTBALL TEAM!
posted by loquacious at 4:42 PM on January 3, 2013 [15 favorites]


When you see vigilantism, look for a lack of judicial independence.
posted by poe at 4:46 PM on January 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


If these guys are guilty

IF being the operative word. Hey yeah we have a justice system and a due process in this country. I love how when the topic turns to sports and rape, suddenly trial by press is perfectly fine and the veracity of everything reported by the media is immediately unquestioned. Any other topic and that shit wouldn't stand.
posted by spicynuts at 4:49 PM on January 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Can anyone with a legal background comment on the admissibility in court of documents, videos, images, et al that were surfaced and made public by hacking accounts or other questionable means?

Chances are, a lot of it would probably be inadmissible in its current form, but by leaning on some witnesses (or rather, the doxxing victims) or promises of immunity, the material could be made to appear as being handed over voluntarily.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:50 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ye gods, that 'confession' video is pretty damning.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:53 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey yeah we have a justice system and a due process in this country

Comedy!
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:54 PM on January 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Any other topic and that shit wouldn't stand.

Really?

Hey yeah we have a justice system and a due process in this country.

I agree, actually, but I wonder - was that line used in Philadelphia, MS? What does "justice" look like when the entire power structure of a community is complicit in horrible crimes? I mean, "trust in the law" was not exactly my takeaway from To Kill a Mockingbird.
posted by absalom at 4:55 PM on January 3, 2013 [33 favorites]


Thanks, shutterbun.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:56 PM on January 3, 2013


It doesn't matter if they technically raped her or not. This sort of shit is NOT OKAY. She was naked, passed out, and everyone just let it happen? Take that poor girl to bed. Peer pressure's the worst.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:57 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey yeah we have a justice system and a due process in this country. I love how when the topic turns to sports and rape, suddenly trial by press is perfectly fine and the veracity of everything reported by the media is immediately unquestioned.

I know, right???? It's not like there's photographs or videos or anything.

And now, to read the links.
posted by prefpara at 4:59 PM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


god that video at the end of the atlantic sum up - we have to stop focusing so much attention on telling people how to not get raped and start focusing on what rape is and the different forms it takes and enthusiastic consent and how rape isn't always an action of just a rapist and their victim, but can include a whole fuck ton of people who turn a blind eye or laugh at passed out chicks getting peed on and anally raped. what the fuck is wrong with people?!
posted by nadawi at 5:00 PM on January 3, 2013 [32 favorites]


Grandysaur - am i misunderstanding you? are you saying that there's a way for her to be fucked while passed out "deader than trayvon martin" and for that to not be "technically" rape?
posted by nadawi at 5:04 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can anyone with a legal background comment on the admissibility in court of documents, videos, images, et al that were surfaced and made public by hacking accounts or other questionable means? Is anonymous helping or hurting the case of the victim?

Perhaps surprisingly, the general rule would likely allow admittance for the hacked material - at least on the issue you're asking about. The rules of evidence prohibit admittance of evidence gleaned from police misconduct, specifically as a way to hopefully get cops to conduct their investigations lawfully and constitutionally. Anonymous does not play by the same rules, and if the cops find something that somebody else hacked, and it is evidence of a crime, they may absolutely use it barring some other rule keeping it out.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:04 PM on January 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


Steubenville High's 19 football coaches,

The fuck ?

It aint that hard to play and teach football.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:06 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


In case you were wondering about the public face the athletics program is putting on all this:

We wish to make it clear that we will pursue legal justice against the perpetrators of these evil acts and all of those in the media who chose to help them.

posted by HostBryan at 5:07 PM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


(It's actually a pretty classic bar question - if your neighbor independently sneaks into your garage and takes photos of your stolen property, then gives those photos to the police, may the police use them in court? Yes, yes they may. I don't know if Ohio has any special rules about this, however.)
posted by Navelgazer at 5:07 PM on January 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


Watching CNN right now on the incident. One of the football player's father questions whether a rape had occurred at all.
posted by ericb at 5:08 PM on January 3, 2013


Saccoccia, pronounced SOCK-otch

It's actually pronounced more like "suck-otch," at least in Steubenville, but I can see how he wouldn't want that committed to print.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:08 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


nadawi- Oh wow, that's not at all what I meant. While I'm pretty convinced that the guy's are guilty as all get out, it's still a situation of "allegedly." Whether or or not they DID rape her, it's still a disgusting situation; just a passed out naked girl that nobody helped is enough to piss me off.
posted by Grandysaur at 5:08 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


ah-ha, thanks for clarifying that.
posted by nadawi at 5:09 PM on January 3, 2013


Also, however, if I were the defense counsel in this, my argument at the suppression hearing would be that, due to the inherent nature of anonymous, it is impossible to know whether the cops/prosecution had a hand in the hacking, and try to get the photos and videos thrown out on those grounds.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:15 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a shame that the kidnapping charges were dropped, as those at least would stand a chance of getting an actual conviction in this stupid shitty country.
posted by elizardbits at 5:21 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Steubenville High's 19 football coaches,

The fuck ?

It aint that hard to play and teach football.


I'd wager that at least a quorum of the SHS coaching staff were already drinking buddies prior to being hired into the program. Based on my high school experience, athletic staffing is like a government make-work program for marginally-employable middle-aged dudes.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:23 PM on January 3, 2013 [14 favorites]


Jee - sus. I have no nonviolent reaction to this. May all the rapists and rape apologists in that town be exposed for what they are, and may the law visit all its force upon them.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:26 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's a shame that the kidnapping charges were dropped, as those at least would stand a chance of getting an actual conviction in this stupid shitty country.

Yes, indeed, especially since I think it would have gotten the FBI involved, which might have brought some uncomfortable questions to the door of the local law enforcement. Or...am I totally off base? It has been known to happen!
posted by adamdschneider at 5:28 PM on January 3, 2013


I have a feeling that school reps whipping out the "terrorist" word isn't going to have the effect they want.
posted by rhizome at 5:29 PM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rape apology is, of course, an act of patriotism. Only al-Qaeda could possibly object.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:32 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


spicynuts: "I love how when the topic turns to sports and rape, suddenly trial by press is perfectly fine and the veracity of everything reported by the media is immediately unquestioned. Any other topic and that shit wouldn't stand."

You know what would be awesome in this case? Trial by anything at all.
posted by koeselitz at 5:33 PM on January 3, 2013 [63 favorites]


Just saw on CNN the role of Alexandria Goddard, crime blogger in covering this case.
Even though, as the New York Times discovered, many members of the community and especially the football coach have been extremely defensive about the alleged rape and fallout, at least one former Steubenville resident decided to speak up. Alexandria Goddard has used her crime blog Prinnified to air the dissenting local opinion that this case is just another example of how the special status of the football program protects players from having to take full responsibility for their actions. Of particular outrage to Goddard is the fact that many other players besides Mays and Richmond appeared to have participated in the alleged assault to some extent, taking pictures and videos, but aren't facing any legal repercussions. Early to cover the case, Goddard has backed this claim up by posting screenshots of now-deleted photos and videos of the night. She was sued for defamation by student Cody Saltsman, who left an ugly online history celebrating the alleged assault, including a photo on Instagram of the alleged victim being tossed about by her alleged assailants. The case was dismissed with prejudice in late December, and Saltsman publicly apologized to the victim and her family for his online actions.*
posted by ericb at 5:37 PM on January 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


‘Occupy Steubenville’ Gathers To Support Rape Victim, Call For Coach’s Job.
posted by ericb at 5:39 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know what would be awesome in this case? Trial by anything at all.

Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, the two boys charged with the rape, have been released on bail and had their cases moved to the juvenile system

A trial is happening, according to the Atlantic article. Meanwhile, people reading here (myself included) simply do not know what happened. The "confession" video is someone pretty obviously not under oath (or even taking the questions very seriously), not real evidence. It's unclear whether the woman in the photo is the woman in question, or even unconscious. It is entirely possible that the team is covering up for sexual abuse– wouldn't be the first time. But it's also possible that an innocent people are being falsely accused, which also happens.

I hate to bring up the Duke lacrosse case, which is obviously not something that should be a universal model, but this is bearing uncomfortable similarities in internet reaction: people who should know better proclaiming that all jocks are rapists anyway so let's string these guys up without waiting for the facts. Anonymous releasing all the documents is obviously illegal, but I have some sympathy with their desire to let people judge for themselves. The Atlantic writer branding a bunch of teenagers with no convictions as "the Rape Crew" deserves no such respect.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 5:46 PM on January 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


It seems to me that one of the problems here was that these asshole kids were so well connected there was little hope of them being arrested, held, charged, or prosecuted.

(emphasis added)
posted by graphnerd at 5:48 PM on January 3, 2013


One of the football player's father questions whether a rape had occurred at all.

A legitimate rape?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:49 PM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ugh, is this yet another small town with a dark secret?
posted by limeonaire at 6:01 PM on January 3, 2013


Putting aside the small town protection of their football team (in this case troubling enough) I am seriously concerned about a generation of young men who see women as objects they can treat this way.


I know not all young men are in that category but I am starting to think those that are not are a minority.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:05 PM on January 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


The Atlantic writer branding a bunch of teenagers with no convictions as "the Rape Crew" deserves no such respect.

it's my understanding that the boys have called themselves that or they were "jokingly" given that nickname by their peers. it's certainly not something the atlantic pulled out of thin air.
posted by nadawi at 6:10 PM on January 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Either way, is it something that a brand as august as The Atlantic should be publishing?
posted by graphnerd at 6:13 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


the atlantic is reporting on what's been leaked - that these jackasses call themselves the rape crew or respond to that name or whatever is part of that. i don't see a problem with it.
posted by nadawi at 6:19 PM on January 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


One of the football player's father questions whether a rape had occurred at all.

From the NYT article:
At 1:38 a.m. on Aug. 14*, the girl’s parents walked into the Steubenville police station with a flash drive with photographs from online, Twitter posts and the video on it. It 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.
* two days later

posted by Ardiril at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


ThatFuzzyBastard: “A trial is happening, according to the Atlantic article. Meanwhile, people reading here (myself included) simply do not know what happened.”

You're right – nobody here knows what happened; none of us were apparently there that night. And until there's a trial, nobody will know. This event we're talking about was in early August. There wasn't even a probable cause hearing until two months later in October, and the actual trial isn't supposed to happen until February. It just seems like – if they wanted to sort this out and make it right, the best thing to do would have been to actually work to get the legal gears turning.

I appreciate that the police chief says they couldn't start doing that until somebody reported a crime, but – in cases like this, it works in his favor to try to make sure there's nobody who wants to report but is being held back by local pressure.

I wish this town luck; but until there's a trial, there's still going to be crazy buzz about this. And in the internet era, I suspect that even small towns will have to start pushing their legal systems to work slightly faster than they might have in the past. Waiting six months to see this kind of thing go to trial is probably way too much.
posted by koeselitz at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


me: “I appreciate that the police chief says they couldn't start doing that until somebody reported a crime...”

Yeah, and I should say I begin to wonder about this, in light of the fact that it was apparently reported two days after it happened.
posted by koeselitz at 6:23 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Either way, is it something that a brand as august as The Atlantic should be publishing?

Why, it's a step up from publishing Megan McArdle.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:28 PM on January 3, 2013 [24 favorites]


The young man in the "confession" video is obviously drunk(stoned?). He has his own mobile phone in his hand, so he must understand how they work, even if the photographer is being subtle. Would this be admissible in court? The system errs on the side of the defendant. I want to have some faith in the justice system, but in a small town, it can get pretty screwed up. I hope the attention shames Steubenville into action.

The coach is quite the caricature. Where the hell are the parents?
posted by theora55 at 6:28 PM on January 3, 2013


Another summary can be found here (note of caution: even more disturbing info and images)

And why the hell is there a hunting rifle just casually laying on the floor in the "confession" video?
posted by raztaj at 6:34 PM on January 3, 2013


that these jackasses call themselves the rape crew or respond to that name or whatever is part of that. i don't see a problem with it.

No, according to The Atlantic, it's Anonymous that started calling them "The Rape Crew", and the Atlantic is using that prejudicial slander as their headline, and you're cheerfully amplifying the guilty-until-proven-innocent approach.

I wish this town luck; but until there's a trial, there's still going to be crazy buzz about this. And in the internet era, I suspect that even small towns will have to start pushing their legal systems to work slightly faster than they might have in the past. Waiting six months to see this kind of thing go to trial is probably way too much.

This is something I really worry about. At this point, everyone's got a powerful incentive to push the legal process to happen faster--the defendants want it resolved as much as the plantiff. But the legal system doesn't, and shouldn't, work faster just because people are impatient. If internet vigilantism like this makes people cut corners on the legal process, you're going to see rights seriously denied, and the whole process badly compromised.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:37 PM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Unrelatedly, Stuebenville also has that Wu-Tang connection.
posted by box at 6:39 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


And why the hell is there a hunting rifle just casually laying on the floor in the "confession" video?

