Rape: the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
It is the year 2012 and yet there are people who still believe rape is imaginary; to them, a rape victim is just a girl who changed her mind after consenting to have sex. To them, drugging and gang raping a sixteen year old girl is not a crime. To them, taking pictures of a rape victim’s unconscious body and posting it online is not immoral. To them, they can do no wrong because they play on the high school football team; after all the football team has won three state titles in Ohio since 2006. To them the whole town of Steubenville has their backs and will protect them, even when the rape victim is possibly dead, deader than “Oj’s wife” and “Caylee Anthony.”
On August 11, 2012, the 16 year-old rape victim was attending a Big Red High School volleyball game when her friend asked her to attend a party with her and her boyfriend’s friends. The victim agreed and was picked up by Mark Cole, Ma’lik Richmond, and Trent Mays. Getting into the car was the last thing the victim remembers – she does not remember how one of the boys slipped a date-rape drug into her drink. She only remembers her parents waking up her up on her front lawn the next morning. She does not remember being raped by multiple boys; she only realized it happened when she saw the Twitter statues and pictures of her unconscious body being carried around town online.
She does not remember attending Party #1, which was hosted by Football Assistant Coach Rick Cameletti and was where Michael Nodianos, Charlie Keenan, Cody Saltsman, and Anthony Craig were already drinking. She does not remember how after attending Party #2 (hosted by Football Assistant Coach Belederine) she was raped and sodomized by Mays and Richmond in the backseat of the car while Cole filmed it. She does not remember how at Party #3 at Cole’s house, she was carried to the basement and raped by multiple boys. She does not remember lying in the front lawn of a house while a boy urinated on her. She does not remember when the group grew tired of her and dropped her body on her front lawn.
Two days after waking up from this nightmare, she and her parents reported the crime to the police. On August 27, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were charged as adults with raping and kidnapping, though the charges were reduced to juvenile court and kidnapping was dropped. The story was supposed to be over; the pictures were deleted and out of all of the boys that knew about the rape and even possibly raped her, only two of them were going to be charged… and though rape is a “big boy” crime, they were going to be charged as children. But then former Steubenville native and current blogger Alexandira Goddard began blogging about how the town was covering up a huge crime. She had taken pictures of all of the statues and pictures the Rape Crew had posted, proving that the fact that only two members were charged meant something was wrong. For blogging about the cover-up she received a law suit from one of the member’s families.
On December 23, 2012, a group of members from Anonymous called Knight Sec took up the case. Due to their hacking ability, they were able to uncover all of the statues, pictures, and videos that were deleted by the Rape Crew. It was they who learned that fellow high school students called several football players the Rape Crew because they were rumored to have raped several times before. Knight Sec posted a video stating that if the Rape Crew did not apologize to the victim, it would release evidence of them participating in that horrible crime. After the due date of January 1, 2013 passed, Knight Sec posted a 12 minute video of the Rape Crew describing the victim being raped, causing the world to focus on the small Ohio town. Another group known as LocalLeaks created a webpage on why the town was covering the football players, one reason being the football team generated revenue for the town and is the focus of illegal gambling at local sport bars. Now Steubenville police department is under fire for mishandling the case. They apparently failed to take a toxicology test on the victim because they told her the drug would be out of her system by now, though there are types of date rape drugs that can stay in the body for at least 72 hours and possibly more. They are accused of failing to arrest more of the Rape Crew members, even though there is proof that they all witnessed the rape and failed to report it to police, thus covering up a crime. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, who has refused to take over the case because it is not in his jurisdiction, states “It’s a disgusting video. It’s stupidity. But you can’t arrest somebody for being stupid.” LocalLeaks has confirmed that Sheriff Abdalla and Big Red High School Football Coach Reno Saccoccia have had breakfast together several times, just one example of conflict of interest. LocalLeaks also claims that Coach Saccoccia told the players to delete everything off their phones, an example of a great role model for the children.
Mays and Richmond are the only ones being charged for rape though evidence recovered by Knight Sec suggest otherwise. In the 12 minute video that was posted on YouTube, Michael Nodianos (former Big Red baseball player) describes how the victim was raped and urinated on. When one member asks why the girl isn’t waking up, it is he who suggests that she is probably dead, “You know she’s dead because someone peed on her.” He says if he had a daughter that was raped, he hoped she would be dead too. The one recording this horrible conversation was Evan Westlake at Jake Howarth’s house. The fact that several boys are joking about how the victim, who is in another room because one boy goes to check on her, may be dead and are not calling 911 shows that these monsters are covering up a crime and are all guilty of helping their friends get away with rape. The other boys in the video are Shawn McGee, Niko Murray, and Anthony Craig; Murray and McGee leave after being disturbed by Nodianos’ comments. Though they may not have participated in the
rape or have joked about it, they need to come forward and tell law enforcement what really happened, even if it means sending their friends to jail. Boys joking about how their daughters deserve to die after being raped do not need to be on the streets. Nodianos, wearing an Ohio State shirt in the video, has since dropped out of the college due to the negative publicity he is receiving. Another member of the Rape Crew is Charlie Keenan, the son of County Prosecuting Attorney Jane Halin, and it was his house where the victim was also dragged to. The final member of Rape Crew who is the one to blame for this horrible night is Cody Saltsman. He was originally charged but chargers were dropped after a private meeting between Saltsman’s father, the Sheriff, and a wealthy Steubenville resident. The reason Saltsman is the one to blame for the night is because the victim was his ex-girlfriend. One month before this all happened, he wrote to his friends “Nobody breaks up with Cody Saltsman, Ill ruin that bitch.” A few weeks after the break-up, it was Cody’s friend Trent Mays who started texting her, pretending to like her. It was Cody’s friend Trent Mays who got his girlfriend to convince the victim to hang out with all of them on August 11. It was Cody who took a picture of two boys carrying the unconscious victim around and wrote “I have no sympathy for whores.” He knew what he was doing was wrong, yet he didn’t care. To him and his friends, because the girl broke up with him she deserved to be drugged, to be gang rapped, to be masturbated on, and to be left out on her lawn for dead.
These monsters ruined an innocent girl’s life and because they play for the beloved football team in Ohio they will not be charged for rape or for covering up a crime. Only the two who were recorded raping the victim will be charged, but they will only be charged as juveniles. Some people even believe that these Monsters are the Victims because the girl was asking for it by her outfit or the fact that she was at a party with boys. In a society that continues to tell the Story of Adam and Eve, it is not surprising that people still do not believe that rape exists. After all, it was Eve who used her beauty to seduce innocent Adam into biting the apple. This silly story is just enough reason for some to believe that a girl deserved to be raped because a boy cannot control his mind or body when he sees her beauty. As Rape Crew member Michael Nodianos tweeted “Some people deserve to be peed on.” To Monsters, just for being a girl is enough reason.
Check out these sources because they have more reasons why these monsters are being protected:
<Video Describing Rape