“Big Red” quarterback Trent Mays admitted in text messages that he used his hand to penetrate a 16-year-old girl and also sent messages to his buddies trying to persuade them to cover up what had happened.
Mays, 17, is one of two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players accused of raping a West Virginia girl last summer. The other defendant is 16-year-old wide receiver Ma’Lik Richmond. Both players have been charged. Mays is also facing a charge of child pornography because he took photos of the victim that eventually leaked to social media.
“Just say she came to your house and passed out,” Mays texted the friend who hosted the party where the incident occurred. Defense lawyers for the young men are saying that the sex was consensual, but witnesses have said that girl was so wasted that she vomited and had difficulty walking and talking, according to The Daily News.
She also sent text messages that implied she was drugged. “Swear to God I don’t remember doing anything with them,” the girl wrote in a text message to a boy who supposedly witnessed the assaults. “I wasn’t being a slut. They were taking advantage of me.”
The case has received a lot of attention because some people have claimed that authorities are letting other players who saw what happened off the hook because high school football is such a huge part of the local community. One judge and one prosecutor were forced to recuse themselves from the case because they had connections to the team.
Outside of the courthouse on Thursday, two dozen protesters were holding signs in support of the girl and wearing the masks that have become the symbol of hacktivist group Anonymous. Earlier this year, the group posted a picture of the defendants carrying the girl by her ankles and wrists. If convicted, Mays and Richmond could be imprisoned in a juvenile jail until they turn 21.
Source: The Daily News
STRATTON, Ohio – An atheist activist group has insisted that Stratton’s officials take large crosses off the village’s municipal building.
The formal request came last year from a Wisconsin-based organization of “free-thinkers” called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and warned that if crosses remained on government buildings, the organization would pursue a lawsuit.
Stratton’s Mayor Abdalla believes that a local person or organization complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but has expressed frustration that he “can’t find out who” is behind the complaint.
Abdalla has outspokenly upset about the request, noting that the crosses have decorated the building “for years.” In fact, although he eventually complied with order, he initially refused to remove the crosses.
However, it seems that the atheists’ demand for the removal of the crosses might actually backfire.
Rather than the crosses being removed from the village altogether, they might be given to local landowners, who, of course, will be at liberty to display them on their own private property.
As village solicitor Frank Bruzzese described it, the crosses will now be “actually more visible to the public than they used to be.”
A lone cross still remains atop the town’s water tower, but is scheduled to be removed once temperatures warm up.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has pursued similar cases in past years. In July of 2012, the Foundation criticized Steubenville, Ohio’s city emblem for featuring a “silhouette of a cross atop the Franciscan University chapel.” Notably, the city had decided to include the chapel and the cross in its depiction because the chapel is one of the top employers in the city.
In the hopes of avoiding a costly lawsuit, the city complied with the Foundation’s request, and changed their emblem to one without a cross.
Sources: The Blaze, Fox News
Photo Source: www.examiner.com
Yesterday, Opposing Views reported on a horrifying case from Maryville, Mo., a teenage rape incident disturbingly similar to the recent Steubenville, Ohio case that resulted in the convictions of two high school football players for sexually assaulting an intoxicated teenage girl and making a video of the attack.
Now the online activist group Anonymous, who exposed frightening details of the Steubenville case that helped stop that incident from being swept under the rug, has jumped into the Maryville case as well.
In the Missouri incident, essentially the same terrible thing happened to Daisy Coleman as happened to the teenage Steubenville rape victim.
According to a shocking but extraordinarily well-reported piece by Kansas City Star reporter Dugan Arnett, the teenager, then just 14, was raped by an older football player after he made her drink an oversized tumbler of alcohol. The player’s friend allegedly filmed the rape on an iPhone.
But charges against the football player, Matthew Barnett, and his buddy Jordan Zech were mysteriously dropped. Constant bullying and harassment by townspeople and classmates drove Daisy to two suicide attempts. Her mother was fired from her job and the family ultimately moved away to escape the torment. But their house was destroyed in an unexplained fire before they could sell it.
Anonymous posted a statement online yesterday declaring the shadowy group’s plan to force a new investigation into the case, in which a second girl, then age 13, was also reportedly victimized.
“We demand an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy's case,” the group said in its statement. “Why was a suspect, who confessed to a crime, released with no charges? How was video and medical evidence not enough to put one of these football players inside a court room? What is the connection of these prosecutors, if any, to Rep. Rex Barnett? Most of all, We are wondering, how do the residents of Maryville sleep at night?”
It should be noted that according to police, the iPhone video of the rape was never found, though Zech told the cops that he recorded the incident.
The Anonymous group concludes the statement with a dramatic warning.
“If Maryville won't defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them. Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us.”