Because guns, booze and drugs go so well with firearms.
posted by Mezentian at 6:44 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


re: 'Rape Crew'

According to the LocalLeaks site:

The focus of this investigation has centered upon a very small group of miscreants who are known by their peers and fellow students as “The Rape Crew”.

So they didn't necessarily name themselves that, but that is what their schoolmates call them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:44 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man, that LocalLeaks info is damning.

Why did they have a rifle? Just teen hijinx:
In May of 2012, Ed Wilson a Steubenville Big Red football player and two other unknown individuals shot out the windows of 14 vehicles in Steubenville.
posted by Mezentian at 6:48 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


ThatFuzzyBastard: “At this point, everyone's got a powerful incentive to push the legal process to happen faster--the defendants want it resolved as much as the plantiff. But the legal system doesn't, and shouldn't, work faster just because people are impatient. If internet vigilantism like this makes people cut corners on the legal process, you're going to see rights seriously denied, and the whole process badly compromised.”

Yes, but it seems like things were delayed far too long, longer than they needed to be. The girl and her parents went there and turned in evidence two days after the event. It absolutely should not have taken two more months even to establish that there was a reason to move forward with the investigation. The police chief pleads off, saying that he was waiting for more people to come forward. Why? Honestly, the lesson here is that you need to investigate right away, for everybody's sake.
posted by koeselitz at 6:51 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


this isn't a court of law. i am under no obligation to consider these guys innocent until proven guilty. as a rape victim i'd be kicked off the jury anyway. none of my rapists have ever been brought up on charges and most of the survivors i know also don't get the piece of mind of having their rapists behind bars. it's a sad fact that most rapists will never face consequences for their crimes. no part of that makes me cheerful.
posted by nadawi at 6:53 PM on January 3, 2013 [60 favorites]


I hate to bring up the Duke lacrosse case

Funny that you should, because one of the dudes says "they raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team!" Which suggests that the lesson these guys want to take from the Duke case isn't that people can be mistakenly accused but rather that it's possible to get away with rape.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:03 PM on January 3, 2013 [30 favorites]


Maybe Eric Holder can drop the Megaupload case and do some good here instead. Oh, sorry, the girl does not donate millions to politicians. Never mind.
posted by BentFranklin at 7:09 PM on January 3, 2013 [16 favorites]


The police chief pleads off, saying that he was waiting for more people to come forward. Why?

Because his only evidence will be eyewitness accounts? Yet everybody involved has lawyered up?
posted by Ardiril at 7:11 PM on January 3, 2013


Yes, but it seems like things were delayed far too long, longer than they needed to be. The girl and her parents went there and turned in evidence two days after the event. It absolutely should not have taken two more months even to establish that there was a reason to move forward with the investigation. The police chief pleads off, saying that he was waiting for more people to come forward. Why? Honestly, the lesson here is that you need to investigate right away, for everybody's sake.

Two months to schedule a preliminary hearing is entirely reasonable. Rushing it would screw things over a lot more.
posted by kafziel at 7:17 PM on January 3, 2013


This is a tangent, but...

Can someone explain to me how exactly high school football is "the economic engine" in these towns? (called that by one of the LocalLeaks links)

I have no problem understanding that the team is popular, people from all over come to see their games, people are emotionally invested, etc.

But unless NBC is paying them millions to broadcast their games, it sounds like a closed loop. People in the community... put their money into the community. Every town has a football team. How exactly does this make high school football into a money-generating activity?

I'm just a guy on the west coast whose high school football team is one of the best in the nation... but no one's getting rich from it, and most people don't even care.
posted by meowzilla at 7:18 PM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


money coming into the school, vendors selling products (hats, tshirts, beer coozies, etc), raising the profile of the school and the town, donations from former students who support the team, and so on.

i went to high school in one of those big football texas towns - they had a very nice bus, they got free shoes from big manufacturers, money that went into to program could be shielded from the robin hood law. it was a rich school without football, but the football team absolutely influenced where people lived so the local taxes were helped by attracting rich parents.
posted by nadawi at 7:25 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love the way stupid people apply the terrorist label. Yes indeed, Anonymous are spreading terror - but in a good way.
posted by mattoxic at 7:29 PM on January 3, 2013


AVP Anon Vs. Players: Whoever wins, we all lose.
posted by localroger at 7:31 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


A comment via The Atlantic:
I dunno. Vigilante justice to me would be if people went and hunted up these kids and strung up 'em from a tree. All Anonymous seems to be doing here is digging up information in order to expose a possible cover-up of a crime. So this is more like rogue journalism.
posted by raztaj at 7:33 PM on January 3, 2013 [64 favorites]


I just finished watching the confession video, and it is pretty incriminating. And a lot more vile than I expected. I was worried for the girl who pops up right at the end too.
posted by Mezentian at 7:40 PM on January 3, 2013


I wonder if Occupy Steubenville will decide to set up camp on the gridiron.
posted by ocschwar at 7:49 PM on January 3, 2013


I love how when the topic turns to sports and rape, suddenly trial by press is perfectly fine and the veracity of everything reported by the media is immediately unquestioned. Any other topic and that shit wouldn't stand.

Are there any other crimes that cause as much harm to victims as in the case of rape in which it is desperately difficult to seek justice because of a lack of cooperation from police and justice departments where the victims are blamed by their attackers, shamed by their communities and often face ostracism from their communities, who regularly back the perpetrators unquestioningly? Any other case where this shit wouldn't stand probably doesn't have the misogynist, patriarchal societal baggage that rape cases have, nor the ridiculously low prosecution rate.
posted by NoraReed at 7:49 PM on January 3, 2013 [32 favorites]



Roseanne Barr Aligns Herself With Anonymous In Relentless Anti-Rape Crusade

posted by radwolf76 at 7:51 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, this is an (understandably) loaded topic. Regardless of your feelings on this, I hope that you can step back and think about how little we actually know about what happened, how we came to understand that anything
even happened, and how wide the range of possibilities truly is.
posted by graphnerd at 8:12 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Steubenville High's 19 football coaches,
if the team actually needs 19 coaches and they're not all just padding the payroll (which they probably are, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this), then um... maybe they're not that good a team?
posted by lovelygirl at 8:20 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


But unless NBC is paying them millions to broadcast their games, it sounds like a closed loop. People in the community... put their money into the community. Every town has a football team. How exactly does this make high school football into a money-generating activity?

If you're not from one of these football towns, it's likely you wouldn't understand. I live in Austin, which is definitely not a small town where the only thing to do is football, but a lot of the local high schools have stadiums that could host a semi-pro team. As in, actual stadiums, not just the raggedy sort of bleachers you may be thinking of. And they fill up for big games, it's not just parents going to see their kids play. And then there's the merch sales. A lot of the stores around me have ample selections of merchandise for the high school and even sometimes the middle school teams. Sometimes it even outweighs what they offer from the actual pro teams in Texas.

NBC may not do a national broadcast, but a lot of high school football is televised around here, if only locally. No idea what they make on that, but I imagine it's something.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:28 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


And why the hell is there a hunting rifle just casually laying on the floor in the "confession" video?

Probably a .22. No big deal around there.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:43 PM on January 3, 2013


Regarding the economic impact of the football, the LocalLeaks file also alleges that "One of the biggest and most popular revenue streams connected with the Big Red football team is gambling," which is not surprising given Steubenville's long history as a mob gambling town. It also alleges that the county sheriff runs the biggest sports book in town, and that he's close to Coach Saccoccia.

They could practically rename Steubenville "Town With A Dark Secret, OH", but actually it has a lot of them, not just one.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:56 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


When this popped up on Reddit a few weeks ago, it disappeared almost immediately. Something about releasing information about people who have not been charged with a crime. There were also dark mutterings about lawsuit threats.

Not to pile on or anything, but IMO this is yet one more example of Reddit's one-sided privacy culture. Womens' privacy is protected only if they are known Reddit members in good standing. Men's privacy is protected based on pretty much any grounds, with the rationale offered up on the spot and treated as natural law.
posted by verb at 8:57 PM on January 3, 2013 [40 favorites]


Do none of these assholes have mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, aunts and/or female friends they think of as human? I just don't get it.


Others in the video tried to explain the seriousness of the situation.
“What if that was your daughter?” someone asked.
“But it isn’t,” the student said. “If that was my daughter, I wouldn't care. I would just let her be dead.”
He went on to ask “is it really rape if you don’t know if she wanted to or not? She might have wanted it. That might have been her final wish.”

posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:59 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am seriously concerned about a generation of young men who see women as objects they can treat this way.

As opposed to every other generation in modern society? Are you suggesting that you see this as something new?
posted by Ochiee at 9:41 PM on January 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


When this popped up on Reddit a few weeks ago, it disappeared almost immediately. Something about releasing information about people who have not been charged with a crime. There were also dark mutterings about lawsuit threats.

I just searched for "steubenville" on Reddit and found scores of posts about it. 3 have more than 1,000 net up votes. Another 9 have hundreds of up votes. So I don't think there's any dark conspiracy silencing this subject there.
posted by msalt at 9:52 PM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there anyone on earth more privileged than a rich, handsome, white star quarterback
posted by msalt at 9:53 PM on January 3, 2013


I read Jezebel's transcript of what that teenage boy said. I'm sick over it. I suspected, but I didn't want to believe the aspects of male culture were sick enough to produce that kind of behavior. I didn't want to believe that even someone who would speak up wouldn't muster the courage to call the police or do anything.

Nobody else did. There must have been other girls at that party. Why didn't they do anything? What about parents? How could they do that to her?

I'm also puzzled by the people here who aren't totally sick and disgusted by this.
posted by discopolo at 9:59 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


if you read some of those reddit links you'll see there's a lot of conversation about why posts have been disappearing and users banned for posting about it. most of them have a top comment that summarizes the argument about doxxing and personal info. it absolutely was being silenced a few days ago.
posted by nadawi at 9:59 PM on January 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


As opposed to every other generation in modern society? Are you suggesting that you see this as something new?


It's much more BLATANT now. Does not bode well. But my rape happened in '76 if that makes you feel any better.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:19 PM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's much more BLATANT now. Does not bode well.

What I suspect is the other side of that coin: feminism is successful enough to be threatening.
posted by jaduncan at 10:26 PM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just searched for "steubenville" on Reddit and found scores of posts about it. 3 have more than 1,000 net up votes. Another 9 have hundreds of up votes. So I don't think there's any dark conspiracy silencing this subject there.

And the third one of those is about those deletions.
posted by NoraReed at 10:49 PM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can anyone with a legal background comment on the admissibility in court of documents, videos, images, et al that were surfaced and made public by hacking accounts or other questionable means? Is anonymous helping or hurting the case of the victim?

Its admissible unless the police put them up to it.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:06 PM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


This happened in my small town during the mid/late 80s. All the girls (yes, multiple victims) were shunned by the majority of the town, including by the mothers, sisters, and girlfriends of the rapists. The news burst out-loud in our town when the news of a "rape club" in another small town high school hit the major media. That didn't help any.

Nothing was ever done to punish the boys; the coaches and schools all backed the varsity team (most of them were involved). A few parents tried to get the police involved, but... well, when the boys involved are children of the local politicians and the victims were, for the most part, from families without influence, it was unsurprising that the local law refused to pursue the matter. Now, some of those perpetrators are the local law and politicians.

I certainly hope that twenty five years later, this victim isn't treated the same. We have the internet now. News gets out, even if slowly. The perpetrators won't be able to walk away scot free, even if there is no legal justice.
posted by _paegan_ at 11:07 PM on January 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


I am seriously concerned about a generation of young men who see women as objects they can treat this way.

As opposed to every other generation in modern society? Are you suggesting that you see this as something new?


I had the same thoughts and decided that, due to the social media aspect, we're just able to see behind the curtain to a problem that has often been there all along.

And I say that as a big supporter of high school sports, especially football and especially in a shitty town where nothing else is happening. The difference is that the culture of a place is shaped by adults at the top. If a slightly effiminite closeted homosexual can have positive memories to his days deep in H.S. football culture 20 odd years ago and knows women whose experience with football team members led to successful careers in sports medicine rather than ending up as rape victims, I can't help but think there isn't one of those 19 coaches doing the most important part of their job - shaping young men into decent human beings.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:34 PM on January 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


Maybe we don't know exactly what happened, but it's pretty obvious that whatever it was that did happen, it wasn't good.

But if you wanted to take a step back and look at this in the grand scheme of things... it's very interesting to see how not just the role of 'the media' is changing, but who is actually doing the legwork these days.

When the Watergate scandal broke, it was mostly newspaper reporters that broke the story. They spent months and years of their lives investigating and documenting, they had the benefit of being able to reap financial rewards from books and interviews afterwards.

With the first Gulf War it was television reporters strategically placed into actual combat situations (sorta), providing a first hand account of what was going on. Again, they were paid, and many of them still have very profitable jobs in front of cameras to this day.

When Egypt had their democratic uprising a few years ago everything was posted to Twitter; videos, pictures, first hand accounts of what was happening. Nobody was paying them to, but it was their story, so they told it as best as they could.

And now here we have places like Anonymous and Reddit taking those twitter/instagram pictures, videos, etc. and doing the legwork to make the public aware. Not because someone was paying them, and not because it was their story.

