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 Crys

BILLSFAN, you sure DID blame the victim by pointing out how drunk and incoherent she was and implying she didn't respect herself. Hey Hawking, read the news a little, those boys DRUGGED her and then took her around, raping her. She did nothing to ask for it. And you're not just disgusting, your part of the problem. Fool.

nonmember avatar kaerae

Wow, Keeley, I think you just told us all we needed to know about the good people of Steubenville. It does not happen everyday that the DA's son is part of a group accused of rape and it gets swept under the rug. That's why people are in your crazy town. Every case should be "run with," but normally the system is not as corrupt on every level as it is in this case.

bills... billsfan1104

I have read a couple of articles, and I didnt see where she was drugged.  Can someonne confirm this???

nonmember avatar Six6Sicks

Are you serious Keeley? Which information is incorrect? Is it the photo showing a lifeless girl being carried around to parties? Is it the numerous tweets in reference to a young girl being raped, or wait, maybe it's the VIDEO where Michael Nodianos LOUD AND CLEARLY ADMITS that Malik and Trent, "raped her"? The fact that you took the time to AGAIN try and sweep this under the rug, claiming false information, just shows how corrupt the little town of Stoogesville really is. You are pathetic, and so is every single heartless soul who is involved.

as for you billsfan.......... I can't even put into words my level of disgust for you.

nonmember avatar Crys

Oh sorry KEELEY if this ruining your day there in Rapeville. Because we should all be focusing on WHY STEUBENVILLE and not WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? News flash, America doesn't care if this is disrupting your pranayama. We care that this depraved act not only took place in your town but it was also celebrated and covered up. Why this case? Because its a pinnacle example of the evil that men do. And because this needs to stop. Welcome to the limelight.

nonmember avatar Danielle

Depending on if this hurts the case or not I think it's a good thing and stories need to be exposed like this. It always has been that athletes get special treatment if they are good. The more we expose the less it will start to happen. Also, I have read many reports that she wasn't drunk but they slipped he the "date rape" drug. Of course we a,, don't know the facts yet but that's what's being reported.

bills... billsfan1104

Nowhere has it said she was drugged, the town prosecuter and some other recused themselves because they have ties to the football program(not because of a cover up), it was a booster supporter not the Prosecuter that said "she wont be traumatied because she doesnt remember".

PLease someone provide a link that said proves that she was drugged.  Too many of you are running on emotion and not reading anything.

nonmember avatar Crys

BILLSFAN, look up "local leaks Steubenville". But again, even if she was drunk out of her mind, she didn't deserve this. Finding out she was drugged doesnt suddenly make it understandable. It just makes it sicker.

bills... billsfan1104

Right now it is nothing but a witchhunt.  Noone knows the truth and are throwing around accusations as if they are truth. 

nonmember avatar Crys

BILLSFAN, you're ridiculous. Thanks for your highly valuable and completely incorrect comments + blaming the gang rape of a young woman. You showed your as* here today.

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