The Definitive Timeline Of The Steubenville Rape Scandal
The hacker group Anonymous has turned a local rape controversy into something much larger after leaking the personal records of 50,000 Ohio residents. The group is demanding justice for what they're calling a conspiracy to cover up one teenage girl's possible sexual assault.
UPDATE: Ohio judge finds the defendants guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl.
August 11th, 2012 - The alleged rape takes place
Charges are filed after a girl comes forward with allegations of being drugged and gang-raped by two high school football players from Steubenville, a 19,000-person town in Eastern Ohio.
August 22nd, 2012 - The crime makes local news
Trent Mays, 16, from a sophomore quarterback from Bloomingdale, Ohio, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, from Steubenville are arrested and later charged with the rape of a 16-year-old girl, along with charges of kidnapping.
Meanwhile, the Instagrams and tweets of Steubenville students are being deleted from the web, like this one by student Cody Saltsman
October 31st, 2012 - A crime blogger is sued for posting about the case
The lawsuit is filed against Alexandria Goddard of Columbus, Ohio, the owner of prinniefied.com, claiming she posted false, defamatory, and libelous statements on her blog about Mays and Richmond. The lawsuit states:
The making of such false, defamatory and libelous statements by defendants was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community
November 2nd, 2012 - The two charged with rape are released from juvenile detention
December 16th, 2012 - A New York Times piece is written about it
The New York Times piece goes into lengthy detail, covering the crime and how it was handled by the town's authorities.
The piece also provides a timeline of the alleged victim's night, pieced together from witnesses' testimony:
•The girl began drinking early on,
•By 10 or 10:30 that night she was stumbling and slurring her words
•People at the party taunted her, chanted and cheered as a Steubenville High baseball player dared bystanders to urinate on her
•Two hours later, the girl left the party with several Big Red football players, including Mays and Richmond
•She was carried out of the house by Mays and Richmond while she “was sleeping.”
•They headed to the home of one football player who has now become a witness for the prosecution
•In the back seat of a Volkswagen Jetta, Mays proceeded to flash the girl’s breasts and penetrate her with his fingers, while another player videotaped it on his phone
•At a third party, the girl could not walk on her own and vomited several times before toppling onto her side
•At one point, the girl was on the ground, naked, unmoving and silent
•Richmond was behind her, with his hands between her legs, penetrating her with his fingers
•The next morning the girl awoke with no recollection of what happened, but photographs of the incident were already circulating twitter and via text messages
December 17th, 2012 - Deadspin picks up the story
The above tweets have sincee been deleted. The Deadspin article collects social media updates from Twitter, including a screenshot of a student who tweeted: "You don't sleep through a wang in the butthole" and "There is a dead body [referring to the victim] and people don't care #livethelife."
December 23rd, 2012 - An Anonymous offshoot called Knight Sec leaks the records of 50,000 Ohio residents
With the massive leak, a larger picture of possible corruption emerges. In the Pastebin document the group posts, they include the following warning to the residents of Steubenville:
Your justice system is broke and needs to be fixed maybe this might help a little. Bring justice to the girl who was raped ! all the following needs to go to jail! Michael nodianos,Cody Saltsman,Jake Howarth,Jordan Banks,Ryan Vodich,Harold Malone,John Linn,Dashon Redman,Anthony Craig,Evan Westlake,Mark Cole,Malik Richmond,Trent Mays, and who ever else was involved this what you did is wrong and will not be forgiven.
December 29th, 2012 - Anonymous organizes an #OccupySteubenville protest in Steubenville
January 1st, 2013 - Localleaks, a blog working with Knightsec, collects information from the leak
In their preliminary write-up they name the following people as main conspirators in a plot to cover-up the details of the alleged rape.
•James “Jim” Parks: Webmaster and owner of a private fan site for the team rollredroll.com, who they point to as a close contact of the players. Localleaks also posts photos of seemingly young girls from his email, girls they claim are "conquests" of the team.
•Sheriff Fred Abdalla: The post claims that Sheriff Abdalla and Head Football Coach Reno A. Saccoccia have regular breakfasts together and are conspiring to remove electronic evidence from students at the party.
•Prosecuting Attorney Jane Hanlin: Hanlin is the prosecuting attorney for Jefferson County, but she is also the mother of Charlie Keenan, a suspected member of Steubenville High's "Rape Crew".
•Head Football Coach Reno A. Saccoccia: Localleaks points to Saccoccia as the ringleader of the conspiracy, attempting to "hold off sheriff deputies when they seized the telephones and other electronic items belonging to the perpetrators, meanwhile encouraging his “boys” to delete everything." The post goes further, claiming the coach rewards players by allowing them to view porn on his computer and providing drugs and alcohol to those who are “extra” deserving.
Knightsec is threatening to release social security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers of all of those they believe are involved if they don't issue a public apology before the trial in February.
January 3rd, 2012 - Actor/writer Roseanne Barr aligns herself with Knightsec
BuzzFeed interviewed her about her involvement with the group earlier this week:
I first heard about it from people on Twitter. When I read the facts of the case, I got horrified at the usual things that horrify me – rape culture in all its gluttony, complicity of adults to protect athletes, and to help to destroy their victims/prey by painting them as immoral, rather than those who harm them. Victim blaming/woman bashing is America's downfall, in Steubenville and in Washington, D.C.
The 18-year-old jokes about the alleged rape victim and continually refers to her as "the dead girl." He jokes that his friends "raped her more than the Duke Lacrosse Team" and frequently laughs about how unconscious she was during the incident. He goes into details about the victim being urinated on in the street and jokes "she was deader than Obi-Won Kenobi after Darth Vader chopped his head off."
January 4th, 2013 - Jim Parks, webmaster of Steubenville fansite rollredroll.com releases a statement
As you are probably aware, this web site was recently hacked into illegally numerous times by a terrorist group. The outrageous claims they made while controlling this site were totally false, completely absurd, and totally unfounded. They were clearly both libelous and slanderous, and were not even intended to reveal truth, but rather simply to get media attention and terrorize the Steubenville community. Innocent people have been greatly harmed.
Unfortunately, several national media outlets, including the New York Times, have recklessly decided to aid and abet these acts of illegality and give the terrorists exactly what they wanted by disseminating inaccurate and legally actionable information and accusations. Incredibly, they have done so without even bothering to contact this web site for comment.
We wish to make it clear that we will pursue legal justice against the perpetrators of these evil acts and all of those in the media who chose to help them.
Roll Red Roll
January 5th, 2013 - A second demonstration organized by Knightsec will take place in Steubenville.
February 13th, 2013 - The official trial
Many are now questioning whether or not Mays and Richmond will receive a fair trail, in light of the Knightsec leak.
“A right to a fair trial for these young men has been hijacked," Richmond’s lawyer, Walter Madison, told CNN. "It’s very, very serious and fairness is essential to getting the right decision here."
March 17th, 2013 - The verdict
Judge Tom Lipps found Mays and Richmond guilty and delinquent under Ohio law, according to Reuters.