Once you get past the tremendously horrible individual instance, it's at least comforting to know that we as a culture seem to be evolving to the point where perfect strangers might be sticking up for you not out of their own self interest, but simply because it's the 'right' thing to do.

Sadly, that is the only positive that I can take away from this situation.

(And that's not even considering how non-news people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are doing a much better job of 'reporting' the news than all of those 'professional' reporters are. But all in all it really does demonstrate how the 'journalistic' world has been turned upside down.)
posted by Blue_Villain at 12:13 AM on January 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


I'm disgusted by the video.

I'm torn about the role the hive mind has played into this. I believe Wikipedia has even contributed to the confusion with an article combining the facts from what I believe are two separate (but painfully similar) events.
posted by UsernameGenerator at 12:14 AM on January 4, 2013


I'm so glad that that Wiki page links to the Volkswagen Jetta page.
posted by Mezentian at 12:21 AM on January 4, 2013


To us, this is obviously a crime. To the adults who know these kids, it can't be a crime... because it's these kids, and if you knew them, you'd know they're basically good kids! They're great kids! Look at Johnny, he's all ready to go to college! This will destroy his future--if you make a big deal out of it!

I'm routinely astounded at how often I run into this as a substitute teacher. I caught a kid red-handed stealing a classmate's iPod, and when I confronted him on it, he told me to fuck off... and after I had it handled, one of his other regular teachers wanted to tell me about what a great kid he really is deep down inside. Caught another one plagiarizing his term paper (I was long-term subbing, so I had full grading responsibilities) off another classmate, and when I went the whole nine yards on penalizing him for it--which would've led to a flunking grade when coupled with his ongoing class performance--his parents and the VP pleaded with me not to make such a big deal on it, because they just wanted him to have a future and this would ruin his chances for college. None of them cared how badly this could've hurt the kid whose paper he stole had I not been able to figure out that this was straight-up theft rather than collusion.

The Monday after Sandy Hook--I'm pretty sure it wasn't even 72 hours after--I threw a senior boy out of class for openly suggesting to his classmates that they murder their regular teacher. After school, in the VP's office, with the VP and the head of security and me all standing there, the boy was just indignant that we would make such a big deal out of it. And his mother, while agreeing that it was serious, pleaded with us not to do anything that might be a substantive consequence, because he's just a good kid deep down who did something dumb.

I want to say I'm shocked by this story out of Steubenville and all these adults apparently covering for boys who've committed a horrible crime... but I'm not shocked at all. And there's something really sad about that.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:45 AM on January 4, 2013 [65 favorites]


Also, as a former resident of Orange County, CA, this case has an awful lot of familiar overtones.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:55 AM on January 4, 2013


"It is entirely possible that the team is covering up for sexual abuse– wouldn't be the first time. But it's also possible that an innocent people are being falsely accused, which also happens."

While I appreciate the limits of epistemology as much as anyone, you fail here by not asking the natural follow-up question: "Which is more likely?" You might also ask, "Will public pressure help us find out?"

I'll also note that your fetishization of conviction as the only standard by which we can conclude guilt does rather violate the common-sense ability to say that OJ Simpson, Richard Nixon and Oliver North broke laws and were guilty despite the presumption of innocence conferred by the legal system.
posted by klangklangston at 1:24 AM on January 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I just heard one of the boy's lawyers on Australian radio. Seems like they're going to play the "she consented" card.

I would say that was a "brave" and "courageous" for any defense team when there appears to be a substantive body of evidence that the victim was dragged nonsensically to at least two parties, but then I remember the Haidl gang rape case that scaryblackdeath mentions, when if memory serves they sat around watching video in the courtroom trying to interpret body movements of signs of consent.

And then I'm sad.
posted by Mezentian at 2:02 AM on January 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


And now here we have places like Anonymous and Reddit taking those twitter/instagram pictures, videos, etc. and doing the legwork to make the public aware. Not because someone was paying them, and not because it was their story.

Not to detract from the importance of citizen journalism and social media in the media today (and I agree, it's great to see regular folks participating more in this process), but the NYT did dedicate like six (maybe more? I can't remember now) pages to this story and were literally on the ground in Steubenville.

Yes, the Western media does not have the money or staff numbers it used to (and there are plenty of news outlets producing a lot of rubbish, especially online) but there are still a lot of good journalists out there doing great investigative work that takes them months and even years. Prisons in Louisiana, toxic chemicals in the home, dangerous abandoned factories and antitrust violations may not be the kind of things that go viral on Reddit, but those are serious and important pieces of journalism, produced by people who dedicate their lives to the craft.

Again, I think it's wonderful that more people are getting involved in investigating, reporting and spreading important news. And yes, in some cases it is probably help pick up the slack of a weakened industry. But to suggest that Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are the best reporters in the country today, or that all of the good working reporters out there have been usurped by hackers and Instagram, is absurd.
posted by retrograde at 2:12 AM on January 4, 2013 [16 favorites]


19 football coaches? It would be interesting (i.e. sad and telling) to see how many cutbacks have been made throughout the academic side of the school system in the past few years.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:34 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fixating on the number of football coaches is so odd and is kind of revealing of where people are coming at this from.
posted by smackfu at 5:08 AM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I feel like the logic these guys have goes something like this "No one has the right to judge my actions negatively, because it was so much fun. I'm telling you that we did nothing wrong...and the fact that I enjoyed it so much is all the evidence you need to know that it wasn't morally wrong."

Flashbacks of my own small town upbringing...
posted by vitabellosi at 5:16 AM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


And yet, the sad thing is we all know they'll get away with it in the end, many going on to college scholarships. Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company. Same as it ever was.
posted by Yowser at 5:23 AM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fixating on the number of football coaches is so odd and is kind of revealing of where people are coming at this from.

Whether you think it's odd or not, the number certainly seems to be in line with the hero-worshipping/delinquency-enabling culture that appears to be present at that high school. I'd be surprised if the school's Math, Science, English, and History departments even have 19 faculty members combined. I will gladly admit to a bias for academics over athletics, but that number is both incongruous and shocking for anybody who's spent time working in education.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:38 AM on January 4, 2013 [21 favorites]


Fixating on the number of football coaches is so odd and is kind of revealing of where people are coming at this from.

On a whim, I checked my local NFL team's coaching staff--17. This high school team has more coaches than a pro NFL team. It's a revealing detail about the crowd of adults who depend on these kids being protected from the consequences of their actions and who rely on them for some portion of their income.
posted by gladly at 5:49 AM on January 4, 2013 [27 favorites]


Fixating on the number of football coaches is so odd and is kind of revealing of where people are coming at this from.

Not really. As S.I. points out, it's indicative of the entitled position sports (especially football) hold in schools. Look at it this way...How many players are on a high school football team? 24 or so? Lets be generous and double that to include both Varsity and JV squads. So, that's almost 50 players. 19 coaches for 50 players. Now, show me any academic department in any public high school with that kind of teacher-to-student ratio.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:52 AM on January 4, 2013 [14 favorites]


Rape is so painful to prosecute because the evidence being examined is quite literally the body of the victim and his or her actions, and so in many ways is a set of repeated assaults piled on the first.

Parents and other adults are rightly invested in the future of their youth; the crime comes in being unable to face up to those youth deserving to suffer for wrongdoing. I can see, though not condone, the POV of parents unable to face the thought of those they raised facing prison time and the loss of a future.

Add in small-town desires not to deal with unpleasant truths about those you have supported and promoted (because it reflects badly on you and your town) plus the underlying callous sexism that contributed to the whole situation, and you have a giant stinking mess of denial and victim blaming.

I wish there were a way to make people value justice over their family or their town or their job.
posted by emjaybee at 5:52 AM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


California judges overturn a rape conviction, saying an 1872 law doesn't protect single women.

I have no words.
posted by raztaj at 5:53 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


This will destroy his future--if you make a big deal out of it!

I wonder how they'd react if you pointed out that they already ruined their own future by being a lazy incompetent cheater or by making death threats in a high school classroom.
posted by elizardbits at 5:56 AM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Why didn't somebody stop it?" said Steubenville police Chief William McCafferty. "You simply don't do that ... It's not done." (CNN picks up the story)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:58 AM on January 4, 2013


So, that's almost 50 players. 19 coaches for 50 players. Now, show me any academic department in any public high school with that kind of teacher-to-student ratio.

It's worth pointing out some (maybe most) of the coaches are volunteers.
posted by smackfu at 6:02 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm a volunteer reading coach at my local elementary school. There are 800 students, less than 10 reading coaches. Too bad our community, state, and nation do not value reading as much as playing football.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:13 AM on January 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


California judges overturn a rape conviction, saying an 1872 law doesn't protect single women.

I have no words.


I just read that. On what planet is sneaking into someone's bedroom and pretending to be someone else not rape? This is insane. I can only imagine that men having written and interpreted the law have some kind of sympathy for the rapist and can easily imagine themselves in the same position. How else could you possibly account for this ruling? So all single women are fair game for tricksters?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:19 AM on January 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'd be surprised if the school's Math, Science, English, and History departments even have 19 faculty members combined.

Well, prepare to be surprised. There are 19 exactly, actually. This stuff isn't hard to find out. I also wonder how many of those 19 "coaches" are volunteers. I will try to find out.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:41 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


That many of the 19 coaches are volunteers doesn't do anything to undermine the argument that there's a whole lot of people in that town participating in a culture that elevates the high school football program to worship-worthy status. If anything it sounds as if there's lots of people wanting to hook their wagon to the that team.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:00 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to argue with you that high school football is a religion in the Ohio Valley. Well do I know this. Your argument is only one of those being advanced here, though, the other being that these 19 coaches probably exist at the expense of the school's academic program, the truth of which can probably be ascertained with some confidence.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:05 AM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


gotcha.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:16 AM on January 4, 2013


you fail here by not asking the natural follow-up question: "Which is more likely?"

That's because I'm horrified that people are so eager to use people's hobbies as a determinant of whether they're "likely" to commit a terrible crime. We all agree this is really serious, right? So it would be great if people stopped treating it like a reality show where they can declare themselves on a team and riff on how this incident (that you really don't know anything about) is just like this other thing that happened once.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:18 AM on January 4, 2013


The Spot Bar is the prime watering hole, and “working office” of the drug dealer Nathan Hubbard, who is the primary supplier of illegal narcotics to the Big Red football team.

While the Spot Bar is by far the most popular, it is not the only “den of iniquity” where this type of activity takes place. Another local business that caters to Big Red fans and players is the Triple Play Cafe in Steubenville. It’s a confirmed fact that underage high school students are in this establishment often. They host an event on Wednesdays during the football season and then allow anyone regardless of age to stay after close to drink and hang out. Its also reported by eyewitnesses that the owner let’s young underage girls in just so he can hit on them.


Sounds like what this town needs is a guy like Dalton. I always thought he'd be bigger, though.
posted by scalefree at 7:23 AM on January 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's because I'm horrified that people are so eager to use people's hobbies as a determinant of whether they're "likely" to commit a terrible crime.

Football is way more than a hobby in this situation, or there wouldn't be a controversy.

I get what you're saying, that everyone deserves a trial before conviction, but the skepticism about that innocence on display here comes from years and years of similar stories that did turn out to be true.

I would prefer that these kids did not do this, believe me. If I were on a jury I would do my best to consider all the evidence and issue a fair verdict. At the same time, the attitudes and bragging and victim-blaming and straight-up belief that rape is just dandy that is going on here is plenty for me to find this situation highly suspicious and at the very least, distasteful and hateful.

We know this girl has been through an awful experience; how awful is a matter of dispute. But all anyone except her family seems to care about is the mental and financial well-being of a bunch of high-school athletes, and they are happy to talk shit about her in pursuit of that goal. That's a pretty toxic situation. If I lived in that town, I'd be ashamed. If I lived in that town and had a daughter, I'd be looking for an excuse to move, pronto.
posted by emjaybee at 7:27 AM on January 4, 2013 [18 favorites]


It's not a hobby people are seeing the pattern in, it's the culture that has grown around that hobby.

I grew up in a small town football worshipping culture. I personally know of two gang rapes that were perpetrated by members of the football team. One took place while I was in high school and was never prosecuted (and I found out about it because of the horrible smear campaign mounted against the "slut" it happened to) and the other occurred two years after I left town to go to college. The second rape went to trial mainly because it happened at the house of the richest family in town, and it was their relative who was the victim. Also the injuries were severe enough that the argument it was consensual would have been difficult to prove. It involved a pool cue.
posted by stagewhisper at 7:29 AM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: The Monday after Sandy Hook--I'm pretty sure it wasn't even 72 hours after--I threw a senior boy out of class for openly suggesting to his classmates that they murder their regular teacher.

Leaving out the "too soon!" aspect, that's probably the highest compliment a substitute teacher will ever receive.
posted by dr_dank at 8:02 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, prepare to be surprised. There are 19 exactly, actually. This stuff isn't hard to find out.

And the actual head football coach in question is listed on there as "Director of Admin. Services".
posted by smackfu at 8:02 AM on January 4, 2013


Last summer I sat on a grand jury. It was my first experience sitting on any jury and it seemed to me that the court waited for us to review some of the worst crimes to happen in this area in a decade.

