Like many of you, I’ve been following the Steubenville Rape Case. I still haven’t been able to completely wrap my head around the events that took place in this small community August 11 -12, 2012. I’m not sure I ever will. But being a teacher in Ohio in a district where sports are highly valued, makes me want to try. These kids aren’t unlike the students in my class. Yet, I have difficulty believing that any of them could do something so heinous to another person. Could they? Are we raising kids to be so callous that they refuse to stand up for what is right? Is our society becoming so unfeeling that when rape happens right in front of us, we laugh?
The entire story of what happened that night isn’t known. Depending on which site you visit, you may get a slightly different version of the events and who exactly was involved. And to be honest, based on the things Michael Nodianos tweeted and said during his disgusting 12 minute video, I’m not buying that he wasn’t there. Even if his lawyer claims that. These are his words:
I understand that boy humor is often crude. But this boy humor is about a girl, who was raped, in front of him. His behavior is hideous. Grotesque. And downright vile.
We know that two Big Red football players have been arrested. Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond will be tried next month as juveniles for the hours of molestation and rape that occurred to this young woman. JUVENILES. These two committed rape, had it videoed and photographed, and will be charged as juveniles. The things that they did to this young lady, including being urinated on, are not juvenile. These are adult crimes. These two should be tried as adults in adult court with adult punishments. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in second chances. But think back to when you were 16. Was there any part of you that would have thought this behavior was ok, funny even? This is not juvenile behavior or “boys will boys”. This is rape, which should be in an adult court.
There are so many different aspects to this case. From the cronyism, to the Big Red Football Team running the town, to the drug use, it’s hard to sort out all of the corruption in this small town that led to the violation of a 16 year old girl. And one of the aspects troubling me the most is the fact that nobody went to help her and they are having a hard time finding witnesses. I think back to when I was 16. If a girl passed out at a party (yes, I drank,) the other girls, whether we knew her or not, took care of her. We made sure she was ok. We made sure a GIRL took her home. I can’t imagine being at a party and seeing the images that have been shown online without standing up. I realize that this young lady was not with her friends, she was at a neighboring school’s party, but WAS THERE NOBODY THERE WITH ANY MORALS? How could all of these things happen to her IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE and NOBODY felt the need to help?! Was the town and the town’s police THAT corrupt that they were scared to help? Or were they that scared of this “Rape Crew?”
In my opinion, if these boys did not get caught and if the media attention was not as widespread as it is, they would have continued having parties where young girls were being violated. Because if nobody came to her side to help, this tells me that this probably wasn’t the first or only time this has happened. There have to be more victims. I pray for these young ladies. I pray for their healing. And I pray that those involved get punished to the fullest extent of the law. It won’t make that night go away, but it’s the right thing to do. Finally.