More details have been revealed in the grisly rape and kidnap of a teen in Steubenville, Ohio, including social media’s crucial role in bringing the woman’s ordeal to the public consciousness.
Two football players have been accused of raping and kidnapping a 16-year-old girl, who was allegedly drugged, dragged to different parties, assaulted and urinated on. Much of the evidence from the investigation is focused on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts of those accused in August attack, who allegedly provided a gruesome play-by-play of the crime.
Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, both 16-year-old students at Ohio’s Steubenville High School, each face one charge of rape and one charge of kidnapping. They allegedly attacked the 16-year-old girl at a party.
Mays is also accused of taking photos and a graphic video of the victim, which was posted onto YouTube. Cops say the trouble began with a tweet from Mays, who said on the micro-blogging site: “Huge party!!! Banger!!!!’
Disturbing photos of the night’s events, offensive comments and a 12-minute video related to the incident were posted all over the internet.
The video, which has since been deleted, was posted onto YouTube by a Steubenville football player and was then circulated on Twitter.
The shocking pics show the victim passed out and being carried around by her wrists and ankles. The pics were allegedly circulated online. Detectives are now trawling through the online comments to search for further evidence of what happened and whether anyone else should face charges.
One particularly shocking tweet, in apparent reference to the attack, said: ‘Some people deserve to be peed on.’ Another tweeter posted about the party: ‘Song of the night is definitely Rape Me by Nirvana.’
Besides appalling the small town, online conversations about the incident have left police frustrated that while people are being vocal about the attack, few have come forward to give investigators more information. Detectives are investigating reports that the girl was drugged unconscious before being taken from party to party, then raped and urinated on. The victim’s parents found her disorientated and rushed her to hospital.
Mays and Richmond, who are being detained in the Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center, were charged with rape and kidnapping on August 24. A court hearing has not yet been set for the suspects and it has not been determined whether they will be tried as juveniles or adults. Richmond’s father, Nathaniel Richmond, has protested both boys’ innocence. He described his son as ‘a good child, an outstanding student and a credit to Steubenville High School.’
Mays is a quarterback on Steubenville’s Big Red team and Richmond is a wide receiver. The team plays games at a 10,000 seat stadium and the matches are broadcast on local television.
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