We presided over a case from one of the more rural surrounding towns - a town wherein everyone does know everyone else. It was heartbreaking to hear the testimony and awful for us to interrogate the witnesses and look at the evidence.

With regards to case, let me say that it will take years for that town to recover. Not because a large number of people are being prosecuted; instead it's because the victims of the crime and the effects on their friends and family will be felt for years. The families of the victim and the families of the alleged perpetrator will never be the same having just been taken through the grand jury system and that's just the beginning.

Still, it made me proud that the people in the room with me were truly trying to take each piece of evidence in each case as seriously as the case merited. And while the adage "a competent attorney could indict a ham sandwich" gets bandied about, it was nice to see the checks and balances in play.

In this case, I do hope it is appropriately investigated if deemed so, put in front of a grand jury to decide if it should go to trial.
posted by plinth at 8:05 AM on January 4, 2013


I get all that, I really do. I grew up in a place that wasn't all that football-worshipping, so instead members of our school's hockey team got away with the awful rape of a friend of mine. This shit happens, and it's absolutely horrible, and if that's what's happening here, I hope the feds get involved in busting everyone who covered it up.

But it's really ugly to assume you know a person's guilt because they remind you of someone else; people here are talking like Pamela Geller at a mosque. Yes, I know this is not a court of law and you're not a jury, but when you loudly embrace prejudice, even against people who aren't "a protected class", you're starting down a road that's not just bad for the accused, but very bad for your own thinking and the thinking of the community.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:05 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm really tempted to start one of those White House petitions to make Steubenville change its name to "Rapeytown" or something.

As much as you're joking, this is exactly the type of thought that makes reading the WH petition site so insane. Government by clicks on email forward/FB links (well, it would be if they ever implemented policy based on it).
posted by jaduncan at 8:48 AM on January 4, 2013


"That's because I'm horrified that people are so eager to use people's hobbies as a determinant of whether they're "likely" to commit a terrible crime. We all agree this is really serious, right? So it would be great if people stopped treating it like a reality show where they can declare themselves on a team and riff on how this incident (that you really don't know anything about) is just like this other thing that happened once."

More horrified than over an unconscious girl being gang raped? And so horrified that you're unable to look at what we know — and we do know a fair number of things, actually — and instead throw up pieties about how we can't know anything about this because none of us were there or because you've judged some of us to have unbecoming prejudices against football?

Really?

"But it's really ugly to assume you know a person's guilt because they remind you of someone else; people here are talking like Pamela Geller at a mosque."

That's bullshit, and I haven't seen a single person here argue that these kids are guilty because they play football. There have been more than a few who noted a powerful conflict of interest in terms of the authorities who are investigating this, and that conflict of interest does influence the perception of a lack of results in the investigation.

"Yes, I know this is not a court of law and you're not a jury, but when you loudly embrace prejudice, even against people who aren't "a protected class", you're starting down a road that's not just bad for the accused, but very bad for your own thinking and the thinking of the community."

That's grandstanding nonsense that's fairly unrelated to the actual documents before us and this FPP. Lack of prejudice is a good thing in general, but adhering to in such an absolute form would require us to proceed like idiots, and borders on apologia.
posted by klangklangston at 9:08 AM on January 4, 2013 [33 favorites]


But it's really ugly to assume you know a person's guilt because they remind you of someone else;

Actually, people are assuming that they know the players' guilt because they watched a video of one of the players proudly stating what appears to be a confession to the crime. (What the fuck is WRONG with these kids? What sort of person would go on with such a rant seeing that there was a camera there?)

The ugly part is that video. Calling us ugly because we respond viscerally to that appalling video is offensive - I suggest that an apology is in order.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:24 AM on January 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is like Glen Ridge all over again. Those boys ended up getting slaps on the wrist, too, so I'm not holding my breath here. Although the advent of social media since then puts a kink in things.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 9:25 AM on January 4, 2013


After having watched the "confession" video:

Go, go Anonymous. Harass those kids to the point where they are forced to change their names and move cross country. Spread their names so that ten years later, they will be trying to address this when they are looking for work.

Worst case scenario: They didn't rape or facilitate rape and will be paying for the sins of the many, many, many rapes and other acts of domestic violence that are never brought to justice.

I have zero problems with the worst case scenario.
posted by angrycat at 9:45 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Worst case scenario: They didn't rape or facilitate rape and will be paying for the sins of the many, many, many rapes and other acts of domestic violence that are never brought to justice.

I have zero problems with the worst case scenario.


While I find rape despicable I also find this despicable.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:49 AM on January 4, 2013 [18 favorites]


Thanks, angrycat, for at least being more forthright about what you believe to be just than many here.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:54 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


This kind of school-sanctioned bad behavior drives me absolutely up the wall. I'm not even sure I can make it through this entire post, unless I want to flip out for the rest of the day.

When I was in college, my school had a rapist for a student and chose to deal with the matter internally instead of reporting it to the police. End result? The social infraction went on his academic record, and as part of FERPA, those records can't be released to anyone without his permission. Including the school he eventually transferred to.

As someone who has been verbally and physically harassed at a local "social institution" which I do not care to name because the matter is still pending, I can tell you it is incredibly hard to pursue a claim when everyone aware of the situation chooses to look the other way or not rock the boat. Sometimes, you are truly all alone. For any of you out there in that position, I encourage you to take the high road, say your peace, and believe that greater forces of good will come to assist you no matter how bad things look.
posted by phaedon at 9:56 AM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll defend my comment a bit and then bow out, because my past experiences have made me too hair-trigger about this sort of thing:

I used to be a lawyer and argued due process claims frequently (that is, I used lack of due process as a defense). I believe in due process --- mostly.

However, as a culture (we are better than say, India, but we still have huge problems) we make it difficult to prosecute these claims because of the idea that women are a) asking for it in X way b) making it up or c) not really harmed by rape.

Using the Dr. Who standard of an injury to one is an injury to all, I believe that the factors that make rape difficult to prosecute are injurious to all of us.

Do I have reservations about demolishing some young men's reputations so that they can be some sacrificial lambs that will allow us to evolve? Yes.

Do I think that the above is ultimately a good thing? Yes.
posted by angrycat at 10:11 AM on January 4, 2013


Fuzzy B, applying angrycat's truly disgusting indifference about innocent people going to prison to the rest of the people in this thread is intellectually dishonest.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:16 AM on January 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Thanks, angrycat, for at least being more forthright about what you believe to be just than many here.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard 21 minutes ago [+]


This is what's called "arguing in bad faith." It's no different than someone saying that you're defending these kids because you're actually pro-rape, and that you should be treated as someone who advocates the rape of women.

Putting words in other peoples' mouths, then saying that they're "not being forthright" when they deny your accusations, is a shit move regardless of who's doing it.
posted by verb at 10:18 AM on January 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


an injury to one is an injury to all

I fail to see how conviction for a crime you did not commit is not "an injury".

You also are assuming something you should be at great pains to prove, namely that sacrificing some innocent (i.e. did not commit the crime they stand accused of) people will "allow us to evolve".
posted by adamdschneider at 10:19 AM on January 4, 2013


Since this case is being prosecuted in juvenile court, I question that it was being covered-up, rather, authorities were operating under the usual discretion of that particular judicial system.
posted by Ardiril at 10:19 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I used to be a lawyer and argued due process claims frequently (that is, I used lack of due process as a defense). I believe in due process --- mostly.

However, as a culture (we are better than say, India, but we still have huge problems) we make it difficult to prosecute these claims because of the idea that women are a) asking for it in X way b) making it up or c) not really harmed by rape.

Using the Dr. Who standard of an injury to one is an injury to all, I believe that the factors that make rape difficult to prosecute are injurious to all of us.


I'm sorry to say so, but I don't believe you. I don't think that someone with a rigorous training in law would say such a thing. And I struggle to imagine an attorney using Dr. Who as a basis for a justice system.
posted by samofidelis at 10:23 AM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


For what its worth, I no more assume all football players are rapists than I assume all Catholic priests are rapists. None-the-less, in some places where football is a stronghold (and some places where Catholicism is a stronghold, or hockey, or comic book conventions, or any number of other male dominated institution) there is a certain despicable culture that develops. In this culture, ugly behavior is tolerated - sometimes even encouraged - because that's the way its always been or because its just boys being boys. When you're critical of the behavior, a certain number of members of that culture go ballistic and attack you for finding fault.

I can't help but think the term "rape culture" applies here. If the first instinct is to defend people who were photographed fingering an unconscious and under-aged girl (and the people doing the photographing and the posting of the photos online), perhaps one should take a step back and ask "is this really something I want to defend?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:29 AM on January 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Using the Dr. Who standard ...

I don't think this turned out to be the credibility booster you expected it to be for the "jail the innocent for all of us" plan.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:33 AM on January 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Worst case scenario: They didn't rape or facilitate rape and will be paying for the sins of the many, many, many rapes and other acts of domestic violence that are never brought to justice.

I have zero problems with the worst case scenario.


That's sickening and you should feel ashamed.
posted by Justinian at 10:37 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thankfully... or not, I guess, since it's also sickening in a different way... the photos of a couple jocks carrying around an apparently unconscious girl indicate that's not what is actually going on.
posted by Justinian at 10:38 AM on January 4, 2013


Whoah, shit, I didn't think that a pile-on would result.

a) I was a lawyer
b) I was raped and tried to prosecute and it was a horror show
c) I never said criminal penalties should accrue without due process.

I am not fucking ashamed of a single thing I wrote in this thread.

I alluded to my past in my comment to try to provide some context. To those of you who are shocked SHOCKED and calling me a liar and heaping shame upon my head, I really wish I could spock-like mind-meld and put you through what I have experienced.

Good on you all for sticking it to the man, though. Good job. Well done.

And I am sincerely fucking out.

Fuck.
posted by angrycat at 10:46 AM on January 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


scaryblackdeath: The Monday after Sandy Hook--I'm pretty sure it wasn't even 72 hours after--I threw a senior boy out of class for openly suggesting to his classmates that they murder their regular teacher.

Leaving out the "too soon!" aspect, that's probably the highest compliment a substitute teacher will ever receive.


Hey, I get "I wish you could be our regular teacher" at least three times a week. This situation is different, though. It's 5-7 senior boys constantly whining, disrupting and sabotaging a (female, if it matters) teacher in a high-level science class that they never should've signed up for in the first place. But here's where I see a similarity with the video of the punks laughing about the victim in this case: the boys continually push one another to greater extremes, and until that moment, nobody had hit them with a serious consequence. They've all got their parents on their side. I've heard them try to get her fired, compare her to Hitler, the whole deal. Even the regular teacher thanked me profusely for throwing the kid out and handling it harshly, because she said she probably would've just blown it off as more ridiculousness and kept trying to just focus on her job.

These kids know me fairly well. I'm a real person to them, and they feel like they can vent to me. I was telling them that she wasn't gonna just magically get fired at the semester because they complained, and that's when the murder suggestion came up. It was that, and my reaction, that seemed to tell the rest of them that shit had gone way too far. Half an hour later, the boy who's usually the biggest pain in the ass looked up from his work, completely unprompted, and said, "Y'know, I think we're part of the problem."

But those kids in the video? It's not that different. They don't think there's real harm, because it's just words, but they push one another to greater extremes of bad taste and insensitivity in the name of yukking it up. And if there's someone who's actually hurt in the whole mess, they don't really care, 'cause she's not an actual person to them.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:54 AM on January 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


For those interested in researching the legal aspects, start with "serious youthful offender" and "blended sentence".
posted by Ardiril at 10:55 AM on January 4, 2013


Thanks, angrycat, for at least being more forthright about what you believe to be just than many here.

You need to have this argument with angrycat, not with the rest of us. You prefer not to, apparently, presumably because you think you're the injured party here, but you aren't.

when you loudly embrace prejudice, even against people who aren't "a protected class", you're starting down a road that's not just bad for the accused, but very bad for your own thinking

If you're suggesting that I'm prejudiced against rapists and rape apologists, then you're right. I am.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:04 AM on January 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


In May of 2012, Ed Wilson a Steubenville Big Red football player and two other unknown individuals shot out the windows of 14 vehicles in Steubenville.

And ...
The Honorable Jane Hanlin is a Prosecuting Attorney for Jefferson County and the mother of Big Red football player Charlie Keenan, who is suspected of being a member of “The Rape Crew”. Jane Hanlin represented Edward “Eddie” Lulla in a civil legal matter this summer (spending a great deal of time with him). Mr. Lulla is an agent for the BCI who was sent by the State of Ohio to lend oversight to the rape investigation in Steubenville. Not surprisingly, the State of Ohio found everything to be going smoothly. In addition, “Eddie” Lulla’s son was recently chosen to join Steubenville Police Department out of a pool of three candidates. When ranked, his son was not the first candidate. It is crystal clear why Mr. Lulla was unable to find anything wrong with the current investigation (which is being conducted by SPD) into this horrible crime.

