Viewpoint: Don’t Rush to Judge on Steubenville

Our emotional response to this rape case erodes the pursuit of justice, for both the victim and the accused

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Thomas Ondrey / The Plain Dealer / The Plain Dealer

People protest at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Authorities investigating rape accusations against two high school football players in eastern Ohio launched a website Saturday as interest in the case has ballooned, an extraordinary step designed to combat the misperception "that the football team runs the city," the city manager says.

Anyone questioning the idea that brutality toward women is a cultural universal might look no further than Ohio. Echoing the protests sweeping across India in recent weeks following the rape and murder of a 23-year-old New Delhi student, the tornado of outrage in Steubenville, Ohio, over an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by two high school football players last August has swept through social media, scattering rage and snap judgments like debris over an episode of enormous gravity that now may never be fairly resolved in a court of law.

The alleged rape in Steubenville came to widespread attention through Twitter accounts and cell-phone photos publicized by the hacker group Anonymous. And while the case elicits an understandable mix of revulsion and anger, the resulting media blitzkrieg is problematic, and not just because it represents a rush to judgement. Above all, our criminal-justice system is grounded in the presumption of innocence and the guarantee of an impartial trial. This is good for defendants — and also for victims.

Our legal history is full of defendants tried in the court of public opinion and later found to be innocent. Cases such as the Central Park Five, a group of teenagers excoriated by the New York City press for a brutal gang rape in the 1980s and wrongly convicted, and the 2006 instance of three Duke University lacrosse players being falsely accused of the rape of a stripper suggest that media trial by fire can happen to people across the socioeconomic spectrum.

(MORE: Amherst Rape Scandal: What We Get Wrong About Sexual Assault on Campus)

But we need to worry about more than just the falsely accused. An equally important reason for caution is the potential harm to the victim from a public rush to judgment. Where victims’ rights are concerned, it turns out that often the best offense is a good defense. In Delhi, the alleged rapists were interrogated at length by police, without any legal representation. Following the regional bar association’s public refusal last week to represent the defendants, a melee broke out in court: one lawyer challenged his colleagues not to defend “barbarians,” and a group of female lawyers questioned the accused’s right to legal counsel. In Steubenville, lawyers for the accused are considering asking that the trial be moved, because not only have the defendants received threats, but so have the defense counsel and potential witnesses.

These kinds of emotional responses erode the transparency so essential to the pursuit of justice. Even worse, they raise the chances that a guilty defendant will one day go free on appeal on the grounds of an unfair trial. And when this sort of judicial malfeasance occurs, we subtly (but inevitably) begin to shift the focus of our concern from the victim to the perpetrator, imagining other what-if scenarios in which an innocent person might be accused. It lets us off the hook, and where sex crimes against women are involved, the underlying cultural attitudes that led to the real (or sometimes only perceived) wrongdoing in the first place — attitudes such as the hero worship of high school and college athletes in the U.S. and the widespread contempt for female children in India — continue unchallenged. This can’t possibly help anyone.

(MORE: Rape in India: A Result of Sex Selection?)

We don’t know what really happened in Ohio. Or even in India, for that matter, though we may think we do. And that’s the point. In the best of circumstances, righteous anger and social media can be galvanizing forces for change, but they can combine in a toxic brew that undermines justice for victims and defendants alike. Our episodic spasms of outrage need to be coupled with humility about the limits of our knowledge and a respect for the legal process we claim to revere.

Vigilante justice — by violent mob or Twitter feed — is no justice at all. Pictures tell a thousand words, but in the age of social media, they may sometimes tell the wrong story.

