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 Darly314

the Rape Crew Gang has received an AOK, no more arrests. The Jefferson County SO website remains DOWN. Gang violence is AOK in Jefferson County, Ohio it appears; NO MORE ARRESTS.

nonmember avatar lonnbon

@billsfan1104 there was some evidence that the girl was probably roofied early on. meaning she never got a chane to get 'sloppy drunk'. all it tskes is one roofied drink to do you in. her parents don't have to talk to her about shit except to tell her she's still precious, still beautiful, still worth life, AND THAT IT WAS NOT HER FAULT.

nonmember avatar H

The fact that these backwater idiots are now blaming the victim and her family for the negative attention they are receiving only proves the point. Every person in that town needs to take a long hard look at how they are raising their kids because right now the rest of the world sees, and is pretty disgusted.

bills... billsfan1104

MEH, again you cannot read, and you have read way too much into what I said.  My girls are wonderful girls.  I have taught them to respect themselves and not to get into situations, where they are too drunk to get home or blackout.  Because I have taught them, that that is when men can tke advantage of them and rape them.  SO how do you get that I taught them that rape is only about sex???  I know and they know that they can be raped stone cold sober. 

nonmember avatar wow

I have never commented on this site before but I can't let this go.

billsfan, as long as you say "She should not have been that drunk", you are blaming her. Whether she was so drunk she was unconscious, stone cold sober, naked, whatever, IT DOESN'T MATTER! She has the right to make mistakes, bad decisions, and not be gang raped.

I was raped by a close "friend" on a night that I was way too drunk. Should I have been? According to you, probably not, but I was over 21 and in a home where I felt safe. When I finally got the courage to tell someone (my therapist) she said I should have known that drinking has consequences and I should apologize to my RAPIST for not being in control of myself. I was devestated and it took much, much longer for me to be able to move on with my life because I blamed myself for a very long time. Fortunately, I was able to find some caring, loving support and I realize that I have the right to be safe and have a drink (or more) without fear of rape.

I don't drink anymore because of that night and because of the thoughtless words of a therapist who should have known better. My feeling is that this girl will have serious second thoughts about drinking in the future, but she is 16 years old. She made a mistake but should never have had to face the consequences for that mistake that she did.

nonmember avatar Eye Roll

You can say you are not blaming the victim or her parents as many times as you want, that does not make it true. If you would pull your head out, you could peruse the 9,000 other media outlets to learn that the stir got it right and the justice system did not do it's job. Why do you bother with a site that is so biased and inccurate?

nonmember avatar Truth Teller

First of all, they slipped her something, she was not black out drunk. Second, stop going out of your way to prove what a fool you are. The problem of rape has NOTHING to do with what you have or have not taught your daughters. It has to do with the way we teach our sons. None of this would have happened if even ONE of those guy's parents would have taught them how to treat women and if one of them held the girls in their town in higher regard then they do the football program.

nonmember avatar Byrd

@Billsfan "I have taught them to respect themselves and not to get into situations, where they are too drunk to get home or blackout" SHE WAS DRUGGED!!!! This was a set up they did this to her on PURPOSE! Google Prinniefied she has a website with all the facts

nonmember avatar Matthew Pa

Billsfan, though I think there seems to be something very rotten with the city of Steubenville, I have to agree with a lot of what you're saying. We can't rush to judgement.

At the same time, especially with this city, we can't discount the idea that these 2 took the blame for many on the team in exchange for this serious charge to be moved to juvenile court. The fact that the prosecutor has strong ties to the two accused, the football team, and her son was apart of this group of friends that were accused in another April incident is troubling, to say the least.

nonmember avatar Darly314

AA LIST of CLUES; forget teaching VICTIMS not to BE victims, focus on the adilt gang members walking free. JSO is terrified of these punks: Admits to hanging out with gang members
• Shows an unusual interest in one or two particular
colors of clothing or a particular logo
• Has an unusual interest in gangster-influenced
music, videos, DVDs, or Web sites
• Uses unusual hand signals to communicate with
• Has specific drawings or gang symbols on school
books, clothing, walls, or tattoos
• Comes home with unexplained physical injuries
(fighting-related bruises, injuries to hand/knuckles)
• Has unexplained cash or goods, such as clothing
or jewelry
• Carries a weapon
• Has been in trouble with the police
• Exhibits negative changes in behavior, such as:
—Withdrawing from the family
—Declining school attendance, performance,
and behavior
—Staying out late without reason
—Displaying an unusual desire for secrecy
—Exhibiting signs of drug use
—Breaking rules consistently
—Speaking in gang-style slang

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