Steubenville, Ohio Is the Most Hated Town in America Thanks to Online Hackers

Rant 204

Steubenville rapeSteubenville, Ohio isn't the first place one might think of when they think of a rape scandal. It's a small steel town on the Ohio River where the football team is one of the few glories the town still has left. Now, it isn't steel or football that is making the town famous. It's a rape scandal.

On Saturday, throngs of protesters in Guy Fawkes masks descended on the town, fighting what they say was the unconscionable treatment of an alleged rape victim and her family. The case was made public, first by The New York Times and then by KnightSec, a hacker group that specifically targets rapists and some say harassed officials in Steubenville. They released a (disgusting, disturbing) YouTube video showing a Steubenville baseball player laughing about rape and an assault that allegedly happened last August.

Thanks to social media, the case has now blown up and Steubenville is being accused of aborting justice in the name of football. But is that a fair accusation?

The facts are: High school sophomore football players are accused of molesting a very drunk, nearly unconscious 16-year-old girl and using their cellphones to record it all.

The girl's family claims they have been harassed, intimidated, and threatened by citizens of the town who feel she wasn't sufficiently traumatized to call it "rape." Even from the news pieces, it's clear that many in the town are angry with the girl and not with the players. The Daily Beast quotes one resident saying:

F*ck that protest. F*ck those people with their masks on. And you can quote me on that.

It's easy to understand why he might be angry. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of people who never even heard of Steubenville a few weeks ago are furious and calling for blood. A hacker group like KnightSec fuels online vigilantism, which can be a very bad thing when the accused have yet to even face a full trial and jury.

It all makes sense. But the reality of the situation is that these boys could have been unpunished and this girl would have been vilified for life had KnightSec not stepped in. Social media is bringing a whole other level of accountability to people. Remember Karen Klein, the bullied bus monitor from last June? Without social media and viral video, no one would have ever known what that poor woman faced at the hands of those kid.

It's a tough dilemma. No one wants to see innocent people go down. But we also live in a society where things like rape can go unpunished given certain circumstances. How is that fair?

If social media encourages more civility in real life, then what is wrong with that? If these boys are found guilty and get locked up, then KnightSec will be the reason.

We'd like to think our justice system is infallible and that guilty people are always punished. But we could all name 100 stories where that isn't true. Steubenville may hate the media spotlight, but the unwillingness to apologize and the continued harassment of a young, scared 16-year-old girl proves they lose their say in what happens a long time ago.

Hacker groups may be ugly. They may go against some of our ideals. But they get the job done. And here, they may make all the difference.

Do you think hacker groups should be exposing things like this?


Image via Ohio Office of Redevelopment/Flickr

crime, cyberbullying


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nonmember avatar lisa11

BILLFAN The problem is, the police and District Attorney (Jane Hanlin, who is Charlie Keenan's mother and at whose house some of the events are alleged to have occurred) have already said that they have completed their investigation and no more people will be charged, so quit telling people to let them do their jobs, they have, and they failed. Not just failed, cheated, lied, intimidated, and covered up. This happened in the summer, they had their chance, now it's time for the truth.

Gypsy... Gypsyqueen4life

BILL'S FAN, I'm not sure what your issue is or why you would make it seem that it's HER fault or her parents. If you want to go there, don't you think it would be a good thing for maybe the boys' parents to teach their children that rape is WRONG!! No matter what! What kind of parents must they be?? To not watch their children & make sure that they don't take advantage of someone who is incapacitated in any way?? You're statements about her & her parents is truly judgmental & one sided. While it may not be appropriate for a teenage girl to be that wasted, it happens. For as long as I can remember, even in my parents time, teenagers party & get drunk. I am not saying that I condone that, I'm saying that it does happen. This however is not a justifiable reason for anyone to be raped or violated in any way. The bottom line is this , most parents raise their children to the best of their ability. However, you have to raise them & instill morals & a sense of right & wrong & hope that it sinks in. Kids, especially teenagers will make mistakes, sometimes have poor judgement but RAPE should not be looked at as such EVER!tsk tsk

bills... billsfan1104

Gypsy, please read again.  I did not blame the parents, nor the girl. 

quinn007 quinn007

Billsfan, the difference here from Duke is that there is concrete physical evidence of the sexual assault.  In addition, even though this happened almost a year ago, not all of the persons who were involved have been arrested despite the evidence against them.  The coverup from the prosecutor & sheriff down to the school officials is exactly why boys in today's world video themselves laughing about a young lady being raped in the next room.  And any time you put but after the sentence "she didn't deserve this" you are wading into victim blaming. 

nonmember avatar Megz

I believe the girls ex-boyfriend drugged her. "After being convinced, with some amount of coaxing -- to attend the parties that night with the "Rape Crew" by [X]'s girlfriend [X], Jane Doe was picked up at a volley ball team party she was attending in the early evening of August 11th and transported in a vehicle with Richmond, Mays and [X] in it. Jane Doe was administered a "date rape" drug snuck into her drink almost immediately, possibly while still in the vehicle en route to the nights "festivities". In any case, she has no memories after being picked up. "

bills... billsfan1104

quinn, again I am not blaming the victim.  I have to say "she didnt deserve this", because people are too stupid on this site to actually read.  They read one or two sentances and then get their thongs in a twist and start attacking.  When do we start talking about teaching our girls and boys not to get themeselves into these situations without screaming "stop blaming the victim". When are we going to start being truthful??  Its because we are so hung up on "she can be naked and she shouldnt be raped", and we cannot even discuss that maybe just maybe she shouldnt be naked or sloppy fucking drunk. 

bills... billsfan1104

quinn, and also I have to get more information on this.  Because you know as well as I do, that the bloggers on this site, dont give all the information, use biased sites, and give their opinions without facts.  So unfortunetly, I have to look into this more to form more of an opinion.  That is why I am sying just wait and let people do their job, because we start screaming for peoples heads.

nonmember avatar MEH

"Can they wait for the police and so forth to do their investigation???" They're done investigating. They have said this themselves. Even their "facts" site ignores a lot of the information KnightSec made public.

"And on another point, this is why I teach and have taught my girls, not to get into situations like this. Do not get so sloppy ass drunk you pass out or dont know what you are doing, keep drinks with you, dress appropriatly and respect yourself. I am not saying that she deserved it or it should of happened, but if we do not teach our girls AND our boys RESPECT, these things are going to keep happening over and over again."

I feel sorry for your girls. You have taught them to go through life thinking rape is about sex instead of power. They think they are safe as long as they dress appropriately and don't drink. Because every rape victim on the planet was a "sloppy, drunken" whore. Like the woman in India right?

By the way, have you ever heard of the date rape drug? You should look it up. Not that it will matter, you only see the information that supports what you feel like spouting out.

nonmember avatar finnja

@billsfan: the allegations might by now be proven facts, if the police and prosecution had done their jobs - test for roofies in her blood, aggressively pursue the truth by threatening everyone present with charges for being an accessory or failing to report a crime, swift collection and analysis of cell phones and computers, accountsthat also retrieves deleted info. Well, they didn't. Who puts up the slack, if not anonymous. And for the 'dressin decently, not getting drunk' comment. Those football players were and are at high risk of getting raped sooner or later. Hanging around at parties runk, drugged and in shorts, they're basically askung for it. /sarc

nonmember avatar Rebecca

PS: she wasn't drunk. She had one drugged drink, which is why they referred to her as "dead" which is a euphamism for being drugged and unconcious.

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