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Sunday, September 25, 2016

If I were attorney general of Ohio, prosecutions in the Steubenville rape case wouldn’t end with the conviction of two high-school football players. In interviews, Mike DeWine indicated that he might seek additional charges, possibly obstruction of justice and failure to report child abuse.

Too bad Ohio has no law against criminal stupidity, or he could indict that Steubenville football coach who allegedly told a New York Times reporter, “You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.”

No wonder his players acted like louts. The guy sounds like he’s auditioning to play Coach Knuckledragger in Fast Times at Neanderthal High.

But the adults I’d really like to see brought to justice are those who helped a bunch of 16-year-old high-school kids get knee-walking drunk and provided them unchaperoned party houses to do it in. Alas, for reasons having to do with our willfully shallow national conversation about “gender issues,” as the deepest thinkers style them, it’s considered controversial to point out that both the victim and her assailants were drunker than…

Well, drunker than what? Than Lindsay Lohan? Than a peach orchard boar, as country folks say? Drunker than Dean Martin, the late crooner and comic from Steubenville who used to impersonate an amiable sot in his nightclub act?

Almost all of the ways we have to talk about intoxication are halfway humorous, although the wonder of the Steubenville case isn’t so much what happened at the party as what happened later on social media. That and the fact that all those drunk-driving high-school sophomores made it home alive that night, instead of running head-on into an 18-wheeler or plunging into the Ohio River in somebody’s daddy’s SUV.

My view is that the two perps got off easy. A year or two in an Ohio youth detention facility is nothing compared to the penalties they could have received had they been tried as adults. So no, their lives aren’t over, and yes, I imagine they can be rehabilitated. Once again, probably none of this would have happened if they hadn’t all three been hammered. So where did they get the booze?

Making this observation in a Facebook post, however, brought me a torrent of angry responses from individuals who imagined I was making excuses for Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, the high-school football stars who molested the victim after she’d passed out drunk, vomited all over herself and ended up naked at a team bash last August. Photos and videos of the helpless girl carried about like a captured missionary in a Tarzan movie got posted online for her classmates and parents to see.

In their drunkenness, the victim wasn’t a person to them; she was a thing. Possibly the kind of insatiable trollop they’d seen in porn movies; without shame, eager to be degraded, a groupie.

That’s not an alibi, it’s an explanation.

  • wesley rasmussen

    I agree with you. Unless the boys stole the booze,broke into a vacant home ( which we know was not the case in the latter premise, and I doubt the former), SOMEONE enabled them greatly. Saying “Boys will be boys” just does NOT cut it, and with all the professional athletes being called out on the carpet for their sexual antics, one wonders what makes high school jocks so esteemed that they can go around like some Roman Caeser, taking what is, in their eyes, their due.
    Thankfully, not all high school athletes are like them. If they were, then school athletics would be shut down all around the country in protest by the parents.
    As for the girl, you are right. She did something stupid, but, stupid is not a reason for rape. It is also not an excuse for posting the scene online for all to see – once it is there, it is never NOT there. They stole from her her own vision of her first sexual encounter, and replaced it with a distrust of men that will last well beyond her graduation.
    I say they should be reviewed when they reach adulthood, and branded sex offenders. That should be a lasting reminder to the boys, as well as a warning for future parties.
    And, go after the enablers, too.

    • RobertCHastings

      No, all high-school athletes are NOT like them. Just wait until they get to college, though, where they will be encouraged by wealthy supporters to take this, it doesn’t mean anything, and, by the way, if you get into trouble we will see that the judge is lenient,because he is a fan, too. While what happened in Steubenville is in no way similar to what happened at Penn State (well, in reality, it is), Penn State is an example of how far the community will go to protect their teams. How far is Steubenville willing to go?

  • When you say that the victim “got naked” and “ended up naked” you are undermining your case against your critics. As shown in the police interviews aired last week by 20/20, males at the home where the victim woke up the next day admittedly undressed her while she was passed out. Your phrasing seems to indicate at best a lack of concern for the victim, and at worst that she may have been complicit in her assault by being undressed. There is no excuse for sexual assault regardless of whether the victim is inebriated. Indeed, the coach and those who supplied the alcohol should be prosecuted, as should the mother who was present at the second party; she not only allowed the drunken victim to leave with the males, but also allowed multiple other drunken teenagers to drive.

  • phil

    There is a victim here and she should be who they are concerned with. The fact that the boys play the almighty sport of football does not excuse them from treating human being with the respect she deserves. She was stripped and scared for life, and all the coach is worried about is his precious stars. Only if they are animals with no control of their bodies do they have an excuse to rape a girl. And anyone who tries to defend that is the same type of animal. It does not cut it to say they were horny and drunk so we have to excuse them. If it had been the coaches daughter he would be singing a different tune. He should be tried for his stupedidy and suspended from coaching anywhere in this country.

  • Kendyll Campbell

    John Henry and Trudy Drescher. I “came of age” in the 70’s. I was a minor “most” of that decade. I spent a LOT of time partying with “adults.” Mothers/Fathers/Bosses etc that were 30-50. Okay, there may have “seemed” to be better respect of others’ property. But, to say that we had better morals? Come on! We spend all day, every day these days trying to inflict and imprison each other for “sins” that “in our day” were looked upon and given a wink-wink, nudge-nudge. I can remember company parties where the ENTIRE workforce was BLASTED! Today . . . ANY company holding a company party makes ABSOLUTELY sure that NO alcohol is allowed. Why? Because we decided to start holding our company’s legally responsible if we got drunk and ran into someone! That concept did not exist in the “old days”

  • There is no excuse for rape.