432 comments
FionaBeswick
FionaBeswick

I don't think any of the witness testimony can be trusted. The boys who spoke against the defendants, one and all, were under threat of prosecution themselves. Consider their states of mind. Very young, bewildered, surrounded by scowling and scary adults, who make it clear that if they don't testify, they'll be up there too. So the testimony better be good. They have exaggerated and even lied to please teacher so they won't be punished. If I'd been them, I'd have been scared to death. A party; too much to drink; someone goes too far...or do they? Well, parents are angry. The news is everywhere. words like 'horror' are being bandied around. Ma'lik's testimony flatly contradicted the boy in the car, the one who had conveniently deleted the pictures he took of the 'assault'. Also, that infamous photo: it was supposed to be the boys carrying the girl out of a door. If so: what door? Why are they facing each other? If you were carrying her out, one boy would be facing forward. There is another boy there, too. They are all clearly standing still. And is the boy on the right actually Trent? According to Ma'lik and also in court testimony, this oicture was a joke, taken with the girl's participation. She was so drunk one boy wanted to snap it. "Let me get a picture of this drunk bitch" he said. Not nice to say bitch, but then it seems to be used by teens a lot, including by girls.

OhTheHumanity!
OhTheHumanity!

Hi Gwenno. Don't rush to judgment about Erika's article. LOL. For better or worse the mainstream media largely repeats stories already in the public domain. There is very little investigative journalism these days. For better or worse the void is filled by bloggers and groups like Anonymous.

Gwenno
Gwenno

Hilarious how absolutely SILENT the mainstream media has been in the last week or so regarding this case....Miss Christakis, Methinks you were on to something...

cmounty
cmounty

blueskybruce must be reluctaznt to give up his Rape Crew card.

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

Gee since the "victim" was reportedly getting more and more "drunk" throughout the evening, I have to wonder how that happened? Did the rapists pour more alcohol down her gullet? also I wonder why none of those witnesses did not testify about the girl, during her more lucid moments  insisting on being taken home?...Raped INDEED!

timeman
timeman

@JoeyOrtega, There was an infamous case of a NYPD officer who attacked a suspect in this fashion and admitted his guilt:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/563441.stm

Prosecutors, who described the act as the worst case of police violence in New York's history, had asked for the maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole. They said Volpe had boasted about the attack to colleagues, waving the stick he had used and telling them that he had broken a man down.

"I hurt many people. I was - and still am - ashamed ... I am extremely sorry," Volpe said in a statement to the court that convicted him earlier this year.

Another New York police officer, Charles Schwartz, was later found guilty of taking part in the assault. Two officers were acquitted in connection with beating Mr Louima in a patrol car. A third was acquitted of covering up the attack. "

It was after intense pressure that the investigation had to arrive at the end result. After all, how does a man get his rectum damaged while in a police precient? I hope you don't ever get into a position like that and no one will hear you scream nor will you get justice unless you have a security camera running.

timeman
timeman

@erikachristakis, If you read the NY Times article, you will see where I've highlighted for you since you're obviously you don't understand the words "witnesses" and "testified." If you review the screenshots from this webpage, you can see posts by the accused and others: http://mindfuller.tumblr.com/post/40087698544/comprehensive-steubenville-teen-rape-timeline.

Where are people that actually read jumping to conclusions? There's also a story of a former footballk player by the name of Busick CONVICTED of armed robbery yet he was given 5 years of probation and the County Prosector actually was a character witness:
"Leading off as a character witness on Tuesday was Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin, whose son wrestled at Big Red with Busick. Hanlin said that this was the first time she's ever taken the stand to testify to someone's character and called Busick "one of the nicest kids ever to come out of the community."
http://mindfuller.tumblr.com/post/40087698544/comprehensive-steubenville-teen-rape-timeline

timeman
timeman

@erikachristakis...

About two hours later, the girl left the party with several Big Red football players, including Mays and Richmond, witnesses said. They stayed only briefly at a second party before leaving for their third party of the night. Two witnesses testified that the girl needed help walking. One testified that she was carried out of the house by Mays and Richmond while she was “sleeping.”

She woke up long enough to vomit in the street, a witness said, and she remained there alone for several minutes with her top off. Another witness said Mays and Richmond were holding her hair back.

Afterward, they headed to the home of one football player who has now become a witness for the prosecution. That player told the police that he was in the back seat of his Volkswagen Jetta with Mays and the girl when Mays proceeded to flash the girl’s breasts and penetrate her with his fingers, while the player videotaped it on his phone. The player, who shared the video with at least one person, testified that he videotaped Mays and the girl “because he was being stupid, not making the right choices.” He said he later deleted the recording.

