What the hell is wrong with Steubenville, OH?

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I am a little late hearing about this, but Jeez. Some people just straight up need killing.

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KnightSec, an arm of the hacker collective that specifically targets rapists, demanded a public apology be issued to the young woman and warned that it would release personal information of Big Red football players and staff who have defended the accused young men. No apology was issued by the hackers’ deadline of Jan. 1. That day, a video was leaked of a teenage boy — a former Steubenville High baseball team member — captured cruelly joking about the sexual assault.

“She is so raped,” he laughs, continuing an offensive tirade including the lines, “They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!” and “they raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team!” grossly quipping that the unconscious girl was “deader than Trayvon Martin,” even as other voices captured in the video interject, saying, “That’s not cool, bro … That’s like rape. It is rape. They raped her.” Other teens in the video laugh along.

Police released a statement following the video’s release stating that they were already aware of the footage and had interviewed the young man who made the video, but did not comment further.

Jezebel noted that the boy featured tweeted “some people deserve to be peed on” the night of the rape last August. The New York Times reported — in an article that brought national attention to the incident – that “Twitter posts, videos and photographs circulated by some who attended the nightlong set of parties suggested that an unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted over several hours while others watched. She even might have been urinated on.”

The dark side of small town Americana coupled with the culture of football, a cup of "my precious child could never have done that," and a dash of political corruption (one of the accused's mother was the prosecuting attorney for the case for several weeks until special state prosecutors were assigned and has a history for going very lightly members of the football team when they run afoul of the law).

A rally of roughly 1500 is being held in Steubenville today. A shedload of women have stood up and told stories of sexual assault going un-prosecuted in the community. Just wow.

I never thought I'd see an outpouring of support toward a rape victim to the point where she has hackers and a massive rally standing behind her. Wow. This gives me hope for humanity. Apparently, the FBI is involved now so I'd say that's a victory for Anon and her supporters.

But involved how? Continuing their assault on Anonymous, or investigating the police for not doing their job?

Edwin wrote:

But involved how? Continuing their assault on Anonymous, or investigating the police for not doing their job?

CNN says:

In addition, the FBI has offered "some technical assistance" in the investigation, said FBI spokesman Todd Lindgren in Cincinnati. He did not go into detail. Offering such assistance is routine, he said.

That is a valid question though. Who knows at this point. I guess I have too much hope that maybe they'd get involved for a better reason like investigating the rape of a child and the coverup. If it was just a way to get more Occupy/Anon ppl... *sigh*

The cynic in me read "technical assistance" as going after Anonymous. I would assume that the investigation into the rapes and the police department would be more tradition police work than anything overly technical that would be needed for going after Anonymous.

Edwin wrote:

The cynic in me read "technical assistance" as going after Anonymous. I would assume that the investigation into the rapes and the police department would be more tradition police work than anything overly technical that would be needed for going after Anonymous.

I doubt the local PD has the technical knowledge to deal with all the electronic evidence.

This is why I don't really read the news anymore.

Edwin wrote:

The cynic in me read "technical assistance" as going after Anonymous. I would assume that the investigation into the rapes and the police department would be more tradition police work than anything overly technical that would be needed for going after Anonymous.

Has Anonymous actually done anything illegal? Seems like they've publicized some videos that were, at worst, semi-public in the first place.

NDAA bro. Everything is illegal now. Potentially. I know I sound like malor, but things like anonymous are why that exists.

OG_slinger wrote:

The dark side of small town Americana coupled with the culture of football, a cup of "my precious child could never have done that," and a dash of political corruption (one of the accused's mother was the prosecuting attorney for the case for several weeks until special state prosecutors were assigned and has a history for going very lightly members of the football team when they run afoul of the law).

Even as someone who played football and still enjoys watching it, there's times where I wish it would literally just go away. There is a specific culture to small towns and football. I've seen it. And lived it. Thankfully the worst we ever did was paint the other town's "school rock". Lately there have been so many cases where football players and coaches believe they're more important than human decency and that they'll never get caught. I wouldn't mind if football was taken away, honestly. It would do small towns some good to actually get educated.

It isn't about the sport though, it's about the obsessive culture around it. You cut Football out of existence and people'll just find another thing (sport, religion, video game, whatever) to latch on to.

bnpederson wrote:

It isn't about the sport though, it's about the obsessive culture around it..

Sport is a f*cked up obsessive culture, though.

OG_slinger wrote:
bnpederson wrote:

It isn't about the sport though, it's about the obsessive culture around it..

Sport is a f*cked up obsessive culture, though.

I think we have plenty of examples that would indicate the same thing about video games. There are also countless examples of sports emphasizing positive attributes in students.

The fact is, douche bags exist and ruin the fun of what should be harmless activities. But it's not the activities.

OG_slinger wrote:
bnpederson wrote:

It isn't about the sport though, it's about the obsessive culture around it..

