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Anonymous Helps Find Evidence In Gang Rape Case 436

Posted by timothy
from the sometimes-you're-glad-people-are-dumb dept.
jfruh writes "Evidence of a gang rape committed by members of an Ohio high school football team, including video, was, in the way of digital native teenagers today, put online on various social media sites — and was quickly taken down as students began realizing the magnitude of the situation. The hactivist group Anonymous has been able to find archived and cached versions of the damning content, which may help prosecutors make their case." (The original story from December at the New York Times adds more detail.)
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Anonymous Helps Find Evidence In Gang Rape Case

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  • Re:Tainted evidence (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:58AM (#42519237) Homepage

    When this story came out, the prosecutor told the press that they already had collected the video in question. And still hadn't charged anybody.

    In other words, there's an untainted trail of the evidence, and the reason that Anonymous got involved at all is that they're trying to shame the prosecutor's office into doing something.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:00PM (#42519259)

    I mean, why bother even having laws against rape if you're not going to enforce them?

    I forget; Which box is listed after "jury" in that famous quote about defending liberty?

  • Video link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:01PM (#42519283)

    Deadspin has been great about following this story (see the other links(, and this page from a few days ago is more in depth and has the video itself (and some choice quotes if you can't listen to this sort of thing):

    http://deadspin.com/5972527/she-is-so-raped-right-now-former-student-jokes-about-the-steubenville-accuser-the-night-of-the-alleged-rape [deadspin.com]

    Truly despicable.

  • by Kinthelt (96845) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:08PM (#42519381) Homepage

    The NYT article clearly states that two football players were arrested 11 days later, and are being held under house arrest until their trial.

  • Re:Tainted evidence (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:24PM (#42519625)

    The prosecutor, you mean the mother of one of the kids on the football team?

    Hurray small town america.

  • Re:Tainted evidence (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:28PM (#42519697)

    Actually, it is admissible. IAaL, I am assuming you are not an attorney. Any objection the defense has will go the weight and not the admissibility. All you need is someone to testify to the video, and that the contents are a fair and accurate representation of the events that occurred. It is a matter of course to identify the videographer, people in the video, etc. If the defense wants to attack the authenticity of the video, or if it was edited, that is fine, but it will, as stated above, only serve to limit the weight the jury gives it and not the admissibility for consideration. Additionally, you don't need video evidence of a rape to prove rape. They arrested, convicted and punished people for 1000s of years without video evidence, and in most cases today there is none.

  • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:32PM (#42519751)

    Actually, the Death Penalty would be counter-intuitive... it would lead to more dead rape victims.

    If a rapist is going to get the death penalty anyway, a LOT more of them would probably decide to kill the victim so they couldn't turn them in / report it / etc.

    Obviously you have psychos that kill their victims already (before or after) and you have some people that probably still wouldn't kill even if the death penalty was already on the table. But a large percentage would probably decide to do it.

    So, by killing the rapists you wind up killing more of the victims.

    Don't get me wrong: I feel that rapists and the lot deserve a very painful existence followed by an eternity in the lowest pits of Hell. But I also think that as bad as the victims feel... they deserve a chance to actually LIVE afterwards.

  • by epp_b (944299) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:37PM (#42519869)

    Sorry, but there are mounds of evidence as to why the death penalty is not a deterrent (ie.: crimes of passion, psychological studies that show humans are *really* bad at thinking ahead and considering consequences ) and as long as there a still a chance of wrongful conviction, I won't stand for mandated state murder. Not to mention killing is morally wrong no matter what the context or circumstances.

    I will happily see my tax dollars spent (and even increased) to incarcerate truly haneous offenders as long as is necessary.

  • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:37PM (#42519871)

    "Under Ohio law, the Ohio Attorney General is elected by the voters of the state and does not have the independent jurisdiction or ability to undertake investigations or prosecutions of juvenile crime. In this case, the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney who has such authority delegated her authority to the Attorney General's office to act as special prosecutor in the matter. The special prosecutors are not from the Steubenville area and graduated high school elsewhere."