In the Steubenville case, Anonymous and one of its offshoots uncovered a video of the alleged rapists and their friends bragging and joking about the sexual assault. The group also kept pressure on local officials by gathering and disseminating information about the case from various social media sites.
Members of the Anonymous group often wear Guy Fawkes masks (see picture), as originally seen in the film and comic book V For Vendetta.
A CNN interview with the Maryville victim and her mother, Melinda Coleman, is viewable below.
Judge to Rule Whether Convicted Teen Rapist Ma’Lik Richmond Serves Sentence in Sex Offender Treatment Facility
A judge will decide later this week whether teenage rapist and former high school football star Ma’Lik Richmond must stay in juvenile prison or serve his sentence in a cushier treatment facility for juvenile sex offenders.
A grand jury convenes today in Ohio to investigate new aspects of the case in which Richmond and football teammate Trent Mays were found delinquent for raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl at a party in Steubenville, Ohio. Mays was also found delinquent for sending a nude picture of the victim in a text message.
The case made national headlines after a computer hacker affiliated with the online activist group “Anonymous” posted a video showing another student-athlete laughing and joking about the rape victim.
Judge Thomas Lipps, allowed Mays to serve his two-year sentence in a privately-operated facility called Paint Creek Lighthouse Youth Center, which Lipps characterized as having a “superior” program for underage sex criminals.
Richmond’s lawyer, Walter Madison, filed motions asking the judge to remove Mays sex-offender classification. The lawyer argued that the classification violates the constitution’s ban on double jeopardy. He also argued that it discriminates, because the law allows judges to decide whether to classify 15-year-olds as sex offenders but it requires them to label 16-year olds that way.
Richmond was 15 at the time of the rape which happened a year ago today. Mays was 16.
Lipps denied the motions, saying that appellate courts had upheld the constitutionality of juvenile sex offender classifications.
Madison asked the judge to close Richmond’s Friday classification hearing to the public. The lawyer argued that further publicity would be cruel and unusual punishment for Richmond. Lipps denied that motion as well.
Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine convened the Grand Jury to decide whether other students who knew about the rape but didn’t report it should also be charged.
SOURCES: Herald-Star Online, Times-Leader Online, Atlantic Wire
A Colorado ranching town turned against a 13-year-old boy after he reported he was attacked by two upper classmen, bound with duct tape and sodomized with a pencil. The two alleged attackers were the sons of the high school wrestling coach and president of the school board, Robert Harris. The unidentified victim and his family were eventually forced to leave the town of Norwood.
Chris Staiti and Barry Bortnick of Bloomberg reported on the violent and abusive hazing ritual. The victim was attacked on an empty school bus while at the state high school wrestling tournament in Denver in 2012.
Once he reported the assault, people posted signs on the victim’s locker that said “Go to Hell.” They also wore T-shirts that celebrated his attackers.
Harris’ sons pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
The victim is the son of a K-12 principal, who was forced to resign when Norwood residents turned on his whole family.
“We contacted everybody and nobody would help us,” said his father, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his son’s privacy, to Bloomberg News.
The family has since left the town of just 500 people near the Telluride ski resort. But something more sinister is happening here than simply holding athletes and coaches above the law. Norwood appears to have a hazing culture where assaults on school children like this one are common.
In April, KKCO 11 News reported that parents were calling for the principal to resign. At the time the two attackers were in juvenile detention, and their friends told reporters that the incident was all in good fun. They claimed hazings takes place all the time and principal does not issue punishment. Now they were afraid the principal would suddenly come after them “without reason.”
A student alleged that 20 kids would leave the school is the principal was not fired. Twenty children makes up about one-third of the school.
Repeatedly, parents at an April meeting with the Norwood School Board said these hazing incidents happen all the time, and it is not fair for the attackers to get in trouble this time because the victim was the principal's son.
A professor of education law at Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana, Susan Stuart, who has studied the increase in federal lawsuits brought by male victims of sexual hazing, told Bloomberg that these kinds of hazings happen right under our noses.
“This is right out of ‘Lord of the Flies,”’ Stuart said. “And nobody knows about it.”
Adding to her previous U.S. Open outbursts in 2009 and 2011, it seems as though Serena Williams has found a new way to rile up the public. This time, her public opinions on the Steubenville rape case fell quite short of sensitive.
Here’s a refresher on the case: in August of last year, a 16-year-old girl, who had passed out from high levels of alcohol intake, in addition to being photographed in unspeakable ways, was raped by two football players on the high school team. The two were both found guilty.
Williams, for whatever reason, began discussing the case in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, saying the following:
Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don't know. I'm not blaming the girl, but if you're a 16-year-old and you're drunk like that, your parents should teach you—don't take drinks from other people. She's 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn't remember? It could have been much worse. She's lucky. Obviously I don't know, maybe she wasn't a virgin, but she shouldn't have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that's different.