The girl “was just sitting there, not really doing anything,” the player testified. “She was kind of talking, but I couldn’t make out the words that she was saying.”

timeman
timeman

@erikachristakis, continued:

The girl began dinking early on, according to an account that the police pieced together from witnesses, including two of the three Steubenville High athletes who testified in court in October. By 10 or 10:30 that night, it was clear that the dark-haired teenager was drunk because she was stumbling and slurring her words, witnesses <testified.>

Some people at the party taunted her, chanted and cheered as a Steubenville High baseball player dared bystanders to urinate on her, one witness <testified. >

continued..

timeman
timeman

@erikachristakis Your argument is a red herring. Erika, I have to call a spade a spade, and I find you extremely moronic. I find it bizarre you're actually an administrator at Harvard. To say we weren't there and somehow we shouldn't jump to conclusions is ridiculous as if in the Ohio case, witnesses haven't testified? Why not try doing research?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/sports/high-school-football-rape-case-unfolds-online-and-divides-steubenville-ohio.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

AmyLunaManderino
AmyLunaManderino

"Witch-hunt." "Rush to Judgment."  Let us not forget that these terms came about in reference to the harassment and condemnation of people's actions and opinions that DISSENTED from the dominant culture views of their time. However, these boys are displaying the behavior that has been PRIVILEGED and PROTECTED by the power structures of our time.  Shining a light on them is as noble as shining a light on the religious, racial and homophobic violence of the most notorious hate groups of history.  There is a nasty, vocal, violent sub-culture of misogyny in our society - hatred of women.  It's time we all took notice AND action.  "Shall we stop this bleeding?" - Abraham Lincoln.  Thank you, Anonymous.

OhTheHumanity!
OhTheHumanity!

Hello again to viewers directed to this article by the official Steubenville Facts website.  LocalLeaks updated its disclosure to include tweets from family members of the HS football coach Reno Saccoccia allegedly discussing college football bets to be placed at The Spot Bar in Steubenville.  The coach himself is referenced in the tweets, but remember that Coach Saccoccia "doesn't do the internet".  The LocalLeaks disclosure update also includes a list of alleged phony addresses used to qualify out-of-town football players for the Steubenville HS team.

http://localleaks.blogs.ru/

Other developments are 1) media reports that images of 2 different half naked and apparently unconscious females were retrieved (after being deleted) from one of the partygoer's phone and this was part of the court hearing in October, and 2) media reports that a 14 year old girl filed a complaint of rape at a prom party attended by Steubenville HS football players in spring 2012.  The Steubenville city police chief says the alleged rape of the 14 year old is still "under investigation".  Undeterred even though his agency is not conducting the investigation, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla announced that the 14 year old girl recanted her account and said the sex was consensual.  One must ask:  Why is Sheriff Abdalla commenting on an open investigation by the Steubenville PD?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2260990/EXCLUSIVE-Second-girl-sexually-assaulted-prom-party-attended-Ohio-high-school-footballers--just-FOURTEEN.html


JoeyOrtega
JoeyOrtega

Thank you for being one of the voices of reason and critical thought in all this. The long demanded "attention" that is being celebrated is seeming more to come at a higher price that may eventually cost the much more longer demanded truth and justice being irreparably distorted or forever lost.  

kim64
kim64

This article is appalling. Are you blind? Did you look at the video and pictures? For someone with an education and employed at Harvard...damn your dumb!!

JehanLeo
JehanLeo

I think Author forget she is a women too, way to go lady!!! 

petercoffin
petercoffin

They outed themselves. GREAT JOURNALISM.

Gwenno
Gwenno

@OhTheHumanity! Oh....Hi, "Oh".  lol  I'd say the investigative 'void' in the mainstream media is occurring because the field has been co-opted and driven by political ideology rather than the search for hard facts.

