Steubenville city officials launch blog to share the "most accurate information" on rape case

Announcement of the blog came just an hour before Anonymous' "Occupy Steubenville" protest began

By Prachi Gupta

Published January 6, 2013 8:17PM (EST)

In a surprising and defensive move, city and police officials of Steubenville, Ohio, have launched a blog to "disseminate the most accurate information" regarding the high school football team's alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl. According to Steubenville City Manager Cathy Davison, one of the goals of the site is to clear up what she believes is a misconception that the city put football above due process of the law. “When people are saying that our police department did not follow procedure, that the football team runs the city, that is not the case,” Davison said. “They went by the book. Everything was handled in an aboveboard fashion to make sure that the case can benefit from the fullest extent of the law.”

From the site's "about" section:

The goal of this site is to disseminate the most accurate information about a recent case involving sexual assault charges pending against two juveniles in Steubenville (Jefferson County Juvenile Court Case Numbers 2012-DL138 and 2012-139). City officials will update the site as new information becomes available.

According to the blog, the alleged rape took place on Aug. 11. The New York Times notes that videos and photos of it quickly spread within the community. The case gained national attention thanks in part to 45-year-old Alexandria Goddard, who investigated the trail of evidence left on social media, arguing that those who knew about the rape play a part in the crime as well. “What normal person would even consider that posting the brutal rape of a young girl is something that should be shared with their peers?” she wrote. “Do they think because they are Big Red players that the rules don’t apply to them?”

And, although Hacktivist group Anonymous released a graphic video of several boys joking that "they raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team," only two juveniles, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, will be tried in February. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said at Saturday's "Occupy Steubenville" protest that no other charges will be made. "It's a disgusting video," he said. "It's stupidity. But you can't arrest somebody for being stupid."

Anonymous has planned another  "Occupy Steubenville" rally next month.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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