    Source [steubenvillefacts.com]

  • Huh? Not charged? (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:40PM (#42519921)

    -August 11-12, 2012. The incident that began this case occurred.

    -August 14, 2012. The incident was reported to Steubenville Police.

    -August 16, 2012. Electronic devices of people who potentially had knowledge of the incident were taken, pursuant to search warrants.

    -August 17, 2012. Steubenville Police request technical and investigative support from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation "BCI" (a state agency supervised by the Ohio Attorney General). At the request of Steubenville Police, BCI expedited the evidence analysis. The analysis involved uncovering and reviewing tens of thousands of emails, texts, and photos from approximately a dozen electronic devices. The vast majority of such data was unrelated to the case. Investigators and forensic examiners never found any video of the alleged crime.

    -August 22, 2012. Based on the investigation of the Steubenville Police, two juvenile males were arrested and charged. Their names are Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond. Suspects remained in juvenile detention until November 1, 2012 when the Visiting Judge (from outside the county) assigned to the case placed the suspects on home arrest.

    -August 28, 2012. County Prosecuting Attorney delegates her authority to special prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

    -August 30, 2012. Steubenville Police meet with the special prosecutors.

    -The Juvenile Court trial in this case is scheduled for February 13, 2013. Circumstances surrounding media and public access to that trial are controlled by the Visiting Judge.

    Source [squarespace.com]

  • Re:Finally... (Score:5, Informative)

    by kannibal_klown (531544) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:49PM (#42520105)

    According to some posts made by the suspects: they lured the girl to a party under false pretenses, drugged her, and then had her way with her. At one point, on video, they're caught commenting that they couldn't tell if she was passed out or dead and didn't care either way since they got their rocks off. Then commented/question on whether it's really rape if she never even got the chance to consent or say no.

    Really creepy stuff.

  • by MrEdofCourse (2670081) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:20PM (#42520555) Homepage

    IANAL, but I don't think that's true. I believe the prosecution can use illegally obtained evidence if it was obtained by non-government individuals. See:
    Supreme Court Decision BURDEAU v. MCDOWELL, 256 U.S. 465 (1921)

  • by in10se (472253) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:23PM (#42520613) Homepage

    IANAL: Not sure if that's true. If the police obtained the evidence illegally, it could not be used in court. However if someone else obtains it illegally (who has no connection with the police) and provides it to them, then it can be used.

    "Evidence unlawfully obtained from the defendant by a private person is admissible. The exclusionary rule is designed to protect privacy rights, with the Fourth Amendment applying specifically to government officials."
    - Burdeau v. McDowell, 256 U.S. 465

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:59PM (#42521157)
    It's cute that you think public officers are held accountable. See http://www.copblock.org/ [copblock.org] for many examples - too many - where you're far from right.
  • by rpresser (610529) <rpresser@g m a i l .com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:28PM (#42521695) Homepage

    The "confession" video has a boy saying "They raped her harder than that cop raped Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction."

  • by cusco (717999) <brian.bixby@gmai l . c om> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:48PM (#42522033)
    They drugged her. Then when she was unconscious they raped her. Not the same thing at all.
  • by Americano (920576) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @05:16PM (#42524121)

    It's an 8-page article in my browser at least - make sure you look at the other 6 pages, wherein they detail: that she was passed out and at least two of the players "slipped a finger" inside, in addition to taking her clothes off, inviting other people to urinate on her, and flashing her breasts while she was passed out. And they recovered two photos from one of the suspects' phones, one of which shows the girl "face down on the floor, naked, with her arms tucked beneath her," and the other which they don't describe.

    Here's the single-page version [nytimes.com] of the NYTimes story, and it's got plenty of details to support *allegations* of a gang rape. Whether or not these allegations are true is what will be determined at trial.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @05:37PM (#42524405) Homepage Journal

    You heard wrong and obviously have never spoken to a rape victim. Rape is not a sex act, it is an act of hatred and violence. Its only purpose its to hurt, demean, and humiliate the victim. Many rapes are done with broom handles, pool sticks, toilet plungers, etc.

    Rapists don't rape because they're horny, they rape because they hate women.

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