  • RobertCHastings

    I get the writer’s message about the boys being rehabilitated. But, if they are locked up for a year in the Steubenville Juvenile Detention Center, they will probably come out as local heroes. Rape is a serious crime, and MUST be treated as such. They should have been tried as adults, like so many other 15 -16 year olds around the country are. And stop enabling the “jocks”, who think they are only doing what they are entitled to do, after all, they are heroes, aren’t they?

  • Pamby50

    There was so much wrong with the whole incident. Adults supplying alcohol to under age minors. Boys thinking it is ok to rape an intoxicated girl. Girls thinking it is ok to post the whole rape on the internet. And so many adults thinking the boys should be given a pass. As for the parents of the kids involved, where were you. I don’t even know what a fitting punishment should be for you.

  • dslocum

    Excellent article! It states what should have been said in the first place.

  • No she didn’t deserve what happened but sadly her actions were reckless and stupid because it left her open to someone else’s criminal actions. When I was younger and going out I never got drunk (and never falling down drunk) unless I was with very close friends that I knew I could trust, not casual acquaintances. I also never left my drink unattended so I wouldn’t end up drugged. On the first few dates I drove myself in case things went bad and I had to cut out (also kept the drinking down those times). It was the early 70s, the era of free love and LSD and if you weren’t careful you often got both without really wanting it. It pays to be wary.

    • SteveAR

      Let me clarify how you and the Democrat who wrote the article put things: the girl was partly at fault for being raped.

      Do you realize what that would do to criminal law regarding rape? Worse, what do you think that would do to civil law? It’s an opening to turn the criminal into a victim and have the woman subjected to potential damages since the rapist could say he was led on.

      You know that whole lie called the Republican War on Women? The true War on Women is being waged by Democrats, and always has been.

      • No I did not blame her for being raped. But criminals take advantage of every weakness you show them, like leaving your doors unlocked or getting too drunk or leaving a drink (or not seeing it poured) where some scumbag can drug it. Everyone should be careful but women need to be even more so. As for the Dem vs Repub thing, both sides are about as hopeless.

        • SteveAR

          You and the Democrat author both said she was reckless and stupid, and somehow tied that to her being raped. As did the Democrat NAACP member. Most rape victims are not reckless and stupid and are raped anyway. But by your statement and that of the others, you are implying that somehow passion was the motive behind the rape. Rape isn’t a crime of passion, never has been. Being neither a rapist nor a woman, even I can understand this.

          If she had had consensual sex with one or more of the individuals involved, and had even gotten pregnant, then I would agree that her actions were reckless and stupid. But with proof that she was raped, all that gets thrown out.

          • You are reading your own opinion into what I said and not actually hearing what was said. Enough, you are another fruitcake that believes only what you want to believe. Sayonara.

          • SteveAR

            I wouldn’t believe you if you said you were a Republican and/or said you voted for Romney.

          • That’s because you are a blind assh*le who doesn’t hear anything he doesn’t want to hear. Sad but your kind are what is wrong with the Republican party now, too blind and stupid to live. And I am neither Republican nor Democrat.

        • Jerry

          This kind of issue pops up over and over again. We’ve all had lapses of judgement that have made us more vulnerable to bad actors that we should be. The question is, would these lapses diminish the guilt of someone who, for example, beat and badly injured someone? Answer — not a molecule! Bad behavior is bad behavior.

          No doubt, the Steubenville victim, if she had it all to do over again, would have done some things differently. This has absolutely zero bearing on the guilt of her assailants (and their enablers).

  • ‘Back when I was a kid, I use to walk to school in a blizzard. Every day until May. Uphill. Both ways.’

    This type of behavior has been going on for a very, very long time.
    The only reason it makes national ‘news’ is because of social media pushing the story.

    The failure of society is directly related to the abject and total failure of ‘news media’ to properly cover stories that are reality.

  • dolfan1

    I live in the area, and have sons that have heard more than what was revealed at the trial. The victim was an ex-girlfriend of another football player who was initially charged, but they were dropped. The ex-boyfriend had made the statement that NOBODY breaks up with him. He supposedly got his best friend to use his girlfriend (a supposed friend of the victim) to lure the victim to the party, allegedly to teach her a lesson for breaking up with him.. She (victim) was at a girlfriend’s house in Weirton, WV. She was reluctant to go, but did have a little crush on Mays, one of the convicted rapists. The supposed friend convinced her to go, despite her other friend not wanting her to. Reports were that the boys in the car taking her to the party, slipped her the date rape drug shortly after getting in the car. When the rape was first reported, the County Prosecutor attempted to scare (intimidate) the victim and her parents from filing charges. Allegedly because her own son was also a football player and close friend to the others involved, and may have been a participant. Shortly after charges were filed, another girl came forward with similar rape charges, but mysteriously dropped them after meeting with the Prosecutor. It’s been known around area schools of other such incidences in years prior. The first party was an assistant coach’s house, and it had been reported that he threw the party. Don’t know if that’s true though. The coach can’t be charged with stupidity, but Ohio law does make it a crime for coaches not to report a crime by those he is responsible for. This is something similar to what happened to Joe Paterno, except he did report it, but did nothing further when nothing was done about it. Plus, he continued to allow Sandusky access to the players.