Thursday, March 21, 2013

A House Party...What is the Big Deal...? Steubenville Ohio AssaultT

Two Steubenville Ohio H.S. Football Players sentenced for Rape
The following synopsis was taken from Wikipedia: 
Steubenville, Ohio: In 2012, two 16-year-old members of the Steubenville High School football team were arrested and charged with raping a 16-year-old girl at a series of parties on August 11, 2012. Charges were brought on August 22, 2012. Other members of the team were allegedly present and participated, though no further charges have been brought. The incident revolves around a party where the victim allegedly passed out drunk. The defendants violated her while she was unconscious, took pictures / videos, and shared those pictures / videos on social media websites and through text messages. The case drew international attention as speculation grew that police allegedly covered up the incident to protect the football players. Text messages revealed that the football coach, Reno Saccoccia, may have been covering for Mays and Richmond. The prosecution revealed texts from Mays that stated that the football coach "was joking about it so I'm really not worried", and that he had gotten Saccoccia to, "take care of it".] A text Mays sent to the victim claims, “I’m going to get in trouble for something I should be getting thanked for taking care of you.” 
     The trial began March 13, 2013. Visiting Judge Thomas Lipp opened the trial to the media. On March 17, 2013, Mays and Richmond were found delinquent, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, of rape. Mays was found guilty of dissemination of child pornography, as he took nude photos of a minor on his phone and then texted the photos to his friends. This charge earned him a minimum sentence of two years. Richmond, who was found guilty of rape only, was given a minimum sentence of one year. The defendants could be released after serving the minimum sentence.
Here are some video links that add additional information to the story and were used in the class discussion: 

Final Comment: Remember this incident started with a simple illegal "house party" and ended in a national scandal where two students are in juvenile detention for sexual assault of a minor with other crimes being investigated for "bystanders" and adults who knew something wrong happened but did not do the morally right & ethical things in response to this abuse of a minor. 
  • Social Media magnified the incident and was used as a platform for others to bully the girl who was victimized at the party, only to be continually re-victimized via social media. 

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