I thought that I would provide some background for the readers here at BTYT about the alleged gang rape case being reported out of Steubenville, Ohio. I have written about Steubenville a few times on my personal blog. At one time I lived in the area. When I read the news about two players accused of rape, I started doing some research online through social media because I figured kids talk. Boy, did they ever talk about this. I was literally dumbfounded at the information that I found and then I became angry because they were tweeting play by plays of the rape, and had posted videos and photos online documenting their depravity. The videos had been pulled, but the tweets were still online and I was absolutely sickened at the behavior of these kids. I couldn’t believe that only TWO were being investigated when there were so many others involved and believed right away that the others involved could possibly walk away from this without consequence. Local media was providing minimal coverage on this and people are understandably very upset about it. Bloomdaddy was the first to break the story locally.
High school football is a very important part of the culture of that area. It is hard to describe to someone who has never lived or spent any time in the Ohio Valley just how prevalent high school sports are. To an outsider, it seems a bit bizarre. Little boys want to grow up and play football for Big Red. Being an athlete of this school brings with it a status symbol. The school has a wonderful record in athletics and many students have gone onto play for Ohio State and other esteemed universities, as well as on to the NFL. I commend anyone that can do better for themselves and move onto a productive life. There is not much in Steubenville in the way of jobs since the steel mills have closed. Good paying jobs are in Pittsburgh and that is an hour or more commute. I suppose for a young man in this position, an athletic scholarship is a dream come true.
Locals have been commenting heavily on my blog about their belief that Steubenville athletes are given a free pass if they get in trouble. Having lived in the area, depending on who you know — that’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Again, Steubenville is a place that you have to experience to truly understand the culture. One Google search can fill in the blanks is all I will say on that matter.
The victim’s parents filed a police report on August 14th that their daughter had been sexually assaulted. It has been reported to me that she was comatose during the attack. She was unable to consent, and the boys were referring to her as “the dead girl”. They carried her by her arms and legs to transport her to various locations during that night. This was all documented through photographs posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A video was uploaded entitled Nodi Wlyin About a Dead Girl. Nodi is the nickname for Michael Nodianos aka Nodidamus on Twitter. I won’t write what else they did to her, but Michael’s tweets tell the story for me.
On August 21st, the two boys, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, were arrested. Prosecuting Attorney Jane Hanlin announced on August 22 that she would step down as prosecuting attorney on the case and request that the Ohio Attorney General’s office appoint special prosecutors since she “personally knows juveniles and adults involved in the investigation.”
Even though the other boys involved were present when they drove this girl to other locations, openly discussed the rape of this young girl, actively stood by and did nothing as their teammates brutally raped her, as of today August 31 – there have been no other arrests. I, like many others, want to know why no one else has been charged with at least accessory to the crime. WHY?
This is what we will be discussing on the show with Bloomdaddy tomorrow night, and you can go to my blog to see the outrage of the residents of the Ohio Valley who have watched this play out and are asking the same questions as we are. Will the other individuals involved in being party to a brutal rape ever be charged for their crime?