Sport is a f*cked up obsessive culture, though.

No more than religion is.

Video gamers haven't set any cars on fire after a LoL tourney yet, but I imagine it's only a matter of time.

I do agree it's mostly the 5% asshole rule, but some subcultures have really embraced it and given it extra power.

Jayhawker wrote:

I think we have plenty of examples that would indicate the same thing about video games. There are also countless examples of sports emphasizing positive attributes in students.

The fact is, douche bags exist and ruin the fun of what should be harmless activities. But it's not the activities.

What was the last video game that called for gang rape of a woman over a two day period? Oh, that's right. There wasn't ever one.

The fact is that douche sports attract douche people. This is just Penn State: Small Town Americana.

I think the key problem is small-minded tribalism. "Us" vs "them", in any of its forms. When you do that right, it can be fun and bring different communities closer together in friendly competition.

But when you fixate on it and let it take on a sort of prime importance, you start letting the distinction and the competition become more important than anything else. It turns into the "othering" that's been mentioned in another thread recently. Not only does that create an unhealthy disrespect of "them", it also becomes an unhealthy respect for "the people who represent us"--an unwillingness to believe that "our guys" could do anything wrong.

It's really easy to slide into that sort of fixation without realizing what you're doing, leading over time to a corrosion of morals as "our guys" increasingly believe that they ought to do anything including break the rules to succeed, and then learn that they can get away with practically anything elsewhere as well. (Our country, our team, our religion, our company... right or wrong.)

Edit:

For an example of this tendency in gaming culture, consider the case of Brad Wardell. Yes, an awful lot of us already thought he was a massive jerk before the sexual harassment case came up. But an awful lot of people who liked his ideas and felt that he was on "their team" leaped to his defense, in just exactly the same way that people leap to the defense of the star players of their sports teams. They don't need facts, they just know that he's their guy.

And it's the same thing in the other direction with Anita Sarkeesian. The people who've attacked her have established in their minds that "fake geek girls" is a thing, that "feminists" are them, etc., and that she's therefore "them" and any action against her is appropriate. They don't need facts, they just know that she's on the other team.

The difference here is one of degree, not of kind. And I suspect that the fact that the people involved are generally professional adults makes a big difference--young people who complain are less likely to be taken seriously by adults, and young people are less likely to feel sure of themselves in making a complaint. That makes it that much easier for the situation to escalate to something like rape before coming to light.

Sheriff To Anonymous Hackers: "I'm Coming After You" | http://bit.ly/13579AG

Hypatian wrote:

The difference here is one of degree, not of kind. And I suspect that the fact that the people involved are generally professional adults makes a big difference--young people who complain are less likely to be taken seriously by adults, and young people are less likely to feel sure of themselves in making a complaint. That makes it that much easier for the situation to escalate to something like rape before coming to light.

That's a great point. I still think that it's important how much the two activities are elevated in popular culture. Sports are religion. Especially football. And especially in small towns. As with any other multi-faceted problem it would be ignorant to ignore the fact that the boys who did this were raised in a culture that told them they were special and often times above the rules.

DSGamer wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

The difference here is one of degree, not of kind. And I suspect that the fact that the people involved are generally professional adults makes a big difference--young people who complain are less likely to be taken seriously by adults, and young people are less likely to feel sure of themselves in making a complaint. That makes it that much easier for the situation to escalate to something like rape before coming to light.

That's a great point. I still think that it's important how much the two activities are elevated in popular culture. Sports are religion. Especially football. And especially in small towns. As with any other multi-faceted problem it would be ignorant to ignore the fact that the boys who did this were raised in a culture that told them they were special and often times above the rules.

Yeah, really. It's unfair to compare video games, a 30-year-old medium that, for all of its mainstreaming, doesn't have anywhere near the cultural cache of the NBA/MLB/NFL, with sports which have been part of human culture since we started, and high school/professional sports which have been an integral part of the fabric of America for well over 125 years.

What exactly is the agreed on definition of a "small town"?

BTW the home town Frankfort Hot Dogs defeated those uppity snobs from Zionsville 60-58 in boy's basketball last night. Zionsville deserved it, having silver spoon kids like the son of ESPN announcer Dan Dakich and son of former Indiana Pacer Rik Smits on the team.

MacBrave wrote:

BTW the home town Frankfort Hot Dogs defeated those uppity snobs from Zionsville 60-58 in boy's basketball last night. Zionsville deserved it, having silver spoon kids like the son of ESPN announcer Dan Dakich and son of former Indiana Pacer Rik Smits on the team.

WTF? How is this even remotely relevant to this topic? Unless you're intentionally demonstrating the tribalistic mentality of the sports fan culture.

Metafilter has an excellent thread on this.

