A chilling video leaked by an Anonymous cell this week has added a new twist to a sordid tale of alleged rape that has shattered the peace of a close-knit Ohio football town.
The disturbing 12-minute video, posted online Tuesday by the hacktivist group “Knight Sec,” shows teens making jokes about the events that reportedly transpired on Aug. 22.
One teen appears to refer to the victim as "deader than" Trayvon Martin, and adds, "she is so raped her p**s is about as dry as the sun right now."
Months later, what exactly happened in Steubenville, Ohio, is still being pieced together. Few witnesses have stepped forward to talk about the parties where the underage girl, who was from a neighboring town, was allegedly transported, assaulted and photographed by athletes from local Steubenville High.
The video, which was allegedly posted to YouTube on the night of the incident, has been brought to the attention of local police.
Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty released the following statement Wednesday (via WTRF):
The Steubenville police department has been aware of this recent video that was released. Since late August 2012 the subject who made the video was interviewed. This has all been turned over to the prosecutors which are the Ohio Attorney Generals Office, who is prosecuting this case. It's always been the policy of the Steubenville Police Department not to make comments on details of a case prior to it going to trial. I know this is frustrating for some. I can't change that now, as you know this is a high profile case and for the parties interested I believe I should not make a comment on it because I can't make a comment on it. It's being handled by an outside agency
In an eight-page investigation into the assault published in December, The New York Times wrote that social media has played an interesting, and at times confusing, role in the case.
From the Times:
Twitter posts, videos and photographs circulated by some who attended the nightlong set of parties suggested that an unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted over several hours while others watched. She even might have been urinated on.
The newspaper wrote about the assault in detail, describing how the unresponsive and potentially unconscious girl was allegedly penetrated and violated, sometimes on camera.
So far, two football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, have been charged with rape and kidnapping, according to the Herald Star. But this was not enough for Anonymous. Perhaps spurred on by The Times exposé, the group fresh from its hacking victory over the Westboro Baptist Church, became involved.
The group seemed enraged by what it considers a cover-up by authorities and school officials in Steubenville, a town where high school football is king. (The Steubenville Big Red has won three state titles since 2006, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.)
Knight Sec kicked off #OpRedRoll with a website, Stopbigred.com, and published a "preliminary dox" on Christmas Eve, listing the names of football players and teens who may have witnessed or participated in the alleged rape.
The group wrote:
On this fateful night a life was changed forever as a group of the football players of Big Red High School, dubbed themselves "rape crew" and began taking advantage of an underage girl. The girl was sexually assaulted, molested, raped, and drug unconcious [sic] from party to party. This is a warning shot to the school faculty, the parents of those involved, and those involved especially. A preliminary dox is being released on some of those involved...
You can hide no longer, you have attracted the attention of the hive. We will not sit idely by and watch a group of young men who turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small town luck. You now have the world looking directly at you.
Then on Jan. 1, the group released the video, published along with a private investigative dossier, on Local Leaks.
The former Steubenville student featured in the leaked video had already drawn criticism for comments he made on the night of the alleged rape, tweeting "Song of the night is definitely Rape Me by Nirvana," and "Some people deserve to be peed on," reports Jezebel, which has been following the case.
This latest case of alleged rape in a high school football town echoes that of Savannah Dietrich, a 17-year-old whose sexual assault was documented by her teen attackers. The teen then mounted a public social media campaign of her own to get justice.