Brought to national attention last month by an excellent piece in the New York Times, the unfolding rape case in Steubenville, Ohio is a mess. At first, it seemed like a straightforward instance of acquaintance rape, perhaps a little more brutal than most but sadly of the kind that happens on a daily basis in this country: Two young men, both on the Steubenville High School football team, discovered an extremely drunk 16-year-old girl at a party and allegedly carried her around with them all night as their own personal rape toy, repeatedly sexually assaulting her. The alleged rapists, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, have been charged and are awaiting trial. In the meantime, the case has grown complex, with allegations of cover-ups and corruption and hacktivist group Anonymous now getting involved. I have thoughts on the Anonymous role, but first, here's a rundown of where the story stands now.
The alleged crime: Witnesses, some also on the football team, testified at a probable cause hearing that Mays and Richmond spent most of the night of Aug. 11 standing over, directing, transporting, and otherwise controlling the blacked-out drunk victim, who they carried to three separate parties. According to the New York Times, witnesses claim that Mays and Richmond tried to coerce the victim into oral sex, exposed her naked body as a joke to other partygoers, penetrated her digitally, and exposed themselves to her. Other Steubenville students on Twitter and YouTube say they witnessed even worse violations, including urinating on the victim and anal rape, though these are not official statements. (And sadly, these students were more delighted than upset by what they allegedly saw.) While it appears that multiple students taped and photographed the alleged assault, officials claim they haven't been able to turn up much in the way of evidence, because the evidence has been deleted.
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