Steubenville Rape Case Shows Sexual Assault Laws in America Are Outdated

The Steubenville rape trial began to unfold yesterday, proving this isn't going to get any less sickening as it has been these past few months. Steubenville High School football players Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond are charged with raping a girl at an alcohol-fueled party. The prosecution is arguing that she was too impaired to consent. The defense claims her silence means she never objected, and therefore the sex was consensual.

But what created this national firestorm of anger and emotion is that the alleged rape was essentially live-tweeted and documented like it was the Super Bowl. The New York Times first broke the story in December, and called the case "a sexual assault accusation in the age of social media, when teenagers are capturing much of their lives on their camera phones ... and then posting it on the Web, like a graphic, public diary." The story detailed how students documented the night by cell phone, and videos and pictures were passed around and posted online. Tweets from party goers read "Song of the night is Rape me by Nirvana." The victim was referred to as a "dead body." And since all of the videos and photos have since been deleted, the police lack evidence to charge the boys with pandering. Those who recorded the events of the night were suspended from extra-curricular activities at school.

So, allegedly, there are two football players raping and molesting a girl who is unconscious and their teammates are filming it like it is a hilarious stunt they can submit to Tosh.O. They watched their friends fondle someone who was so drunk she was vomiting, and did nothing to stop it.

Thanks to the hacker group Anonymous, some of these videos have resurfaced. In one video, the boys are laughing about what happened that night. "It's a disgusting video," Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said, "It's stupidity. But you can't arrest somebody for being stupid."

The fact that more people at the party have not been charged with a crime has torn the town apart.  Many claim there is a cover up and that the police force is full of ex-football players who are protecting the legacy of the team. The police launched Steubenville Facts, a site which reads "Steubenville Police investigators are caring humans who recoil and are repulsed by many of the things they observe during an investigation." 

Documenting a girl who is so drunk that she cannot speak being raped is beyond stupidity. The boys filmed it for two reasons: first, to further humiliate the victim, and second, to provide evidence that their fellow teammates were so masculine by having sex. One party goer said the video was a joke I forgot how funny victim shaming was! Even though these videos have been deleted, these boys need to be held accountable for their actions. If it is not illegal to share to the entire world pictures and videos of a rape victim before, during, after his or her assault, then it should be.