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Steubenville, OH

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Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:39 am

This case makes me sick ... and reinforces my opinion that we should probably just ban football.

Here's an article from the NY Times that summarizes the story.

Only a couple people have been charged, but a whole lot of people come out of this looking pretty awful:

“The thing I found most disturbing about this is that there were other people around when this was going on,” Steubenville Police Chief William McCafferty said of the events that unfolded. “Nobody had the morals to say, ‘Hey, stop it, that isn’t right.’

“If you could charge people for not being decent human beings, a lot of people could have been charged that night.”


This coach sure comes across as a horrible person:

“The rape was just an excuse, I think,” said the 27-year-old Hubbard, who is No. 2 on the Big Red’s career rushing list.

“What else are you going to tell your parents when you come home drunk like that and after a night like that?” said Hubbard, who is one of the team’s 19 coaches. “She had to make up something. Now people are trying to blow up our football program because of it.”


And this coach sounds like an equally horrible person:

Saccoccia, [...] told the principal and school superintendent that the players who posted online photographs and comments about the girl the night of the parties said they did not think they had done anything wrong. Because of that, he said, he had no basis for benching those players.

[...]

When asked again about the players involved and why he chose not to discipline them, he became agitated.

“You made me mad now,” he said, throwing in several expletives as he walked from the high school to his car.

Nearly nose to nose with a reporter, he growled: “You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.”


Nice role model for his players, eh?

Instead of getting sympathy from the community, the victim is being ostracized:

At a hearing last month, the girl’s mother said her daughter remained distraught and did not want to attend school. The girl’s friends have ostracized her, and parents have kept their children away from her, the mother said.


One local blogger in the Steubenville area has been demanding that the authorities take this case seriously. For that, she's been viciously criticized, and threatened with a lawsuit (which was just thrown out by the court, fortunately).

Now the online hacker group "Anonymous" has gotten involved, in an attempt to identify and publicly shame more of the people involved in this case, and to pressure the police to expand their investigation beyond the couple of players who have already been charged. There's a good summary of Anonymous's involvement here:

Inside the Anonymous Hacking File on the Steubenville 'Rape Crew'

One result of Anonymous's work has been the unearthing of a 12-minute video, in which a former Steubenville high school student -- and current OSU student -- jokes about the girl being raped.

This story is finally starting to get a lot of coverage, in fact it's now being covered in the news outside the US (the UK, Australia, who knows where else).
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:55 am

Meanwhile, a very similar story is playing out in Henderson County, North Carolina:

Students face rape charges

Four East Henderson High School students were charged Wednesday with second-degree rape in a sexual assault in which the victim was “mentally incapacitated and physically helpless,” according to arrest warrants.

“This is a pretty horrific situation,” said Capt. Frank Stout of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.

Three of the four arrested are football players at East Henderson.


The gang rape took place at the home of a sheriff's deputy.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:08 am

In spite of the abduction and attack’s high profile in social media, townspeople have been reluctant to aid the prosecution of the crime in any way, lest it jeopardize The Big Red’s chances at another state championship


Words fail me.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby jman111 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:26 am

kurt_w wrote:
In spite of the abduction and attack’s high profile in social media, townspeople have been reluctant to aid the prosecution of the crime in any way, lest it jeopardize The Big Red’s chances at another state championship


Words fail me.

People will resort to strange behavior in order to "help their team" or to feel like they're part of a "winning team".
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby rabble » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:56 am

That's what happens when you get all your self worth through any external source. Your job, your school, your town, your family, whatever.

And when the whole group does it, you're risking your entire way of life if you rock the boat. Many if not most of the people who won't cooperate aren't afraid of losing the championship, they're afraid of getting rode out of town on a rail.

Ask anybody from small town Wisconsin. Piss off one neighbor and you've automatically pissed off everybody within fifteen miles.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:13 am

It's somewhat sad that a internet hacktivist group is more interested in seeing justice done in this case than most of the town seems to be.

Rabble is right though, you don't mess with a small town's HS football team.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:30 am

I dunno. It's not that small a town, is it? Supposedly there's 19,000 people in the city itself, and upwards of 120,000 in the "metro area" (yes, there is a two-county "metro area" centered on Steubenville).

That's actually larger than most of the places I've lived in my life. Yes, living in a small town there's a tendency to sort of circle the wagons on any issue that would make the town look bad in the eyes of the outside world. But I've never heard of anything like this!
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby wack wack » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:37 am

I had an ex- who attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville for not one but two masters degrees in Catholic theology. She always made it sound like the University was the only thing in town. I guess not.

I don't know if these recent activities mark the presence of a Catholic university as ironic or appropriate.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:55 am

Two masters degrees in Catholic theology? That's impressive, in a way.

What counts as a "small town" is kind of like wrangling over what counts as "middle class", which we spent yesterday doing in that other thread. I guess the world just varies a lot depending on where you're coming from.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby wack wack » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:11 pm

kurt_w wrote:Two masters degrees in Catholic theology? That's impressive, in a way.


It was impressive in a way, most likely because I'd yet to shed my own Catholic upbringing at the time. I'd tease her about her "advanced creative lit" degrees, but I was impressed.

However, many years later when the Lord of the Rings trilogy blew up, I was amazed at how similar the nerdy ephemera discussions surrounding the movies sounded to the conversations I remembered regarding the more esoteric parts of Catholic theology.

The "creative lit" charges seemed less comical after this.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby pjbogart » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:56 pm

I think people have an astonishing ability to rationalize, particularly when they perceive that something near and dear to them is being attacked. The football team is in danger and that girl should have known better than to put herself in that situation, right?

And I don't really see how banning football would benefit anyone, besides soccer teams.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby fennel » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:25 am

pjbogart wrote:And I don't really see how banning football would benefit anyone, besides soccer teams.
That's cognitive dissonance in a nutshell – for the Brits.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby Stella_Guru » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:03 am

jman111 wrote:People will resort to strange behavior in order to "help their team" or to feel like they're part of a "winning team".

Go Pack Go.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby kurt_w » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:24 pm

One of the (multiple) parties that the unconscious victim was carried to, and raped at, was at the home of the county prosecutor. Who later tried to discourage the victim's family from pursuing justice.

Let's see, what other news? Although it's pretty clear that multiple people were involved, the police say that nobody else will be charged beyond the two already named. The county sheriff has recused himself (and is apparently a close friend of the head football coach, who's under fire for allowing players who were present during the rapes to continue to play all season). Oh, and the sheriff says he's "coming after" the hacker group Anonymous. (Nice try, sheriff, but it's more likely the other way around....)

The victim's family has received death threats and may have been under police protection.
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Re: Steubenville, OH

Postby Igor » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:26 pm

pjbogart wrote:The football team is in danger and that girl should have known better than to put herself in that situation, right?


While there is no legal difference between being assaulted when stone sober, after being roofied, or after drinking yourself unconscious, I suspect that some people have less sympathy for the last of the three.
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