When the family of the victim went to file the charges, Jane Hanlin was present. She strongly discouraged them from filing. Hanlin frightened not only the victim, but the parents as well. Telling them that her name was going to be dragged through the mud, she will be in and out of court for well over two years, the press wouldn’t leave any of the family alone once the crime was made public. Scared out of their wits, the parents said they didn’t want that and Hanlin then said not to worry just leave it up to her and the detectives on the case.

It appears that Prosecutor Hanlin doesn’t just cover for her own son, either. In May of 2012, Ed Wilson a Steubenville Big Red football player and two other unknown individuals shot out the windows of 14 vehicles in Steubenville. Despite being arrested, and confessing to the crime – he was never sentenced or made to pay restitution. The case was handled by Jane Hanlin’s office. Prosecutor Hanlin also testified as a character witness for Branko Busick, a former SHS football player. Specific charges were armed robbery and he was charged in Morgantown, WV. Busick was essentially an “enforcer” for the team, usually employed to collect on illegal drug debts. Hanlin claimed she was testifying as a private citizen but several references were made to both her position and her husband’s in the Steubenville PD. One of the Big Red football players by the last name of Redman, whose position on the team is running back – lists his official address on his school records as the Hanlin residence. Does this player live with the Hanlins? Or is he actually an out of town student who is lying so he can play on the team?

Prosecutor Hanlin also remained on the Steubenville City School Board even after receiving notice from the Attorney General’s office this is improper. Her first husband is Charlie Keenan, former SHS principal and star athlete in his day.
Perchance, something is rotten in the state of Denmark?"
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on January 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


angrycat, I understand this is a personal issue for you. That doesn't make it okay to be perfectly cool with innocent people suffering for the crimes of others. As I said, I don't think that's what's going on in this case. But it something with which you said you had no problem.
posted by Justinian at 11:15 AM on January 4, 2013


"something is rotten in the state of Denmark?"

Welcome to small-town Appalachia. We have a distinct way of life.
posted by Ardiril at 11:15 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


angrycat's said she's out of the conversation, maybe let's just move on from that?
posted by cortex at 11:20 AM on January 4, 2013


ericb: Your quote references the victim's family reporting the crime, however like virtually everything else I have read about this case, it ignores a rather key element.

Not only is the girl from across the river and from out of state, but Weirton is the country-club and private-school community "where the rich kids live", what we would call the 1%. Much like every other aspect of life, Appalachia has its own way of dealing with class dynamics.

Further, the concept of victim-blaming is far too progressive for this part of the country to arouse much in the way of sentiment. I doubt that even the visiting judge would be much swayed by it.

To make any real difference, Anonymous will have to get those boys classified as serious youthful offenders, or better still, tried as adults.
posted by Ardiril at 11:45 AM on January 4, 2013


i'm a huge football fan, i'm not for jailing the innocent. i believe it's better go let some guilty go free to not jail innocent people. i think the guilty going free often are rich and white and the innocent being jailed are often minority males and i think that sucks. i also think rape is a crime that is filled with the guilty going free (or never being charged) and i think that sucks.

i think if you look at this giant stack of shit we do know and come out of it saying "oh, we weren't there - we can't know anything!" then we can't get on the same page. this isn't girl goes into a boy's room and they both came out with different stories - there's videos and pictures and twitter. we know some stuff here. we know enough about how the adults have acted in the aftermath to say that whether the boys are guilty or not, the adults are going above and beyond to protect them, seemingly unconcerned with their guilt or innocence. the fact that some of them are deeply entrenched in the arena where "justice" will be served should make the judicial defenders in this thread angry.
posted by nadawi at 12:00 PM on January 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


Weirton is the country-club and private-school community "where the rich kids live"

I am really going to dispute this characterization of Weirton. Maybe I just haven't seen the right part of it, but of all the many and various parts I have seen, none fit this description, and there is some money in Steubenville proper.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:03 PM on January 4, 2013


And anyone wondering where the parents are...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:12 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Weirton Madonna High School and the Williams Country Club? Ring any bells?
posted by Ardiril at 12:14 PM on January 4, 2013


There's a petition up at weareultraviolet.org.
posted by bearwife at 12:17 PM on January 4, 2013


Uh, reading that petition, it's to arrest everybody who was present but not involved. "But none of the people who took photos and made jokes instead of trying to stop the attack have been arrested." That's ... insane.
posted by kafziel at 12:20 PM on January 4, 2013


If you read the section of the localleaks called "What Really Happened That Night" against the New York Times account (which omits names and specific locations), they're very close. The NYT account also says that that confessional video surfaced a day later, which means that it could have been filmed as localleaks alleges while the victim was still on the premises.
Within a day, a family member in town shared with the girl’s parents more disturbing visuals: a photograph posted on Instagram of their daughter who looked passed out at a party and a YouTube video of a former Steubenville baseball player talking about a rape. That former player, who graduated earlier this year, also posted on Twitter, “Song of the night is definitely Rape Me by Nirvana,” and “Some people deserve to be peed on,” which was reshared on Twitter by several people, including Mays. (From NYT account)
posted by gladly at 12:23 PM on January 4, 2013


Weirton Madonna High School and the Williams Country Club? Ring any bells?

Steubenville has Catholic Central and its own country club...so I'm not really sure where the disparity is supposed to be. Weirton is, in my experience, a dirty, run-down steel town, much like parts of Steubenville itself, actually. I've never seen a "monied" area of Weirton, but in Steubenville/Wintersville you've got Brady Circle and Braybarton, somewhat, the Bryden Road area right next to the country club and then Eva Maria Estates way out on the west edge of Wintersville for your McMansions.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:39 PM on January 4, 2013


The lawyer for one of the defendants, Walter Madison, said on CNN that his client was one of the young men in the photograph, but does not appear in the video.

But the picture "is out of context," Madison said. "That young lady is not unconscious," as has been widely reported.

"A right to a fair trial for these young men has been hijacked," Madison said, adding that social media episodes such as this have become a major threat to a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial.

"It's very, very serious and fairness is essential to getting the right decision here," he said.

An attorney for the other defendant, Adam Nemann, could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday. In an interview on Thursday with Columbus, Ohio, broadcaster WBNS-10TV, Nemann raised concerns about the effect the Anonymous postings could have on potential witnesses in the case.

"This media has become so astronomically ingrained on the Internet and within that society, I am concerned witnesses might not want to come forward at this point. I would be surprised now, if there weren't witnesses now who might want to start taking the Fifth Amendment," Nemann told the station.*
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2013


I don't know what to say here, except this entire story is one large Smörgåsbord of fucked up.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:53 PM on January 4, 2013


Local Leaks Tipsters Allege Steubenville Victim Was Drugged
The latest information posted to Local Leaks, the Wikileaks-like site that has devoted itself to finding details about Steubenville's so-called "Rape Crew", is what they say is an account from the night of the alleged gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl. Local Leaks, which uses and utilizes hacks and tipsters driven to the site from the hacktivist group known as Anonymous, posted what they say is a basic picture of what happened on the night in question which they say is derived "from a number of young people in Steubenville who were witness to various parts of this horrendous crime." Their account goes on to name specific people, but since we aren't privy to those documents or tips, naming those people without verification doesn't seem fair and we've redacted the names of the boys who are not facing charges.

Here's the first section of the newly posted report:
After being convinced, with some amount of coaxing – to attend the parties that night with the “Rape Crew” by by XXX’s girlfriend XXX, Jane Doe was picked up at a volleyball team party she was attending in the early evening of August 11th and transported in a vehicle with Richmond, XXX and XXX in it. Jane Doe was administered a “date rape” drug snuck into her drink almost immediately, possibly while still in the vehicle enroute to the nights “festivities”.
... The second portion reads:
In any case, she has no memories after being picked up. The first party of the night was at the home of Assistant Coach XXXXX, where XXXXX, XXXX, XXXXX, and XXXXX were already engaged in heavy drinking and drug use. At this location Jane Doe was raped multiple times by Richmond and Mays and at least two other assailants from the “Rape Crew”. At that point the “party” went on the move. They first stopped at another Assistant Coach’s home, Coach XXXX. XXXXX didn’t like what he saw, and asked them to leave. Once again, they hit the road with an unconscious Jane Doe in tow.
[more ...]
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


If accurate, I find it mind-boggling that assistant coaches hosted parties at their houses for players and others. I suspect that most, if not all, student attendees were/are under 21 y.o. I wonder if they will be called to task for hosting illegal underage parties where alcohol (and, supposedly drugs) were available.
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anonymous, from tips from Steubenvillers, has a theory that the boys involved had an apartment which they used for parties:
#KnightSec
@KYAnonymous

4401 the athletes used to party. It was known as "the apartment". I am told this is where the rape crew honed their skills.*
posted by ericb at 1:18 PM on January 4, 2013


Since this case is being prosecuted in juvenile court, I question that it was being covered-up, rather, authorities were operating under the usual discretion of that particular judicial system.

It's sort of troubling, given the severity, that this is in juvenile court. Kids get kicked up to adult court all the time for stealing car stereos and shit.

I guess it's good to be well connected.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:21 PM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


4401 the athletes used to party. It was known as "the apartment". I am told this is where the rape crew honed their skills.

4401 Lovers Lane is on the other side of the Country Club from the Bryden Road area I referenced earlier. Not too surprising if true.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:31 PM on January 4, 2013


angrycat's account has been disabled.
posted by bakerina at 2:47 PM on January 4, 2013


I have little doubt that this went down as described; the photos, video, and tweets are too damning and this sort of tribal behavior is too natural if encouraged. And I would be very unsurprised to learn that at least one and possibly more of those 19 coaches think a little manly rape is just the thing to man up their football warriors so they'll bond and be full of game-winning testosterone on the field.

Although the rape that happened is a very big problem, I think the system that moved to silence the victim and protect the perps is an even bigger problem. The reason the NCAA burned Penn State's football program to the ground was to make a sufficiently grotesque example so that the next school that has a character like Sandusky hanging around will do something about it. Similarly, the only way this gets fixed for real is if the football program everyone is so het up to protect gets burned to the ground as an example to future classes and other schools.

Anon would not be thinking of doxxing these creeps if they were facing anything that resembled real justice. The fact that anon is out there picking fights in all their chaotic neutral glory is not IMO an overall good thing, but lately they've been right more often than a stopped clock. It's a problem that anon doesn't provide due process, but the bigger problem here is that neither have the proper authorities.

It might not be what's in the Constitution but anon does, after all, have a process by which you can avoid their wrath (and it's an improvement because it's not one they've always had). If you don't try to hide your evil under a rock anon won't be tempted to drag it into the light of day themselves. Anon provides consequences because the system that should isn't. And if they're going to be stirring shit anyway, I'd rather have them doing it that way than harassing the n00bs on Second Life.
posted by localroger at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


> "But none of the people who took photos and made jokes instead of trying to stop the attack have been arrested." That's ... insane.

Insane - which way?

Many states have Good Samaritan laws that criminalize exactly that behavior of watching a crime and doing nothing. But none of the alleged witnesses reported the alleged attack and if a crime was committed, that would make them an accessory after the fact according to Federal Law.

If the police have solid proof that a crime was committed, but aren't sure exactly who of the people there actually committed the initial crime, arresting people who they know were at the party and charging them with being an accessory after the fact is a very reasonable and perfectly legal (and ethical) tactic. If they didn't actually commit the original crime, they'll be strongly tempted to plea bargain and testify against the actual instigators - if they did commit it, then the police can easily change the charges to some variety of rape once they find the proof.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:13 PM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's only ethical if the police are convinced the other people were aware of the crime. Under the circumstances that probably isn't a very high bar and it would be an effective way to get some folks to flip, but it's a little more complex than just rounding up the usual suspects.
posted by Justinian at 4:39 PM on January 4, 2013


> That's only ethical if the police are convinced the other people were aware of the crime.

Given the information at your disposal so far including the video, what do you think as to whether this was the case?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:54 PM on January 4, 2013


I think it's probably the case, yes.

The case will almost certainly become more complicated though. As they usually do. CNN is reporting now that the defense for one of the accused has text messages from the victim where she texts "I know you didn't rape me". So that could be a problem for the cops.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on January 4, 2013


Before anyone objects, I absolutely agree a text like that is barely suggestive much less dispositive. I can think of a half dozen reasons for it which are consistent with the accused being guilty. I was just pointing out that things like the text are why cases like this tend to be a mess. For one thing, if she was unconscious she may not even have been aware of being raped until much later.
posted by Justinian at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2013


The Atlantic's blog is posting rumors that coach Saccoccia will resign Monday. He gave a statement to a TV station that was more defiant though, saying that he offered a live interview to CNN and was refused (but refused their attempt to get a taped interview.)