 In the case of bloggers, they (and the tool that they utilize : the Internet) are an INVALUABLE addition to this media model..  Until fairly recently, that 'model' had primarily relied on physical 'foot soldiers' pounding the pavement to provide the Press 'machine' with the majority of it's leads,  solid information and fact-checking. 

 In the 21st-Century, that process can be replaced with a Google-search and a few clicks.  It's obviously a "better" method in terms of saving time and having a broader palate of sources.   It's a far worse method  when journalists who put their name to and run the final story  dishonor their chosen profession (and the public's trust) by not taking the time to  actually vet their sources.

There's nothing to "rush" to in terms of Miss Christakis' premise, Oh.  Her entire point is made by the numerous posts about this case that were made on this thread two weeks ago (check the oldest comments and the deleted comments which were once occupied with so-called 'facts' at one point).  Since this article was published, many of the conclusions made by posters have either been shown to be flat-out false or dubious in light of emerging facts.  We know more about the case than we did in early January, and we'll know more by the end of February.

I suspect that the curious 'silence' I refer to is due to the mainstream media taking a collective breath and after doing some 'old-school' investigating, realized that the majority of the anonymous and sourceless claims from 'LocalLeaks' are complete fabrications. According to the 300 page transcript of the October probable cause hearing and the Prosecution THEMSELVES, most of their sordid internet tale is speculative, irrelevant, or false.  The only truth to this is that Jane Doe was allegedly molested in a car ride to the second party by Mays and Richmond and allegedly molested by Richmond at the third destination, with Mays having semi-nude pictures of her on his phone.  The defense is claiming that she was conscious at the time of these incidents and consented to them.  The prosecution is claiming, obviously, that she wasn't and she didn't.  The rest is smoke and mirrors.

Personally,  I think that Mays and Richmond are guilty, but it doesn't matter what I "think". What MATTERS is the evidence presented by both parties at the trial and what is determined based ON the evidence. That's the way it should be and we'll see what happens.

At the end of the day,  our Justice system is represented by a dispassionate, unbiased symbol of a woman wearing a  blindfold, not a biased, nameless zealot wearing a Guy Fawkes mask...

.....for better or worse, of course. :)

antandbee
antandbee

No one is denying that she was drunk dum dum. She was so drunk she couldn't walk or talk. That is when the assault took place. She was not in a state to give consent. It's pretty dimple. @blueskybruce 

OhTheHumanity!
OhTheHumanity!

@blueskybruce Hi blueskybruce.  Do you still have that honorary deputy badge Sheriff Abdalla gave you in the second grade?  It must have left quite an impression, or should I say dent, on your mind.  Have a nice day!

Djangette
Djangette

@OhTheHumanity!  I checked this out, but I didn't see Reno on the supposed Facebook post, just his daughter and some guy talking about bets on the Notre Dame game.  As for the 'out-of-town' players, I think I'm missing what this is supposed to be inferring.  It's not illegal for kids from out of the district to attend high school at Steubenville  during the school year and hasn't been for as long as I can remember.  They DO have to qualify (either scholastically or academically) by taking a test or some other factor, but SHS isn't a zoned high-school so I don't get why LiveLeaks is pushing this as nefarious.

timeman
timeman

@JoeyOrtega, You have to be joking. Reason and critical thought? Anyone who can use a search engine can find the NY Times article, read about the charges against the two accused Malik and Trent Mays. It doesn't help other football players' cases, when they have tweeted or made Facebook comments about the rape and specific details. You'll telling me these kids made this stuff up yet testified to authorities already? So far, no one has denied the tweets, pictures, and facebook comments are forgeries. If it wasn't for Anonymous, the coverup would of been successful. You can't have truth and justice if there's a coverup and no public attention to push for any serious investigation. Hopefully, the FBI will get involved because the local authorities for various reasons are protecting the accused and others. Rather reminiscent of Penn State huh?

