My son and daughter-in-law live in Steubenville, Ohio. I have been to visit them once. It sits on the Ohio river directly across from the sliver of West Virginia that runs up north alongside Pennsylvania.
It's a dying industrial city like so many across the midwest. Football is huge in Ohio and in towns and cities like this the local high school team is often THE BIG THING. The story below could be straight out of the movies. Unfortunately it is straight out of real lives. This one made the New York Times.
By sunrise, though, some people in and around Steubenville had gotten word that the night of fun on Aug. 11 might have taken a grim turn, and that members of the Steubenville High football team might have been involved. Twitter posts, videos and photographs circulated by some who attended the nightlong set of parties suggested that an unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted over several hours while others watched. She even might have been urinated on.
Ugly, ugly stuff.
In one photograph posted on Instagram by a Steubenville High football player, the girl, who was from across the Ohio River in Weirton, W.Va., is shown looking unresponsive as two boys carry her by her wrists and ankles. Twitter users wrote the words “rape” and “drunk girl” in their posts.And as is often the case in rape cases particularly under these circumstances in a small town...
Rumors of a possible crime spread, and people, often with little reliable information, quickly took sides. Some residents and others on social media blamed the girl, saying she put the football team in a bad light and put herself in a position to be violated. Others supported the girl, saying she was a victim of what they believed was a hero-worshiping culture built around football players who think they can do no wrong.
The city’s police chief begged for witnesses to come forward, but received little response. In time, the county prosecutor and the judge in charge of handling crimes by juveniles recused themselves from the case because they had ties to the football team.Probably due to the NYT coverage, or perhaps it is local hackers using the name of Anonymous, has gotten Anonymous involved and now "Occupy" as well...
A group calling itself Anonymous, a hacker collective, and KnightSec posted a note and a video on the Web page of the Steubenville High School Big Red football team, a program in the Ohio Valley known for its dominance. The note stated that the city of Steubenville was protecting its beloved team by charging only two of its players with the rape of a girl “when everyone present was guilty.”And now a second girl has come forward saying she was raped several months ago but was afraid to tell anyone until now.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla says a mother and her 14-year-old daughter reported the rape Monday, but the crime allegedly happened in April.Protests are now occuring in Steubenville as many residents are uphappy with the handling of the case and the preceived protection of the beloved football team.
The girl's mother told authorities she had just found out about the rape on Sunday, five months after it happened because her daughter was afraid to tell anyone. Abdalla says it was reported the girl was allegedly raped by three people.
I am told more protests are planned. How this will all play out in the end is hard to say but the fact is that this sort of thing happens all too often sometimes with deadly consequences as we read recently in India but not just there but here in our home towns too. There are pictures floating around facebook of young Indian girls holding sign saying "Don't tell your daughters what to wear... tell your sons how to behave." In America there are talks given to incoming freshmen women at colleges on how not to get raped. Doesn't it make sense to instead teach the boys how to treat young women respectfully?