We all know a place like Steubenville High School in Ohio. It has about 700 students. It’s football team, Big Red, is a big deal and the jocks on the team own the town.
On August 22, 2012 a group of football players who called themselves the “rape crew” began taking advantage of an underage girl.
The 16-year-old girl was drugged, sexually assaulted, molested, raped, and transported from one party to party to another. Teen boys raped her, photographed her and bragged on social media about what they’d done.
Two members of the school’s football team were charged with rape of a minor.
There was always a feeling in the community that more teens were involved in the crime, but no witnesses came forward. There was a feeling that school authorities protected the young men, but no one talked. There was always a feeling that there should be more justice for the victim, who survived.
Now there might be.
A 12-minute video was posted online showing the “big red” high school football players talking about what they’d done. They joke, they laugh, they discuss how “out of it” the young victim was.
WARNING: This video includes graphic, obscene language.
The video, posted by Anonymous, the online hacker group, fresh from its victory over Westboro Baptist Church, has a new cause.
I wrote about Anonymous recently when they systematically shut down Westboro’s planned protests of the funerals of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims.
Now Anonymous has released police documents leaked about the case, saying, “This is a warning shot to the school faculty, the parents of those involved, and those involved especially.”
In its own video, Anonymous lists all the names of the football players and says it will not sit idly by and “watch a group of young men who turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small town luck. You now have the world looking directly at you.”
Anonymous, the collective name of loosely-affiliated individuals that participate in hacktivism, is inserting itself into the criminal justice system as police continue to investigate the case, and before a trial of the two accused rapists.
By LINDA THOMAS