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

It's feminists morons like you who don't get it.What Video? what picture?, oh the picture of two men carrying a girl? that picture the one provided by a bunch of loonies called anyonomous? Did you not notice the guy in the picture on the right is in NO WAY some HS kid he looks 40. There is ZERO evidence the girl in the photo is the so called victim. Oh and the video? with some morons relating a story about this girl being raped? or was she murdered? since the goof in the videpo insists the girl is dead, so such nonsense will NEVER be admitted as evidence since it is hearesay nonsens. Add to the fact the anyonymous morons also insist the girl was "drugged" of which there is no evidence as well. time to grow up and realize these loons have an agenda, and people like you are their useful idiots.

SueBee
SueBee

. . . .and, to respond to my own message...I'm rather speechless.  Consensual?????  Oh, my .....   

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

They outed themselves? how? oh wait you're another moron that thinks the guys in the stupid video are the same charged with the rape.

OhTheHumanity!
OhTheHumanity!

@Gwenno @OhTheHumanity! Hi again Gwenno. Thanks for the thoughtful and civil discussion about the role of bloggers and media in this story. I don't disagree with many of the points you made in reply but I'm constrained to point out (as I did in earlier posts) that Erika is confusing the standard of proof in a court of law with the standards acceptable in the court of public opinion. In the latter your opinion DOES count and you said as much. The vast majority of posters on this story are simply expressing their own opinion in much the same way many think OJ or Casey Anthony was guilty despite the jury verdicts. As the saying goes, opinions are like belly buttons . . . everybody has one. I choose not to condone the behavior of the Steubenvillains and that is my prerogative . . .not a rush to judgment.

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

Strong argument there Sparky...oh and more bad news, they just towed away your Unicorn!

OhTheHumanity!
OhTheHumanity!

@Djangette @OhTheHumanity! Hi Djangette. The posts about alleged betting mention a discussion with the ol' coach and also mention placing a bet at The Spot Bar. The alleged out of town football players are from West Virginia who used sham addresses. Are you suggesting that anybody can live in another state and still play for Steubenville HS? Or is it necessary to have residency in Jefferson County? Why would it be necessary for players to use a mail drop address in Jefferson County instead of their family addresses if everything was legit?

Djangette
Djangette

@timeman Actually, "Anonymous" didn't "uncover" anything.  Their airing of the  Nodianos tape 'blew up' the story nationally for SURE, but just because people in Reno, Nevada and you are now hearing about this case doesn't mean there was a "cover up" of any sort since August.  If anything, it's voices like Mr. Ortega, Alexandria Goddard, and the tri-state press who have done what I consider to be darn good reporting that has shone a light on the case long before the NYTimes article.

State Attorney General Mike Dewine has stated recently that his office is nearing the conclusion of their full investigation on the case (His most recent comments were on Fox News' 'Geraldo At Large' on 1/12/13), and he has said that there's nothing they've uncovered that changes the fact that any people other than Mays and Richmond will be charged....though he didn't rule out that the investigation as to what happened in the AFTERMATH of the actual evident won't continue, whatever that means. He also stated that no one has been granted immunity (though a motion entered by the defense last week begs to differ with what was stated during the October hearing and a hearing on THAT takes place on 1/25).  In regards to a sinister cover up, he has said that they have found no evidence of such.

Steubenville officials sought the aid of the FBI to aid in the case, and they been involved for over a month (in addition to recently investigating the anonymous threats to City officials and the local school) and the media reported over a week ago that the The Justice Department is now involved.  In the end, I'm confident that the facts of the case will be ferreted from the fiction and that justice for all involved will prevail.

FionaBeswick
FionaBeswick

@blueskybruce Just for information, when the boy Michael called the girl 'dead', he was referring to her reputation. She was being mocked for being so off her face and being loud, vomiting, rolling round on the floor, etc. When he says "Congratulations to the person that died" he means the girl made an mess of herself. This boy is the one who really comes over as a nasty piece of work. I wonder how his parent's divorce affected him. His mother was caught cheating with a local police officer. I think that has coloured his view of women. He must have so much hurt stored up and he is still only a boy now. 

kim64
kim64

@blueskybruce Gee Bruce, you sound like a human being without a heart who lacks empathy. Your mother must be proud.