Given what a big star she is one would assume Williams would have picked up a few pointers along the way about avoiding touchy subjects in interviews. Especially quite personal and volatile subjects like rape, and especially if she is supposed to be a role models for girls everywhere.
Several sexual violence awareness groups in Ohio would consider partnering with hacktivist group Anonymous to teach rape prevention in schools, reports Mother Jones.
Anonymous hacked the fan website for the Steubenville, Ohio, football team back in December. Several players were charged with the August rape of a teen who was incapacitated by alcohol. One of the players convicted claimed he did not realize that putting a finger in the girl’s genitals was considered rape.
“If you don’t know that, that means you don’t get taught that,” said Anonymous spokesman @Master_of_Ceremonies (MC).
While the state of Ohio requires all high schools to offer a course on teen dating violence prevention, there is little funding. Some schools do not offer the instruction, according to Katie Hanna, the executive director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
This led MC, who has no education or experience in sexual violence prevention, to propose a new program at Steubenville. In January, he got a female Anonymous member to contact the school about a new rape awareness class. The class would attempt to encourage students speak up about heinous crimes like rape, assault, and bullying.
The female Anon said she was told, "Our teachers are qualified and more than capable of teaching our students about rape, not people in masks, who go around terrorizing people.”
MC says the important thing is to make offenders accountable for their actions. "As long as they think somebody is always watching," MC said, "that might deter some things."
Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones spoke to several groups that said they wouldn’t mind working with Anonymous to raise awareness on sexual violence. "We would be open to talking to them, certainly, yeah," said Hanna of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
MC admitted that Anonymous has no illusions that schools will welcome them into classrooms with open arms, but that doesn’t stop their intentions.
“I think it’s great that people want to get involved. That’s what we want,” Cox said.
Source: Mother Jones
When the Steubenville rape trial wrapped, there was tons of speculation regarding how the adults involved would be punished. It had already been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the teenagers who were accused of raping a young girl were in fact guilty, but what about the adults who allegedly helped them cover up the crime?
An interesting bit of information that emerged during court proceedings was this text message sent by one of the accused rapists, Trent Mays, about how he expected school officials to help him get clear of all charges.
“I got Reno. He took care of it and s**t ain’t gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried,” the youngster boasted to a friend.
The ‘Reno’ he referred to there was Reno Saccocia, head coach of the Steubenville High School football team. It was he, according to anyone and everyone you ask, who helped create the aura of invincibility around his players that allowed a precious few of them to think they could get away with any crime – no matter how egregious.
To date, no active player who participated in the incident, regardless of whether it was as an observer or something more serious, has been punished. Couple that with the fact that Saccocia once famously threatened a reporter who was asking too many questions (“You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.”), and you can see why some thought that maybe a coaching change was in order.
Apparently school officials didn't, though.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin once surmised why Saccocia would probably never be fired in a piece entitled, Fire This A**hole:
“Reno Saccoccia is a local legend, in the way that 30-year coaches of football powerhouses in economically depressed Ohio Valley towns tend to be legends. He's in the Ohio Coaches Hall of Fame. He's won three state titles. When Saccoccia won his 300th game last year, a sellout crowd of more than 10,000 people packed Harding Stadium—christened 'Reno Field' in 2007—and chanted Reno, Reno, Reno’ as he left the field.”
And local legends, of course, are infallible – especially when their only crime is standing by and watching as their players do whatever they want (read: rape 16-year-old girls with no remorse) in a town that worships them without ever having to face any consequences.
In the days following the Steubenville verdict, there was a bit of chatter, particularly in pieces like Petchesky’s, about maybe Saccocia and others of his ilk having to pay for, at best, the irresponsible way they oversaw their kids/at worst, allegedly attempting to cover up sexual assault. The lack of action from all officials involved spoke volumes about what direction they were heading in, though. There would be no punishment. They would wait it out, grit their teeth through the bad publicity, and hope for a new scandal to distract the nation.
Make what you will of the timing, but this weekend Ohio Valley's Herald Star newspaper (by way of Salon) announced that: “…Reno Saccoccia, director of administrative services…” was getting a two-year contract extension. In an interview with the Atlantic, superintendent Mike McVey tried to justify the move.
"Coaching contracts are different from teaching and administrative contracts," he said, pointing out that this wasn’t a coaching extension.
And while that very well may be true – it’s still an extension. It’s still an agreement, between coach and school, to prolong the amount of time he will spend there. It’s an endorsement of everything Saccoccia has done up to now, and everything he will do from this point moving forward. It’s embarrassing in every possible way, really. And yet, sadly, it’s also pretty much in line with what we’ve come to expect in situations like this.