This makes me extremely angry, just like with Penn State. It's not so much the abuse and/or rape itself, which is bad, and should be punished, but isn't wildly uncommon. Rather, it's the subsequent abuse of authority to cover it up. That's what drives me sideways... the abuse of authority, trying to protect 'the program', valuing the football program more than anything, including justice and safety for children.

I mean, this one is so bad, that the prosecutor's son is one of the accused, and she's using the full powers of her office to try to hide and cover up and obfuscate.

I really think that allowing these programs to continue, after abuses like this, is just a signal to all the other programs that covering things up, that hushing everyone and avoiding embarassment, is the big payoff. It's only when coverups and abuse of authority become the thing that kills sports programs dead that you will stop seeing coverups and abuse of authority to protect sports programs.

The punishment needs to fit the crime, and if they're willing to let rapes and child abuse go unpunished to protect the program, then the one thing that needs to be taken away for doing that is the program.

I should also amend that what's going on here is not as clear as it was with Penn State. It's much less obvious how far the corruption goes, at least so far. But you see many of the same themes -- protect the program at all costs, no matter who gets hurt.

Edwin wrote:

Sheriff To Anonymous Hackers: "I'm Coming After You" | http://bit.ly/13579AG

I expected that to link to a video of Rosco P. Coltrane vowing to "get them Duke boys."

Any place where the rule of law can be subverted by a cabal of like-minded folks, you get a potential Steubenville. Selective enforcement, selective prosecution, selective punishment—we need external "justice audits" of a lot of rural counties.

Any place where the rule of law can be subverted by a cabal of like-minded folks, you get a potential Steubenville. Selective enforcement, selective prosecution, selective punishment—we need external "justice audits" of a lot of rural counties.

Git yer gubment hands ofa ma justice!

I saw "Jack Reacher" over the weekend. It is a pretty good flick but I couldn't help but think that the frontier justice people are foaming at the mouth thinking this is the way things ought to be done. It totally reads as a millitia group call to arms.

fangblackbone wrote:
Any place where the rule of law can be subverted by a cabal of like-minded folks, you get a potential Steubenville. Selective enforcement, selective prosecution, selective punishment—we need external "justice audits" of a lot of rural counties.

Git yer gubment hands ofa ma justice!

I saw "Jack Reacher" over the weekend. It is a pretty good flick but I couldn't help but think that the frontier justice people are foaming at the mouth thinking this is the way things ought to be done. It totally reads as a millitia group call to arms.

It's more of a Dirty Harry/wish-fulfillment kind of thing. I read a summary of the books, and Reacher is literally the best at everything. He's Batman without the emotional complexity or moral commitment not to kill.

I mean, this one is so bad, that the prosecutor's son is one of the accused, and she's using the full powers of her office to try to hide and cover up and obfuscate.

The fact that she didn't recuse or even log a concern about being in charge of this... disbar. That is the most ridiculously idiotic thing I've read, and that includes the guys that weren't there bragging about having taken part of making jokes about it. Teenage boys like to brag, surprise. The subject matter? Horrifying, but not out of line of the crap I heard in the locker room during my forced gym credits. A mother who tries to get her kid and his friends off for rape? How was that even given to her?

Demosthenes wrote:
I mean, this one is so bad, that the prosecutor's son is one of the accused, and she's using the full powers of her office to try to hide and cover up and obfuscate.

The fact that she didn't recuse or even log a concern about being in charge of this... disbar. That is the most ridiculously idiotic thing I've read, and that includes the guys that weren't there bragging about having taken part of making jokes about it. Teenage boys like to brag, surprise. The subject matter? Horrifying, but not out of line of the crap I heard in the locker room during my forced gym credits. A mother who tries to get her kid and his friends off for rape? How was that even given to her?

Probably more common than we'd like to think.

My dad was a teacher at a correctional facility, and of course everyone there protests their innocence. One guy in particular though became of interest to my dad because this guy was also a teacher; or rather, a former teacher. Had been a teacher at a high school, and wound up in prison over claims that he had engaged in innapropriate behavior with students. My dad got interested enough in the case that he started digging into the details.

Turns out, the specifics were that the guy was accused of showing sexually explicit content on a tv to two female students after school. One of those two students was the daughter of a cop. A cop whose cousin was the presiding judge over the case. A judge who was allowed to shut down the defendant's appeal to have the case heard by a different judge due to the judge's relationship to one of the two girls he was accused of behaving inappropriately with.

That girl was the only one of the two who testified at the trial. There were no other first-hand witnesses, just circumstantial evidence. The other girl did not testify.

I don't remember what else my dad dug up about the case, but it was clear that it was a straightforward he-said-she-said case, involving a student who was failing this teacher's class and allegedly had antagonistic relationship with said teacher. There were no other complaints or witnesses who came forward against the teacher.

The teacher lost his license and was slapped with, IIRC, 15 years in prison. His attempts to appeal were also shot down by the same judge.

Yay small-town Louisiana!

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