“Ordeal for Steubenville doesn’t end with rape verdicts” – AP Headline on MSNBC
Right. An ordeal for Steubenville. Because Steubenville was raped on a fall night just last year. I should feel sorry for Steubenville because the outsider, the girl from another town, was so intoxicated she made the worst possible choices she could; decisions that changed her life forever. Poor Steubenville. It must have been quite an ordeal to blame a drunken girl for the behavior of your own residents. I’m sure it was harder on you than the victim.
We know what happened that night. It’s not up for debate. Two boys, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, were found guilty on Sunday of raping the 16 year-old victim. That verdict and even the charges themselves were due in large part to social media. Throughout the night of partying and drinking, it appears a large number of teens took pictures and videos. They sent texts and tweets and Facebook updates. There were pictures that showed the girl in various states of dress. There were videos that captured sexual contact in a car and a house. It appears the entire crime was captured for the world to see.
With all due respect, how in the hell did we get here? Have we become so devoid of morals? We feel absolutely no obligation to help someone clearly in trouble? A girl is so drunk she’s throwing up on herself and the first reaction people have is to record it? At party after party, all with an obvious lack of parental involvement, these boys treated this girl exactly as the prosecutor described. She was a “toy.”
If Steubenville finds itself in the middle of a continued “ordeal,” there should be a real conversation about why. Why are these kids running around unsupervised at all hours? Why didn’t the football coach, a mandated reporter, tell authorities that a possible rape had occurred when he heard about it? Why did fellow students and partygoers not stop what was happening? Why didn’t someone call the police or her parents? Why did her friends let her leave alone with a car full of young men?
For all of the whys there are very little answers. It only leaves me with more questions and a great deal of disgust.
The young men in question apologized to the victim after the verdict. I’m not sure I buy it. Their lawyer has already appealed the sentence. “My life is over,” Ma’lik Richmond said. Except you’ll be out in a couple of years, Ma’lik. As Henry Rollins stated in a blog posting, “It is ironic and sad that the person who is going to do a life sentence is her.”
The AP got part of it right. This verdict doesn’t end things. State attorney Mike DeWine said a grand jury will convene on April 15th to consider the possibility of charges against others. Two girls were charged today in connection with the case for making threats online. I’d feel a little better if I knew they were threatening the rapists. Who could blame them? Instead they were threatening the victim.
I guess there is a war on women. And the front line appears to be State Rd. 43.