timeman
timeman

@blueskybruce, Dude, most of the posters are men. The first article you need to read is the NY Times article. Witnesses have already testified. Hey, but don't let your political ideological inclinations get in the way of a 16 year old girl being passed out and carried to different parties and according to even the eyewitnesses that have testified of being sexually assaulted. How can you have so many students tweeting each other about a "drunken girl" being raped? The video in question (12 minutes) where one student discusses the "dead girl" and specially mentions Malik and Trent, the two accused, raping here repeatedly. He just made it all up? You're a disgrace for a man. If feminists intimidate you, you're not much of a man. Feminists and male chauvinists are two sides of the same coin. I can't imagine you having a girlfriend.

Verity
Verity

@blueskybruce

The picture you are talking about is real - so real that the guy (her recent ex-boyfriend) who instagrammed it to his friends to humiliate and denigrate her apologized for it, sort of. Here you go
http://prinniefied.com/wp/case-dismissed/

Scroll down to where it says "Statement from Cody Saltsman" ( as someone else said they outed themselves in boyish self congratulatory glee all over social media, so I'm not hiding names).

As for the "dead girl" video - you're right the star Michael Nodianos can't be charged for anything - other than not being a human being. There is no evidence that he was a witness to the alleged sexual assaults. But three off camera participants in that video, Mark Cole, Anthony Craig and Evan Westlake were allegedly witnesses to the alleged crimes and testified against the two accused at the probable cause hearings. Two of these good citizens confirmed that they videographed/photographed some of the alleged sexual abuse but later deleted the evidence. They were/ were not offered immunity in exchange for their testimony. Ohio AG Mike DeWine still isn't sure. A succinct summary of the probable cause hearing details some what happened that night according to these young men. http://www.hsconnect.com/page/content.detail/id/578936/Teen-rape-case-moves-forward.html?nav=5010

Have a good day.


RonHildebrand
RonHildebrand

@blueskybruce You mean the shot of the two men carrying the girl, all with their faces obscured? Of course you can't tell from that version of the photo. (I think the word "duh" applies somewhere about here.)  But the ORIGINAL of the photo has been verified as the victim and two students. Why are you trying so hard to accomplish whatever it is you're trying to accomplish? It seems you've jumped into the middle of a lot of discussion, without having read all the earlier comments.

 Ron H

Techjockey
Techjockey

Who's the moron?

There are people who have admitted to being a part in this crime.

What's with the misogynistic degradation of the word feminist?

There was lots of evidence that these kids put out there long BEFORE anonymous  got involved.

Holy mackrel it is sad that rape apologists still exist.

RonHildebrand
RonHildebrand

@SueBee Of course, SueBee...She obviously said, "give me some water so I can take this date-rape drug, and then you can have your way with me all night long, boys!" ("Oh, and just dump me on the lawn at home when you're done, ok?")  

One of the problems with the system in places like Steubenville is when there is shame associated with being a victim of rape, the victim doesn't always make a complaint early enough. I would guess the drug's presence could have been detected within 24 hours or so. (And if someone is stupid enough to participate in gang rape, maybe they're stupid enough to leave DNA evidence.) But as long as rape is regarded as a problem with the victim's character and not the rapist's, a case like this that should be so easy to prosecute, turns into a nightmare. 

I know it may be extremely difficult, especially in places like Steubenville, but when a case like this one is over, and if the victim feels strong enough to do so, it would help humanize the victim and dispel the shame associated with rape that some people, it seems, still work hard to preserve, if the victim and parents--and even friends of the victim--would seek publicity wherever and whenever they can. It probably takes a unique and very strong personality to be able to handle something like that, but I think it's what's needed to turn the attitudes of those still living in the dark ages.

Ron H

timeman
timeman

@blueskybruce, Don't jump to conclusions yourself there big buddy. If you did watch the video, the student in question clearly is asked what's it like..on the girl when the video begins and he responds the dead girl's vagina if as dry as... and foreplay isn't required when it's a dead girl." He or his defense attorney have claimed he didn't know the girl, didn't know where the alleged attack took place yet he goes on for 12 minutes with details about the fashion she was carried. Either he and his friends are braggarts or they were eyewitnesses. You're right no witness has claimed this current OSU student assaulted the girl. His antics is just a visceral display of what he and others including one female student have tweeted.