Meanwhile, a second OccupySteubenville rally is planned for tomorrow. And the local grocery store is sold out of eggs.
posted by msalt at 5:41 PM on January 4, 2013


I watched CNN and they said that THEY contacted the coach for an interview. He said that he would only do so with specific conditions. CNN replied that he can appear in a live, or recordered interview with no conditions beng extended. They await his response.
posted by ericb at 5:47 PM on January 4, 2013


Ohio State University Pulled Into Steubenville Rape Controversy.
posted by ericb at 5:55 PM on January 4, 2013


Why don't some boys see it as rape?
posted by ericb at 5:59 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man oh man I do not want to read the comments under that editorial.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:07 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


America’s Rape Problem: We Refuse to Admit That There Is One
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on January 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


^^^^^^

That article that homunculus posted -- it speaks the truth, and should be required reading. Globally. It's not solely an American problem.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:16 PM on January 4, 2013



You need to have this argument with angrycat, not with the rest of us. You prefer not to, apparently, presumably because you think you're the injured party here, but you aren't.

I had stepped afk as I didn't want to threadsit, and get involved a temperature-raising back and forth, not because I think I'm "an injured party" (not sure where you got that).

If you're suggesting that I'm prejudiced against rapists and rape apologists, then you're right. I am.


No, I'm suggesting that you're prejudiced against young men who play football, speak poorly, and have money (the only reason the above debates about which side of town they're from could possibly be relevant), and that prejudice is leading you and others here to bay for the blood of the quite possibly innocent. Angrycat is at least honest about wanting to see them punished regardless of their actual guilt or innocent; everyone else is pretending that a contextless video and a photo of someone who might or might not be the victim proves anything, even by the lax standards of tabloid discussion. Meanwhile you enthusiastically cheer on internet vigilantes who may well be demolishing the reputations of people guilty of nothing more than making icky jokes while drunk. Again, because you think it's not really all that important what happened, as long as its a teachable moment.

If these guys did it, I hope they get nailed to the wall for it. If the coaches, the police, or the school covered up for them, I hope the feds get involved and throw everyone involved in jail, and fine the school into closing. But I refuse to assume someone is a rapist because he plays football and is vulgar while stoned, and I'm appalled by people who love vigilantism when it suits their own prejudices.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 6:43 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


octobersurprise: “You need to have this argument with angrycat, not with the rest of us. You prefer not to, apparently, presumably because you think you're the injured party here, but you aren't.”

ThatFuzzyBastard: “I had stepped afk as I didn't want to threadsit, and get involved a temperature-raising back and forth, not because I think I'm 'an injured party' (not sure where you got that).”

Be that as it may, octobersurprise makes a good point that I think you may have missed. angrycat said she was okay with these boys being punished even if they're entirely innocent so that they may be punished by proxy for the sins of others. You responded with the claim that a whole lot of people here secretly agree with angrycat on that point.

octobersurprise was making the point, I believe, that you might be very wrong about that. I happen to agree. I actually don't believe anybody besides angrycat would say they want the innocent punished; and moreover I'm not sure even angrycat would say that outside the heat of a very tense moment contemplating a pretty shitty thing that happened here.

A lot of us are outraged about what happened; I think that's a natural human response to things like this. It's deeply unfair of you to claim that we secretly want to punish the innocent when we express our outrage. If you believe that we're working for the punishment of the innocent, quote our comments to that effect and tell us why we're wrong; don't just toss off sideways implications that what we're saying is more ominous than it appears on the surface.

I say this even as I acknowledge that calm and care is absolutely necessary in this and all criminal cases. Outrage can't motivate the outcome; justice must. Still, I think it's unfair to tell those who are upset that they're secretly lobbying for the punishment of the innocent.
posted by koeselitz at 7:07 PM on January 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


"No, I'm suggesting that you're prejudiced against young men who play football, speak poorly, and have money (the only reason the above debates about which side of town they're from could possibly be relevant), and that prejudice is leading you and others here to bay for the blood of the quite possibly innocent. Angrycat is at least honest about wanting to see them punished regardless of their actual guilt or innocent; everyone else is pretending that a contextless video and a photo of someone who might or might not be the victim proves anything, even by the lax standards of tabloid discussion."

Yes, of course prejudice is the only reason why anyone would think that these boys are likely guilty! Why, you can practically see her nodding yes as they swing her body!

But thank God these football players have you to white knight for them.

"Meanwhile you enthusiastically cheer on internet vigilantes who may well be demolishing the reputations of people guilty of nothing more than making icky jokes while drunk. Again, because you think it's not really all that important what happened, as long as its a teachable moment."

Internet vigilantes? Yeah, they're a lynching party all right. They've already strung these boys up and … wait, they haven't? They've just put more information out there? They haven't even really doxed them? And they're all folks who — whether or not they raped her — are pretty clearly involved and could be working to not be utter shits about the whole thing?

Why the fuck are you sitting around huffing hyperbole on their account? Is your desire to be a contrarian that dear? Or are you just constitutionally unable to not make excuses for men who hate women?
posted by klangklangston at 7:27 PM on January 4, 2013 [19 favorites]


Well, to be more precise, I think that people here are problematically indifferent to determining guilt or innocence, because they already "have little doubt that this went down as described." They insist they "watched a video of one of the players proudly stating what appears to be a confession to the crime" when the video is quite clearly nothing of the sort (it's a drunk/stoned kid yammering, with little to suggest that he's even talking about the crime). And yes, I think the credulity displayed has everything to do with the cultural distance the sort of people commenting at MeFi feel from the accused parties.

I'm not necessarily saying that those who are upset are secretly lobbying for the punishment of the innocent; I'm saying people here are willingly indifferent to their guilt or innocent because they're caught up in an outrage machine. And they are participating in an online destruction of real people without bothering to know whether they're doing right or wrong.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:32 PM on January 4, 2013


FuzzyBastard, I appreciate that there are a lot of links in this thread and most of them are to material that isn't enjoyable to read, but the video was mentioned in the NYT article as well as on the local leaks page. The young man who was filmed was not a football player. The video surfaced along with comments he made on twitter immediately after the assault. It's also one of the sources that local law enforcement used in their investigation.
Riegaud testified that he reviewed a video clip posted on YouTube of a conversation about the alleged assault. Those comments included a description of one of the defendants engaged in anal sex with the alleged victim.

"We reviewed that video many times to listen to the conversation that was heard in that video," said Riegaud. "Throughout it you hear statements made. There were specific comments, statements made in that, that served not to arrest, but to look into and to dive deeper into it and that helped to guide us. They weren't the only guide. They were part of it."
There's ample context around the video, however unpleasant it is to read.
posted by gladly at 8:07 PM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think people here are indifferent as to their guilt or innocence. I think people are upset about the coverup/indifference of the local authorities, and want to see a proper, in depth investigation of the alleged crime.

Personally, I view the best-case scenario here as the Feds coming in and picking everything apart with a magnifying glass and a fine-tooth comb, both so they can figure out exactly what crime occurred and who did it, and so they can figure out what crimes (if any) were committed by members of the local government in the process of covering it up.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:10 PM on January 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


TFB speaking as your first "they" I have to say that you are quite wrong about everything. If the crime were in a different venue with different players, the video, any two of the tweets, or the photo of JD's limp body being carried would be grounds to form a grand jury and the subpoena mill would be cranked up to full capacity. Any prosecutor who wasn't a tool of the high school would be licking her chops to get to the bottom of things. Because while it's not proven that a horrible crime occurred all of these things make it seem extremely likely. And bridging that gap is what grand juries are for.

The fact that the prosecutor who should be forming that grand jury up is instead helping to sweep everything under the juvenile court rug is awful and sickening. The fact that she has not removed herself from the process even though she is the mother of one of the involved and another might be "living" in her house is inexcusable. The fact that there doesn't seem to be any legal recourse past this situation for the *cough* alleged *cough* victim is $even_worse_bad_thing.

I am not indifferent to the guilt or innocence of the accused. I am filled with righteous fury at the indifference of the authorities who should be sorting it out but are obviously indifferent to the potential guilt of the accused. I say if you build a world where the prosecutors and the courts do not do their jobs, where the parents and the schoolmasters turn their backs on the the victims their charges have hurt, where football is more important than justice, then you fucking deserve for that world to have anon in it too. Because you have made it a world that needs anon. And considering where anon came from and what it really is, that is a pretty fucking horrible thing to need.
posted by localroger at 8:13 PM on January 4, 2013 [29 favorites]


when the video is quite clearly nothing of the sort (it's a drunk/stoned kid yammering, with little to suggest that he's even talking about the crime)

Oh balls, you didn't even fucking watch the video.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:23 PM on January 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Seriously, FB, I can't imagine you'd be making statements about the tweets, instagrams, and especially that video being *context free* if you'd actually taken the time to look at all of the links that have been provided.

I would not be surprised if some of the other people commenting here have also watched a lot of the context we are framing this in unfold over the last couple of weeks. There's been a shocking level of belligerence and victim blaming on twitter by people associated with the team, some of whom were likely there at the party and did nothing (other than mock the victim and make jokes at her expense) and others who heard what happened but refuse to come forward. It's sickening and grotesque.

From the case coverage Gladly linked to above, this right here is your rape culture, in case you were wondering if such a thing actually exists:

"She (the alleged victim) voluntarily got herself intoxicated," said Walter Madison, attorney for one of the teen defendants. "She voluntarily got into this vehicle. She voluntarily gave up the pass code after the allegations of these sex crimes that she could not consent to. Not once did you hear her say or any state witness today say she didn't want to do it."
The second defense attorney, Adam Nemann referred back to Witness #1's testimony. "What he said that really struck me as unusual," said Nemann, "Right at the end of his testimony, unusual in that he's the state's witness, is that he indicated that he said, 'We didn't know or think that what we were doing was wrong.'"


It's worth reading that full article in the event you haven't yet.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:38 PM on January 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


For great justice.
posted by maggieb at 8:38 PM on January 4, 2013


localroger: She did actually (finally) recuse herself, after discouraging the victim from pressing charges. But she apparently represented one of the attorneys for the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation who took over her case, in a civil matter last summer.

Also, one of the two state prosecutors who was brought in (a woman) quit and left for private practice. I'm guessing she may have not been able to stomach it; my mom (an attorney) ended her brief early criminal defense work after a rape case.
posted by msalt at 8:41 PM on January 4, 2013


Here's what I don't understand: why aren't members of the "Rape Crew" who circulated the videos and photos being prosecuted under child pornography laws? Why aren't the assistant coaches -- and according to one report, the original DA -- who hosted heavy underage drinking parties where sex crimes occurred facing charges of supplying alcohol to minors?
posted by msalt at 9:02 PM on January 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


In unexpected celebrity involvement, Traci Lords is from there and has mentioned it on twitter and is in for #occupysteubenville.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:33 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


why aren't members of the "Rape Crew" who circulated the videos and photos being prosecuted under child pornography laws?

At least one is.
posted by Mezentian at 10:52 PM on January 4, 2013


Start preparing arguments now for the possibile disclosure that the victim dropped roofies voluntarily. Rape culture will insist that it is not victim-blaming when there is no victim.

"Riding the train" has a history in that neck of the woods that stretches back to the 60s; today the kids use the cruder abbreviated 'train whore'. It also is the simplest explanation for everything from dropping the kidnapping charges through the scant initial coverage by the local and Ohio state news media to the attitudes expressed by every participant in the 12 minute video.

Ohio age of consent laws most likely are also a factor here. "...a minor 13 or older can consent to sex as long as their partner is less than 18 years old."

If this indeed is the case, then a massive media campaign to sway public opinion will have to take place. Otherwise, the only charge with a chance of sticking is the one concerning taking nude pictures of a minor.
posted by Ardiril at 7:18 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


For context, "riding the train" is fucking a bunch of guys over the course of one night. At Penn State, drinking a shot after each guy was traditional.
posted by Ardiril at 7:28 AM on January 5, 2013


Ardiril: State law still allows that the unconscious cannot give consent, no?
posted by jaduncan at 7:30 AM on January 5, 2013


Football sex charges in Steubenville prompt website
Authorities investigating rape accusations against two high school football players in eastern Ohio launched a website today intended to sort fact from fiction as interest in the case balloons.

The site sponsored by Steubenville city and police officials has the appearance of a legal briefing, with black type on a white background, providing an intentional departure from escalating emotions over the case and how it's been handled.

"This site is not designed to be a forum for how the Juvenile Court ought to rule in this matter," the site declares.

... The website provides a timeline of the case, summaries of Ohio laws that affect sex charges, online posts and reaction to them, facts about the local police force and a pledge of transparency.
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


jaduncan: I imagine that a person giving mass consent before intentionally knocking herself out is a gray area legally. In any event, it wouldn't hurt if people started giving this possible scenario some consideration.
posted by Ardiril at 10:14 AM on January 5, 2013


Yeah, I wouldn't want to touch that case law with a ten foot pole. Giving consent prior to deliberately knocking yourself out. Ugh.

If the defense gets reduced to that kind of crap, though, you know they're a bunch of scummie scumbags.
posted by Justinian at 10:29 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


...it wouldn't hurt if people started giving this possible scenario some consideration.

It wouldn't hurt if people didn't provide the rape culture with new, fun "possible scenarios" for how this gang-rape and kidnapping of an unconscious woman wasn't really a gang-rape and kidnapping of an unconscious woman.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2013 [26 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Unless I am missing some reason why that bizarre scenario is being proposed, maybe we can take it as noted and just drop it?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:41 AM on January 5, 2013


Just out of curiosity who would be the next highest up person in charge if someone were to investigate the town's mishandling of the case?

