You surely have heard about the rape case in Steubenville, or is it Stupidville, Ohio? That’s what my granddaughter thought was the name of the city. A large number of teenagers were having a party and at some time that evening a sixteen year old girl was raped. Many of the details have been reported but a number of facts have been left out.
This is what we know. The victim, a sixteen year old, got blind drunk and was stripped of her clothing and raped by two boys, both star football players on their high school team, one also sixteen and one seventeen. The two boys were subsequently arrested, tried, and convicted. Both will serve time in juvenile detention.
This is also what we know from the reporting. The victim found out what had happened to her by viewing the incident on social media. You see, several youngsters at the party recorded the event with their cell phone cameras and posted it online. The perpetrators themselves posted pictures of the little sixteen year old, stripped naked, on social media sites. I guess they all thought it was funny. All, that is, except the victim.
I am pleased to say that the perps have been convicted and will serve time; one got one year and the other got two years in detention. They cried at the sentencing, not for the victim, but for themselves, saying their lives were over. Of course their lives are not over, but they will substantially change.
I have a few more questions which have not as yet been answered. Like, whose house was used for this party? What parents allowed a bunch of teenagers use of their house to have a drunken party? And have arrest warrants been issued for them yet? Secondly, who bought the booze for this party? Apparently there was a lot of liquor and beer available for these kids. Isn’t that against the law? Has anybody been arrested yet? Another question I have is have any of the witnesses been charged for their failure to report a crime? I have also learned that many of the teens lied to police about the incident. That too is a felony. Posting child nudity online is another felony. One of the rapists got extra time for doing that but he was not the only poster. Many of the people who attended the party took pictures and posted them online. I guess, again, they thought it was funny. There were doubtless many other adults who knew of this incident and kept quiet. Perhaps coaches and teachers?
With all that we don’t know about this crime, there is much we know. We know there is good reason why kids should not be allowed to drink alcohol. The little victim was stupid for putting herself in the position she did, but her crime of stupidity didn’t warrant the punishment she received. We know there are yet a number of people who should face criminal charges for their participation in these crimes and there were many crimes committed. Ohio’s Attorney General has announced that more indictments are forthcoming. I hope that is true.
I am very sorry for this little girl and for what she has endured, but I am also sorry for our society that such crimes could happen. It saddens me to know that so many young people could and would participate in such an incident and then try to keep it quiet. It is long past the time for the heavy hand of the law to strike. Punishment is in order. Lessons need to be learned. Steubenville, as well as the rest of us, needs those lessons.
Ron Scarbro March 27, 2013