Gwenno
Gwenno

@OhTheHumanity! The fact of the matter is, the media has done their research and found that the majority of the garbage on LocalLeaks is simply untrue. It's been the factual reporting of journalists like Lee Stranahan and sites like The Real McCain that have exposed them as frauds and even the LA Times and The Pittsburgh Tribune have finally caught on board. Their gig was up after the Dr. Phil show and when KY Anonoymous PROUDLY  and DESPICABLY posted the probable hearing transcript with Jane Doe's name INCLUDED.  



OhTheHumanity!
OhTheHumanity!

@Djangette @OhTheHumanity!  Hi Djangette.  What you said about Steubenville's open enrollment policy sounds nice and may be true but it misses the point about alleged phony addresses to qualify out-of-state students for Big Red football.  As I understand Ohio law, a school district can accept an out-of-state student for open enrollment (with some conditions like expense reimbursement from the origin state), but that student is NOT eligible for Ohio interscholastic athletics (i.e. Big Red football) unless at least one parent lives in the school district or the student qualifies for an exception approved by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.  See the OHSAA bylaws and eligibility requirements:    http://www.ohsaa.org/eligibility/default.asp

The OHSAA eligibility requirements are similar to those in other states and have sound rationale.  To allow out-of-state students to play sports without a parent in the school district would permit high schools to recruit star players from outside their district.  There would then not be a level playing field.  There would be nationwide recruitment.  I think the LocalLeaks disclosure was intended to show that allegedly Big Red did not play by the OHSAA eligibility rules.  If true, this promotes a culture that the Big Red football program is above the law.  Sound familiar?

As for your last comment about sports betting, if indeed persons involved with Big Red football are involved in placing bets with unlicensed bookies as alleged by LocalLeaks, this again sends the wrong message they are above the law.

Much of the discussion about the Jane Doe tragedy focuses on the alleged preferential treatment given to Big Red football players.  After awhile, any preferential treatment fosters an attitude of entitlement and impunity.  Again, sound familiar?

We must agree to disagree on significant aspects of the LocalLeaks disclosure.  I do appreciate your civility, though. 


Djangette
Djangette

@OhTheHumanity! There are numerous states where kids from (k-12) can attend public schools in other districts or states (New York, especially) as long as they qualify, as I've stated, and SHS is no exception. If you check their own site, there's a pie chart showing the amount of students that attend who are from other districts.  I've never heard of there being a ban on their participation in academic or athletic programs because of this.

I grew up in the area and there were kids I lived near who went to schools in West Virginia.  Some played sports, some were 'brainiacs'...but all of the ones I knew had family friends or relatives that lived on that side of the river anyway so it wouldn't surprise me if they had dual mailing addresses.  You also have to take into account what the familial situation is in these cases.  By that I mean whether these kids are from divorced or separated parents, what their guardianship issues are and where their mail is sent. 

 In any event, now that the FBI has been involved with this case for over a month and The Justice Department recently joined the fray, one can assume that these claims have been seen and if there's any funny business involved with the mail, the Postal Inspectors will get to the bottom of it.

As to the supposed  Facebook posts on the LiveLeaks site regarding betting on a Bowl game, I still don't see the correlation between Reno Saccoccia's statement about "not doing the internet" and something his daughter said.  Frankly, I find it irrelevant to Jane Doe.  I'm sure you wouldn't think that the millions of people who bet on weekly sporting events condone and support child-rape, do you?

 

Djangette
Djangette

@timeman Hmm. Given my previous comment, I'd actually like to hear how YOU would "explain" the Daily Mail's article.

Verity
Verity

@blueskybruce No need to thank me I admit nothing. I was merely establishing the fact that the picture existed and was genuine.