Forget about the waste of resources 19 football coaches is what about the very expensive and seemingly ineffective legal system?

Is there anything the average person on the street can do to help this family (assuming they want help?)
posted by kettleoffish at 11:11 AM on January 5, 2013


LobsterMitten: The reason is learning from past mistakes with mega-media events and acting with that knowledge.

Anonymous has captured media attention, great, but their narrative is shot through with holes, inconsistencies and contradictions, just as with the Duke rape wherein the protesters' narrative was also suspect from the beginning. With Duke, rather than doing a little research and analysis for damage control, activists instead followed their emotions, and lost an opportunity to address the plight of sex workers.

So, trash the Anonymous narrative, and reconstruct objectively. Do it yourself, so you won't be biased. Start with the Prinnie blog; it alone will correct a bunch of misconceptions. Dig deeper in Google News and find news articles from local sources during August through October. There is still a lot left on Twitter and its associated sites from those months, as well. You will find that the Steubenville victim managed to tell part of her story by proxy before the family lawyer got involved. Put those bits together and arrive at your own conclusion. Hint: when you discover her own brother's involvement, you should have enough to start reconstructing events.

I am not saying the Stebenville players are guilt-free, I don't believe they are (just as I still believe that the Duke players were also guilty of assault at the very least), however if the current narrative continues in the media unopposed and a more realistic scenario is not addressed to apply public pressure and escalate those charges to at least "serious youthful offender" status, those players will most likely get off with little more than a slap on the wrists.
posted by Ardiril at 12:17 PM on January 5, 2013


I am not finding the things you're alluding to. Is there something you regard as strong evidence that the victim deliberately roofied herself intending to be carried around town and have random guys perform sex acts on her? That seems like a farfetched suggestion to say the least.

All I see is local people saying on social media "she got drunk and knew what to expect", which is a time-honored shitty response to rape allegations.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:45 PM on January 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Do you have anything substantive to say about this supposedly objective reconstruction of events you allude to having done, Ardiril, or is this basically a "Google Ron Paul" moment?
posted by adamdschneider at 1:03 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do it yourself, so you won't be biased.

Maybe we can, what do you call it, crowd-source it. Here's the Prinnie blog, the local paper and two local tv stations.

Hint: when you discover her own brother's involvement, you should have enough to start reconstructing events.

Or, on the other hand, as long as you're dropping hints and giving search suggestions, you might could also provide some links. Because, as you've likely noticed, one person's 'possible scenario' seems to be some other people's 'bizarre,' 'far-fetched suggestion.'
posted by box at 1:15 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Speaking as a practicing sexual sadist who has done plenty of things to the person I love most in the world which would flirt with the standards of consent if taken out of context, I find the proposition that a person would deliberately take roofies completely ridiculous.

Hint: Masochists exist, but their high is feeling powerful sensations. It's kind of hard to feel powerful sensations when you're unconscious.

Also, while it is kind of a high in itself to craft those powerful sensations, the idea of sticking my dick in someone who can't even feel what I am doing creeps me right the fuck out.
posted by localroger at 2:04 PM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


localroger: She did actually (finally) recuse herself

Was this before or after anon doxxed her involvement?
posted by localroger at 2:06 PM on January 5, 2013


Hint: when you discover her own brother's involvement, you should have enough to start reconstructing events.

Please ... can you let us know what you have learned? Why so vague? Cites and links expected and welcome.
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on January 5, 2013


Sheriff Abdalla makes statement, answers question to 'Occupy Steubenville'.
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2013


"Joann Gibbs, a forensic analyst of digital media with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, said she looked at 15 cell phones and two iPads that were submitted by City Police following search warrants.

She said Apple iPhones with later generation operating systems make it impossible to recover files that are deleted. Gibbs testified she did recover two naked pictures of the victim that were part of text messages sent on [alleged rapist Trent] Mays’ cell phone."October 13 hearing.*
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on January 5, 2013


Ohio Alliance To End Sexual Violence.
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


localroger: [Did the DA recuse herself] before or after anon doxxed her involvement?

Well before, on August 28th -- about two weeks after the crime was reported by the victim, and the precise day that charges were filed against the two players. Didn't need Anonymous to reveal her involvement -- her son is a member of the football team. She should have recused herself in minute 1 on August 14th.
posted by msalt at 5:01 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ardiril: I've done tons of research, somewhat obsessively as is my nature. I see nothing about her brother and frankly it sounds you're just like blowing smoke.

As for presumption of innocence and all, according to prinniefied.com, players videotaped the actual rape, posted it to YouTube and tagged it "rape" and "drunk girl". What extenuating circumstances do you think explain that away?
posted by msalt at 5:40 PM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have to say, this is pretty good right now. The right questions are being asked. Not perfect, but doing something right.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:22 PM on January 5, 2013


Ardiril: “Hint: when you discover her own brother's involvement, you should have enough to start reconstructing events.”

It's always funny to me when people provide "hints" as though they knew precisely what happened when, in fact, none of us know anything for sure here. You're playing this like some people used to play the Kennedy assassination. Try saying what you believe and providing arguments to back it up, rather than "hinting" darkly without actually saying anything at all.
posted by koeselitz at 2:14 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The crazy thing is that there is no dispute -- none whatsoever -- that a passed out minor was sexually assaulted, photographed, and filmed. There is no dispute that many bystanders were aware of it, or that the photos and videos were distributed by the bystanders. Who exactly did it, and what precise legal lines were crossed may be up for debate, but attempts to call the basic events of the case into question are acts of willful self-deception at best.

The only dark secrets I was able to "unearth" were other members of the community accusing the girl of being a slut, saying that she did this every weekend, saying that she "should've expected" what happened, and speculating that she told her parents that she was raped as a "cover up" when news of her crazy weekend got out.

Those claims are paint-by-numbers victim blaming. They are not shocking revelations; they are what basically every rape victim who makes public accusations has to endure. The case would be notable if someone did not say those things in defense of the accused perpetrators.
posted by verb at 8:03 AM on January 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


Some years ago, Sheriff Abdalla arrested a young mother for letting her children get sunburned at the county fair--she had forgotten or neglected to apply sunscreen to their faces, and she was also poor, vulnerable, and not very bright. He threatened her with hefty fines and a potential 15-year prison sentence, and actually kept her in jail for 8 days before the bad publicity (and the refusal of the local prosecutor and hospital personnel to support his insane actions) forced him to back down.
(From a comment over at Jezebel). So apparently letting your kids get sunburned warrants jail time (my olive-skinned mom would still be doing time for all her crimes against my paleface), but this...?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:31 AM on January 6, 2013


What verb said. I also found the name and identity of the apparent victim. If it's the right girl, she's a soccer star and honor roll student at a small Catholic school in Weirton, and has nothing negative or trashy about her online before this incident occurred.

On the other hand, a friend who tweeted in her defense took all sorts of crap and online attacks for doing so. The friend reports that she does not drink at all, at least since the incident.
posted by msalt at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2013


Hint: when you discover her own brother's involvement, you should have enough to start reconstructing events.

Please ... can you let us know what you have learned? Why so vague? Cites and links expected and welcome.


Ardiril is obliquely and obnoxiously referencing claims that the victim is, in fact, not a victim at all, but a willing participant. There are Facebook posts that make the claim that she's only pressing charges because her brother found out and then told their parents.

Jesus, Ardiril, that is an ugly fucking claim. I hope you have more than a facebook post from some townie to back it up.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 11:47 AM on January 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


The crazy thing is that there is no dispute -- none whatsoever -- that a passed out minor was sexually assaulted, photographed, and filmed. There is no dispute that many bystanders were aware of it, or that the photos and videos were distributed by the bystanders. Who exactly did it, and what precise legal lines were crossed may be up for debate, but attempts to call the basic events of the case into question are acts of willful self-deception at best.

Which prompts me, after RTFA's and this thread, to ask this question: How much fucking further should I expect the goalposts to move before people begin to believe the victim? At this point the posts aren't even in the damn stadium and people are still coming up with excuses to allow the perpetrators and bystanders off the hook.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2013 [18 favorites]


theBigRedKittyPurrs: yes. I stepped away from the 'actually unconscious person can consent to group sex' thing because it made me want to burn things.
posted by jaduncan at 3:05 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why Nobody Trusts Steubenville -- "[H]ere's a look back at Steubenville's reputation, 70 years in the making."
posted by ericb at 9:36 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Steubenville Rape Case's Party Host Has His Sports Scholarship Under Review
The Steubenville rape case is rapidly broadening in blame to include more of the so-called "Rape Crew," as Kent State University is now reviewing the status of an accepted student athlete who may have hosted the party where the alleged rape took place.
posted by ericb at 9:37 AM on January 7, 2013


Lawyers To Seek New Venue For Ohio Teen Rape Trial
The attorney for one of two teenagers charged with rape in a case that has consumed a small Ohio town wants a judge to postpone and move his client's trial, he said Sunday.

Adam Nemann, the lawyer for 16-year-old defendant Trent Mays, told CNN he wants the case moved out of Steubenville because of the extensive publicity it has received "and what we perceive as threats to individuals, perhaps witnesses, and also defendants and even defense counsel."

Nemann would not elaborate on those threats but said media attention and an explosion of online postings about the case are another part of the reason he'll be filing motions for a postponement and a change of venue.

"We're concerned about safety issues at this point," he added.
posted by ericb at 9:40 AM on January 7, 2013


I think a change of venue would be great. It would get everyone away from the local legal atmosphere, which sounds rife with corruption and nepotism, to somewhere where hopefully none of the people involved are related to anyone in the court system and nobody is invested emotionally in that particular football team. Plus, less local involvement might reduce the amount of stress on the victim when giving testimony, induce additional testimony from others, and potentially reduce the consequences to the reputation of any defendants who are not guilty.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:11 AM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Michael Nodianos is no longer a student at Ohio State University

Though it's unknown whether he was expelled or left the school on his own. But VERY good news that an academic scholarship will no longer be used for such a vile POS.
posted by raztaj at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2013


Atty. for Man Says Steubenville Video "Disgusting"
An attorney for an 18-year-old man featured in a YouTube video leaked last week in which he makes fun of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly brutally raped by Steubenville football players in August said was drinking at a home earlier in the night where the girl was, and was drunk when he made the video.

But the attorney, Dennis McNammara, said on Monday the man, whom he called “Michael,” was not present at a party at a different location later in the night when the girl was raped. He said the man was arriving at the party when the girl was “being helped” out of the house.

... McNamara said the man made the detailed 12-minute rant based on second-hand knowledge he received from others at the party after he arrived.

McNamara called the video “disgusting” “disappointing, insensitive and unfortunate.”

The Columbus attorney said the man in the video and girl had never met.

He said the man was drinking in the same house as the girl, left about midnight to go to McDonald's and went to another party. When he arrived, the girl was being taken out of the house. He drank more and went to a friend’s house to make the video.

“After some sober reflection he is ashamed and embarrassed himself,” McNamara said. “He’s sorry to victims and his family. He was not raised to act in this manner.”

McNamara said the man was questioned by police Aug. 17. Other witnesses who McNamara said testified during a preliminary hearing in juvenile court told authorities his client was not in the home at the time of the rape.

McNamara said the boy’s personal and OSU email accounts and his parents email account were hacked following the leak of the video. He said the man’s parents had to get new telephone numbers because they were constantly being harassed and threatened.

“I’m not sure if any people making those threats are serious,” McNamara said. “We don’t even know if they’re in Ohio or the United States.”
posted by ericb at 1:28 PM on January 7, 2013


One of the anonymous hackers who have aired the Ohio town of Steubenville's dirty laundry, without waiting for a trial, talks exclusively to Winston Ross [of The Daily Beast].
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Though it's unknown whether he was expelled or left the school on his own.

He was wearing an OSU T-shirt on the infamous confessional video. If he wasn't formally expelled it's only because he was informally told he would be if he tried to come back for the spring semester.
posted by localroger at 4:02 PM on January 7, 2013


So we now know that the kid in the video not only didn't commit any crimes, he wasn't even there when the crime happened. The only thing he's guilty of is drunkenly saying ugly things to a friend's cell phone. And for this, he's been muscled out of school. And you're happy about that? I guess it's awesome when someone gets financially and personally punished for saying things you don't like, but now that it's established that kids can be kicked out of school for speech, expect a whole lot of outcomes you won't be so pleased with.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:43 AM on January 10, 2013


Actually, all we know is that the kid in the video says he wasn't there. Establishing whether he was is what grand juries and trials are all about, which is why circumventing those things is a bad idea.

In any event the video alone absolutely trashes every school code of conduct I've ever heard of. He certainly has a First Amendment right in this country to say whatever he wants, but OSU has a right to enforce standards of conduct among its students, and frankly I would be amazed if any university in the country would have a student who conducted such a stunt while wearing the school logo.
posted by localroger at 8:54 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"And you're happy about that? I guess it's awesome when someone gets financially and personally punished for saying things you don't like, but now that it's established that kids can be kicked out of school for speech, expect a whole lot of outcomes you won't be so pleased with."

