Students at an Ohio University homecoming celebration this past weekend caught an apparent rape on camera. Instead of reporting the incident, however, they posted pictures and video all over social media.
The people watching it take place apparently did not know that it was a sexual assault, but based on their Tweets and other postings, assumed it was a consensual act taking place in public.
The graphic pictures and video show a man performing sex acts on a woman in front of a Chase Bank near campus following the evening’s festivities. According to authorities, the woman went to police the following day to report the rape.
It’s apparent in the photos and videos, which have since been taken down off social media sites but are still published online by Buzzfeed, that onlookers were just feet away from the activity.
Some of the people present began to Tweet about what was going on, with one Twitter user @FilthyRich writing, “Still can't believe a dude was eating box on court street Saturday night in front of like 10 people.”
The Twitter user that took one of the pictures of the assault, @vy_vance, was reportedly trying to send it to the founder of a “revenge porn” website, which indicates that he was trying to get it published. That user has since deactivated his account.
The reaction from fellow Ohio University students is generally shock and disgust. Allie Erwin, a student at OU who runs an anti-rape group on campus, says that the actions of the onlookers are despicable.
“Some of us are really angered and disappointed that no one intervened and they just filmed it,” said Erwin. “Their first impulse was to share it on social media and make a mockery of something that was probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to her. There are other people who saw it as her asking for it and think it’s a joke. Basically they’re slut-shaming her for what happened,' she said according to Metro. The response on social media is kind of heartbreaking, how harsh and cruel people are being.”
Authorities are currently investigating the situation.