It has been established that the girl in the photo is the alleged rape victim - however the photographer Cody Saltsman denies that he was at the parties where the alleged sexual violations took place. He has not been charged with any crime neither has he been censured for his post event texts comments or picture.. In social media circles he is being referred to as "the ex that stood by."

The defense attorney for one of the accused admitted on national television that one of the boys in this photo is his client.

The point I was trying to make is that the picture was real that's all. Innocence and guilt  in the case of the crime of rape - that's for the courts to decide.

In the case of the non crime of social media humiliation of the alleged rape survivor - they put it out there so they lost the rights to anonymity and they lost their rights to not being judged for their character and  their unseeming lack of compassion. 

I agree with you that a lot of what is on Anonymous' tell all site is hearsay and cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. However many of the tweets and texts describing the event and at least one video and photograph  taken that night were public, and were screen capped and downloaded before they were deleted. These pre-date  Anonymous' involvement in the case.

timeman
timeman

What do you expect him to say?

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

Verity...From the site you post..."

STATEMENT FROM CODY SALTSMAN

“I deeply regret my actions on the night of August 11, 2012. While I wasn’t at the home where the alleged assault took place, there is no doubt that I was wrong to post that picture from an >>>>earlier party<<<<< and tweet those awful comments. So thanks for admitting the garbage from "anonymous' is indeed propganda since the GIRL IN THE PHOTO IS NOT THE SO CALLED ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM.

perfectstorm
perfectstorm

@RonHildebrand @SueBee It's actually possible to detect date rape drugs via hair follicle for about 30 days post attack. You'd need to ask the local law enforcement on why they did not do this, and why they claimed that a few days was too long a delay.

DanielSchmitt
DanielSchmitt

@blueskybruce  One thing I know about Anonymous: They have the resources to do what they want to do. If they want to expose something, they will. Hardly clowns. Maybe you should do your research, son, and leave the big discussions to the adults. As for other comments by you regarding the apparent existence of other videos and pictures that were apparently deleted: Data forensics and Data recovery will determine whether they existed or not, as well. You would be amazed at how much can be recovered from a phone, especially flash media like micro SD cards that are prevalent in phones.

Djangette
Djangette

@timeman Sorry:  Ignore the word "is" after "..15 minutes straight.."

Djangette
Djangette

@timeman If you don't find it odd that the proper name of the person who's the topic of converstaion isn't spoken of for 15 minutes straight is, I don't know what to tell you. I do know that in MY entire life, I've never been in a conversation for more than a few minutes where one of us hasn't said the actual name of the person we were speaking about UNLESS we didn't know who the person was.

Nodianos' lawyer and the evidence corraborate this. In the now infamous video, he is playing an abhorrent and repellent game of riffing on Jane Doe's speculative state (which includes her privates), but it's been established that what he heard about what occurred was heresay and not direct knowledge.  According to his lawyer, he had only seen her in passing at one of the parties.

timeman
timeman

@Djangette, I don't find it odd. Did Cody Saltsman and others refer to her by her name  yet he did admit and apologized over posting her naked picture. Why did Michael Nodianos name Malik and Trent Mays as raping the dead girl? Why did he respond knowing about the state of the dead girl's vagina when he was asked about how it's like being on a girl like that? Was he bragging or was he stating he was there and also raped the girl? Why did others boys say clearly That it's rape and you can go to jail? One boy says he has a young sister and didn't appear to approve of the incident? Maybe you can tell me? Do you have a hypothesis? Maybe you can ask the authorities about this.

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

If you think that laughable, innocuous video will ever come into trail as "evidence" I have a cute bridge I can sell you for cheap in Brooklyn.

blueskybruce
blueskybruce

You have to understand the video was relased by the clowns at "Anonymous" and we already know some of it is false, specificly the photo of two men carrying a female by her arms and ankles. Clearly the man on the right is IN NO WAY A 16 YR OLD. But that's how propaganda works getting the morons all worked up ala the Duke 3 case.

Djangette
Djangette

@timeman Also, I found it odd that none of them mention her by name, and the video isn't edited.  You don't have numerous people talk about one person you know for 12 minutes straight without referring to them at least once in the first person.