Is he your son? That's the only excuse I can come up with for your prevaricating, dissembling defense of a pretty vile speech, where you continually move the goalposts and assume the best about him in order to assume the worst about everyone else.

Slippery slope is a fallacy, dude.
posted by klangklangston at 9:15 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Such a stunt"? You mean saying things to a cell phone? Remember, he didn't post the video on the web; that was done by Anonymous. Literally the *only* thing he did was say bad things in what he thought was private.

He didn't commit a crime. He didn't witness a crime. He said things in private, and he has been expelled for it. That's not a slippery slope, that's exactly where a slippery slope would lead.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:34 AM on January 10, 2013


klangklangston: I am not defending his speech, which was indeed pretty vile. I am attacking the decision to subject him to serious financial punishment for private speech. There's a really important difference.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:36 AM on January 10, 2013


Actually, all we know is that the kid in the video says he wasn't there.

If we're very technical, his attorney confirms that he was in the same house but that he was not present for the rape.

Remember, he didn't post the video on the web; that was done by Anonymous. Literally the *only* thing he did was say bad things in what he thought was private.

From the NYT, emphasis mine:
Within a day, a family member in town shared with the girl’s parents more disturbing visuals: a photograph posted on Instagram of their daughter who looked passed out at a party and a YouTube video of a former Steubenville baseball player talking about a rape.
Anonymous was not involved with the case within 24 hours. This young man also discussed the rape, mentioned a "dead body", and said, "Some people deserve to be peed on" in his twitter feed. He knew what was happening to the victim and appears to have found it hilarious. He knew he was being filmed and published comments about the assault himself. I can't possibly see how this is a private moment.
posted by gladly at 10:00 AM on January 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hm, that is a good point gladly. I had thought the video mentioned in the NYT article was a different one than this one, posted by Anon. Do we know if the student posted it, though, or was it posted by someone else? That has important code of conduct implications.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:12 AM on January 10, 2013


Literally the *only* thing he did was say bad things in what he thought was private.

So? He did what he did. He did it wearing OSU's logo. It was recorded. The recording is now public, which he could have easily prevented by not staging the rant in the first place, not allowing it to be recorded, or having the respect for his school not to do it while wearing their logo.

Now what's done is done, and I would imagine that very few large organizations of any sort would want to continue an association with him. How much damage do you think this has done to OSU's brand? That video will be out there essentially forever with OSU's logo on his chest as he laughs about the convenience of raping an unconscious and possibly dead person who, in point of fact, actually got raped.

You know who I feel sorry for? Well, other than the girl? Whoever is in charge of PR and recruiting at OSU. The school did the only thing they could to salvage the situation. Just about any school or corporation in the world would have done exactly the same thing. Anyone who expected any other result is a fool, most particularly the fool in the OSU shirt on the video.

Maybe a school whose logo he wasn't wearing will give him another chance.
posted by localroger at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The young man in the 12-min video is a former Steubenville baseball player. I would be shocked if there were two former Steubenville baseball players recording videos about a rape that were posted on YouTube within 24-hours of the assault in this case. Shocked actually wouldn't cover the depth of my disbelief.

While the young man may not have posted the video, he was very comfortable alluding to the assault on twitter. I assume he understood that twitter is a public site since he made sure to include #hashtags with his tweets.

He is suffering the consequences of a situation that is entirely of his own making.
posted by gladly at 10:24 AM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I am not defending his speech, which was indeed pretty vile. I am attacking the decision to subject him to serious financial punishment for private speech. There's a really important difference."

Yeah, I get that you're only bending over backwards to make sure that a kid who was in the same house as the rape doesn't face any consequences from endorsing it from the folks whose brand he was repping. Do you get why that makes your sympathy misplaced and your arguments pretty hollow?
posted by klangklangston at 10:25 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Literally the *only* thing he did was say bad things in what he thought was private.

So?


Ah, well then. If you believe it is right to punish people financially for private speech, based on what they are wearing, then we are indeed at something of an impasse.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:08 AM on January 10, 2013


We also have no reason to think he was expelled. The university just said "he's no longer a student," wording which implies he left on his own accord. As for scholarships? The school only has a few, and I think it's bizarre that you think they would continue to give the scholarship to someone who brings worldwide humiliation upon the school -- AND may well have been involved in the rape. The only evidence he wasn't is his attorney's statement. Why are you so trusting of that?
posted by msalt at 11:30 AM on January 10, 2013


Depending on the terms of the scholarship, he may also have breached a specific behaviour requirement term. If that's the case, it's just straight up contractual breach.
posted by jaduncan at 11:34 AM on January 10, 2013


If you believe it is right to punish people financially for private speech

That is not what I have said anywhere, at least since you restarted this thread. I have not passed judgement on whether it is all right at all. What I have said is that getting kicked out of OSU was inevitable, and that anyone with an ounce of common sense should know why.

This is also not private speech, which is in fact the fundamental problem as far as OSU is concerned; whether through his own fault or not (and he certainly knew the similar twitter comments were public) the speech is now very, very public and thanks to his choice of wardrobe inextricably linked to OSU's brand.

We also have no reason to think he was expelled.

If he wasn't, it was because he knew he would have been if he tried to return. There is no way any organization dependent on donations and recruiting could allow that to stand unanswered. If he's not in another shool for the Spring semester (he probably didn't have time to enroll elsewhere) you can be certain of this.

Also, while we are being picky let us remember again that we do not know that he was uninvolved in the rape; we only have his word through his lawyer, which could very well be ass-covering. We do know that he was aware of the unconscious girl and that rape was at least being discussed, and that he very obnoxiously and publicly declared that this was hilarious.
posted by localroger at 11:50 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Ah, well then. If you believe it is right to punish people financially for private speech, based on what they are wearing, then we are indeed at something of an impasse."

Well, that's as fair as characterizing you as not wanting any penalties for anything anyone says.

You're either blithely unaware of codes of conduct or choosing to ignore them, and doing so in a way that, again, makes increasingly thin excuses for someone's endorsement of rape. Why?
posted by klangklangston at 11:55 AM on January 10, 2013


Since the young man has come forward with his own attorney and is using his name in the press, I'm going to stop calling him "young man." Michael Nodianos has apparently withdrawn from OSU voluntarily. That's a very long article with long quotes from his attorney, but here's the OSU-specific information:
McNamara said Nodianos successfully completed the fall semester at Ohio State University but decided during the Christmas break to not return for the spring semester.

Nodianos was one of 68 high school students in Ohio to receive an Ohio State University Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship.

"Someone hacked the Ohio State University e-mail system. There were people making the rounds of Michael's dormitory at Ohio State. He was concerned if he continued taking classes it would have been an insurmountable distraction," remarked McNamara.

McNamara also said someone has hacked into e-mail accounts, "belonging to Michael, his parents and even his grandfather. They have had to change their cell phones. Someone has also hacked Michael's old Facebook and Twitter accounts and posted false statements."

"The Nodianos family hopes this will die down after the case is resolved and he can go back to college and return to the normal life of a college student," said McNamara.
posted by gladly at 11:57 AM on January 10, 2013


(I feel the need to say -- because this reference and one earlier keep catching my eye in Recent Activity and freaking me out -- no relation.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:22 PM on January 10, 2013


"He was concerned if he continued taking classes it would have been an insurmountable distraction," remarked McNamara.
*applies corporate to human translation algorithm*
"Because this broke over the Christmas holiday he was able to spare himself the indignity of being formally expelled in the middle of a semester. For his benefit we made sure the screen door did not impact his posterior upon his exit," McNamara would have explained if not for FERPA.
posted by localroger at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2013


"The Nodianos family hopes this will die down after the case is resolved and he can go back to college and return to the normal life of a college student,"

Some people deserve to get pissed on #whoareyou
posted by jaduncan at 1:37 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio - Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening" - video blog with references to Metafilter's own jscalzi.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:32 PM on January 10, 2013


Two D.C.-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts competitors, Matthew Maldonado, 26, and Nicholas Shultz, 21, have been arrested for viciously raping one of their female teammates on New Year's Eve. Security footage in the parking garage where the rape occurred, captured the rape on tape and provides evidence of the crime.

"My son is innocent,” said Maldonado’s mother. “I have no faith in the judicial system, I just leave it up to God.

[Link]

Can I urge those of you who are parents, especially parents of sons, to seriously fucking drill into your kid's head to never ever rape anyone? I am so tired of such unconditional support of one's precious snowflake boy, when there is so much fucking evidence to the contrary. Doesn't matter if they're drunk. Doesn't matter how they're dressed. Doesn't matter what you know, rumor or fact, about that person's sexual history. Doesn't matter if you made out with them earlier at a party. Doesn't matter if she's too drunk to say "no." Doesn't matter if she can walk. Doesn't matter if you had sex with them in the past. Nothing matters but DO NOT RAPE. If in doubt, then DON'T. Please have that conversation with your kids now, and have that conversation with them repeatedly.
posted by raztaj at 2:58 PM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Vanishing Immunity Deal Throws More Steubenville Players Back in Spotlight
posted by localroger at 11:44 AM on January 11, 2013


The New Yorker: The Lessons Of Steubenville.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on January 11, 2013


Literally the *only* thing he did was say bad things in what he thought was private.
These young men’s claims to prior anonymity have been overstated. Anonymous was not the first to reveal these names. Some had already been named by the local press in Steubenville. Others outed themselves by tweeting. Objecting to the release of personal information, like an address or a social security number, is one thing, because such acts hew closely to incitement to violence. (Just ask any abortion provider in this country about that.) It is quite another thing to claim that these young men ought to be granted a level of anonymity other alleged offenders don’t enjoy.

It was, after all, these young men themselves who were so intent on making their cruelty public. That is what makes this so disturbing. Whatever else they did or didn’t do that night last August, these young men in Steubenville were performing for each other. Everything they did, they did together, in a group. It is no accident that they photographed it and they tweeted it. It was their choice to make it public.*
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on January 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


Stand up for Steubenville rally set for Saturday.
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on January 11, 2013


From your link, ericb:
"I want to emphasize the rally is not to combat the Anonymous group or the people who have rallied against the alleged rape of a Weirton young woman last year. We are not taking sides or trying to sway any opinion about the case. But we are showing support for the youth of our community," he noted.
[...]
Steubenville School District Superintendent Mike McVey said the Steubenville High School pep band will participate at the rally.
I think the kindest thing I can say is that the school board appear to not really grasp nuance as a concept.
posted by jaduncan at 4:52 AM on January 13, 2013


Can I urge those of you who are parents, especially parents of sons, to seriously fucking drill into your kid's head to never ever rape anyone?

Honestly, I don't think there are that many people out there who wouldn't say that they have done exactly that. That's what people tend to mean when they talk about "rape culture." It's not that there are tons of people out there saying, "Welllll, I guess rape's not great, but you know, if you really want to, it's probably fine!" The problem is that a bunch of people who sincerely say, "Rape is terrible!" and "Don't rape!" also circle the wagons and protect their own, refuse to prosecute, refuse to testify, make excuses, blame victims, dismiss reasonable evidence that a crime was committed as 'stories', joke about what happened and try to rob it of its horror, and a million other things when rape actually happens.

It's a carry-over from another thread, but I'm reminded of Aaron Swartz' mature-beyond-his-years comments about sexism in the tech world: "And I should be clear, it’s not that there are just some bad people out there who are being prejudiced and offensive. Many of these people that I’m thinking of are some of my best friends in the community. It’s an institutional problem, not a personal one."

Rape is a bit different, in that it is not simply attitudes and "bad behavior," obviously. But when talking about the froth of cultural and personal attitudes that support it, I think it goes much deeper than simply "drilling into your children" that rape is bad.
posted by verb at 7:25 AM on January 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pretty sure everybody in the first world has been instructed, repeatedly and with great emphasis, that rape is an awful thing and that one should never do rape. Same as with, say, murder, or theft, or hard drug use. Some people, it doesn't stick. Bad things happen.
posted by kafziel at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2013


Bad things happen.

That's a very passive construction.

How about "Some people do bad things". There is no rape without a rapist.

In this case, as verb says, these people are doing bad things because because they have been taught that society will look the other way when they do them. Whether we're talking about Steubenville or the gang rape on the bus in India, the commonality seems to be that although lip service may be paid to "rape is bad", all of society's actions say "but it's not really that bad and you can totally get away with it."
posted by hydropsyche at 10:40 AM on January 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think that's quite it. As near as I can tell, it's more about denial. On the one hand, "That wasn't really rape" because (a million stupid excuses). And on the other "Yes, rape is a horrible monstrous execution-deserving offense. So Joey couldn't have raped her, because I know him, he's not a monster, he's a good kid, maybe drinks too much."

It isn't saying rape is OK, it's saying that it didn't happen.
posted by msalt at 12:58 PM on January 14, 2013


Is Delhi So Different From Steubenville?
posted by ericb at 1:57 PM on January 14, 2013


Why journalists are covering rapes differently in New Delhi & Steubenville.
posted by ericb at 1:58 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


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