The “Good Ol’ Boys” of Steubenville, OH
It’s hardly news that football can bring communities together. You might be surprised to
find out that football can bring a community so close together that they would band together
to cover up a felony.
Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, members of Steubenville HS’s football team, are currently
facing charges for the rape and kidnap of a 16-year-old girl in August of 2012. The girl had been drugged;
her assailants took photos and video of her while in a comatose state. She was then transported to at
least three different parties, where she was raped by at least the two young men mentioned above. Two
other young men were originally charged with the gang rape as well.
In late December, a subgroup of Anonymous (called Knight Sec) began using information from
students at the local high school to push for justice. Screen captures of pictures, tweets, and Facebook
posts make up most of the evidence, including pictures of the unconscious girl and remarks such as
“Never seen anything this sloppy lol”. In a 12-minute video, one Michael Nodianos divulges the details
of the crime and admits to participating in the crime. The authorities, when made aware of the video,
replied that they could not retrieve it. The video was retrieved by Knight Sec and given to LocalLeaks,
a blog which gives a detailed—and possibly embellished—rundown of the crime and the Steubenville
community’s possible cover-up efforts.
Despite the scope of this controversy, the big fuss over the Steubenville gang rape case
is not necessarily how to convict the perpetrators: it centers on the role of vigilante justice. By
attempting to hold these young men accountable for their actions and using public and political
pressure from outside the community, Anonymous stands a very good chance of seeing results
from their efforts. However, Anonymous could potentially insult and invade the privacy of
innocent people in their search for guilt.
In addition, not all the information published by Anonymous and/or LocalLeaks is linked
to specific user accounts on Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter, and can’t be proven to be true,
including most of the cover-up conspiracy claims. Even if it was all true, most of Anonymous’
information isn’t solid enough to use as evidence for conviction. To view the information
gathered by Anonymous and decide for yourself, visit LocalLeaks at www.localleaks.me.