Teen Who Filmed Her Friend's Assault Is Just as Guilty as the Man Who Raped Her

Using periscope

Back in late February, Marina Lonina allegedly watched and recorded via Periscope (an app that allows you to live-stream videos to your followers) as her 17-year-old friend was raped by Raymond Gates, who is 29. The two girls had only met Gates the previous day at a mall before arranging to meet him at a local residence. Fortunately, one of Lonina's friends reported the live stream after it appeared on her feed. If convicted with kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, and pandering sexual matter involving a minor, both parties -- Lonina and Gates -- face more than four decades behind bars. People are somehow trying to make 18-year-old Lonina out to be a victim in this ordeal -- sorry, but that's just not the case. 


Lonina's attorney sadly attempted to remind the court not to "lose track of the fact that she's a high school student and she and her friend were clearly taken advantage of." But, I only see one young woman who was taken advantage of and exploited -- I only see one victim. 

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Her attorney continued to paint this ridiculous picture, claiming, "She was swept up by the gravity of the situation and as she immediately told the police, she was filming in order to preserve, not to embarrass or to shame or to titillate anybody." The opposing attorney, trying to make sense of the teen's logic (or lack thereof), countered that this teen "got caught up in the likes" in the midst of her gathering video evidence and things took a "dark turn."

However, I have a difficult time believing that there were no ill intentions behind her alleged actions. If Lonina had access to her phone, there were many actions she could've taken that absolutely didn't include recording the tragedy -- like perhaps texting someone an address or for help in general.

And, even if I wanted to believe that her intent was heartfelt, the opposing attorney describes Lonina giggling while streaming the video.

I find that the problem with our society is that we attempt to place too much blame on technology, instead of forcing people to take ownership for their actions. Personally, I believe these types of people are lacking in humanity or common sense prior to the never-ending technological advancements; however, these advancements now provides a platform for these frightening flaws -- and maybe even an incentive. 

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The only thing clear to me is that this young woman is every bit as sick and guilty as Gates. So, even if she doesn't see 40 years behind bars (which she should), I absolutely believe that she should be registered as a sex offender upon her release, if nothing else, because that's precisely what she is. 

I believe that the actual victim deserves justice and, as far as her "friend" goes, that's what it looks like.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, you can find help and support at the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 800 656 HOPE (4673) or Safe Horizon Crime Victims Hotline 1 866 689 HELP (4357).

Image via Stock.com/hocus-focus

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