Hackers hit Ohio school football team over gang rape

Anonymous arm KnightSec hack team website, demand apology for assault of 16-year-old girl

Published December 27, 2012 2:10PM (EST)

  (Pedro Rufo / Shutterstock)
(Pedro Rufo / Shutterstock)

Hackers identifying as "KnightSec," an arm of Anonymous, attacked the website of an Ohio high school football team to demand a public apology for the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl reportedly perpetrated by players.

Last weekend, the website of the locally celebrated Steubenville High School Big Red football team was replaced with a note and a video from the hackers in typical Anonymous style -- a message from a Guy Fawkes mask and a computerized voice. KnightSec warned that it would release personal information including names and Social Security numbers of Big Red players and staff if an apology was not issued to the rape victim. The hackers also released "preliminary" information, which they called "a warning shot," publishing names, addresses, phone numbers, and names of parent of 13 players allegedly involved in the rape.

"The town of Steubenville has been good at keeping this quiet and their star football team protected," the KnightSec statement read.

Last week the New York Times reported on the disturbing assault in the small Ohio town. A 16-year-old girl was, according to prosecutors, gang raped and drag from party to party by a number of star football players while she was too drunk to consent. Via 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.

In one photograph posted on Instagram by a Steubenville High football player, the girl, who was from across the Ohio River in Weirton, W.Va., is shown looking unresponsive as two boys carry her by her wrists and ankles. Twitter users wrote the words “rape” and “drunk girl” in their posts.

Two 16-year-old Big Red players, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond are on house arrest on charges that they raped the girl. Their hearing is set for February. Meanwhile, many members of the Steubenville community have defended the players and blamed the rape victim for trying to defame their beloved team.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

MORE FROM Natasha Lennard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anonymous Hackers Knightsec Ohio Rape Steubenville