A sophomore at the University of Ohio has received so many threats from Internet trolls that she is afraid to leave her home, after she was mistakenly identified as the victim of an alleged sexual assault that was video recorded and uploaded to the Internet by a passerby.
Some Internet users who saw the video of a young women receiving oral sex believed the intoxicated girl was a willing participant. When an anonymous Twitter account wrongfully identified the victim as journalism student Rachel Cassidy, trolls flooded her social media accounts accusing her of destroying a man’s life to “save her own ass.”
The website Crimes Against Fathers posted pictures of Cassidy, links to all her social media sites and even some articles she wrote for the campus newspaper.
“A woman named Rachel Cassidy was getting oral sex performed on her by a man on a public street, and a bunch of guys walked up and started filming it,” wrote Crimes Against Fathers user JohnRambo. “Well, the videos obviously went viral and Ohio University was threatening to kick her out, and so she changed her story and claimed it was ‘rape,’ in order to avoid getting expelled. Now the guy is facing criminal charges because this evil woman decided to make a false rape accusation against him.”
Cassidy has since had to deactivate all her social media accounts and, at her request, the university removed her email and phone number from its website.
The dean of students confirmed that Cassidy is not the woman shown being sexually assaulted on a video posted Oct. 13.
The dean was then targeted on Crimes Against Fathers by JohnRambo, who later identifies himself as Peter Nolan, a business intelligence consultant and founder of Instant Business Intelligence in Romania. Nolan wrote:
Jenny Hall-Jones, the Dean of Students at Ohio University, has claimed that Rachel Cassidy is NOT the girl in the video. Well, considering that women will always try to cover for their fellow women, and will NEVER hold their fellow women accountable, there is a very strong possibility that Jenny is LYING and that Rachel Cassidy IS the girl in that video. This means that Jenny Hall-Jones is a CRIMINAL because she is covering up for the CRIME of making a false rape accusation. Therefore, she is a criminal and needs to be publicly exposed as such.
Cassidy claims she was at her sorority house, Alpha Omicron Pi, when the incident took place on Oct. 12. She later learned from a friend that she was falsely identified as the victim in the video.
“Wednesday night, my friend called me and said there were pictures posted of me linked to the woman in the video saying I was her, although that’s untrue,” Cassidy said. “I was nowhere near where the incident occurred I have no idea why I was targeted.”
On Oct. 24, another Crimes Against Fathers user said that Cassidy should condemn the girl in the video. The user wrote:
There is also the point that Rachel Cassidy and her parents have not publicly condemned women who commit crimes against men and have not demanded that women are treated as equal before the law. Since Rachel Cassidy and her parents openly support and condone women who commit crimes against men? They can have no complaints of someone commits a crime against Rachel Cassidy.
Cassidy’s parents were shocked at the online attacks on their daughter.
“Our daughter has been victimized by the Internet, and in this day and age it’s very hard to validate yourself,” her mother Theresa told Daily Mail. “That’s our name, that’s her name, and she’s going to have to live with that for the rest of her life.”
“'I know all of my friends and family support me, and it’s not me,” Cassidy said. “As long as I have them in my life supporting me, if people say negative things toward me, they will stand up for me. I think I’m a pretty strong person and I can stand up for myself knowing it’s not me. I think I’ll be OK.”
The actual victim in the video, whose identity has not been released, claims she was assaulted by a man she did know after she went drinking off campus.
The university says it supports the real alleged victim of the assault.