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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:51AM (#42519121)

    No boundaries, no jurisdictions... just results.

    All of the power of the harnessed internet with the face of the silent auction bidder.

    • by kilodelta (843627) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:58AM (#42519229) Homepage
      I know. I love what Anonymous is doing. It's the Justice League of the net.
      • by Applekid (993327) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:03AM (#42519311)

        So, who are the Legion of Doom?

      • by tattood (855883) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:07PM (#42520365)
        The problem is, that if Anonymous obtained the videos illegally, then the police will not be able to use it to prosecute the people that did it. The police can only use evidence in a trial that was gathered legally via a warrant.
        • by MrEdofCourse (2670081) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:20PM (#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 @12:23PM (#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

        • You're hilariously naive about law.

          ONLY COPS ARE RESTRICTED IN THAT WAY.

          If I participate in a crime, I see someone else do it, and then the cops catch me, DUH the cops can get me to rat on my friends and testify against them. You think because I saw them committing a crime while I was committing a crime, that my testimony doesn't count as evidence in court?

          Ugh, public education, ladies and gentlemen.

          The fruit of the poisoned tree rule only applies to cops, to prevent cops from abusing their auth
    • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:16AM (#42519487)

      Yeah, and they would never frame anybody or tamper with evidence or anything, because their motives are always pure and above reproach. And unlike public officers, they're completely accountable!

      Wait, who are these people again?

      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:37AM (#42519865)

        Yeah, and they would never frame anybody or tamper with evidence or anything, because their motives are always pure and above reproach. And unlike public officers, they're completely accountable!

        Wait, who are these people again?

        I can't tell if you're a smart guy trying to slam Anonymous or an idiot idolizing public officers. Either could be corrupt and/or unaccountable. Anonymous, however, has no vested interest either way in the lives, well-being and reputations of those in Steubenville Ohio - or their football team (which, if you read the NYT article, seems to be the main concern of many in the town)

        • by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:50AM (#42520113)

          Anonymous has no accountability at all. If taken with a grain of salt and backed by good police work, what they provide could very well be useful, but they're essentially no different than the anonymous tip line. Tips do provide leads, but they also provide a significant ratio of noise as well.

          We need police forces that at least have checks on them, even if they are sometimes broken. We definitely cannot rely on, or uncritically applaud the motives of those who choose to take certain actions under the Anonymous umbrella. It's like saying that being a little biased or corrupt is the same thing as being completely uncontrolled to begin with. The "intentions" of an anonymous tipster can be anything from helpful to just trolling or even character assassination, at the worst.

          So, let me say "Good job" to the individuals who ran down this data, but given the fact that there are no entry requirements for the group, Anonymous remains, as always, completely unpredictable in both quality of work, and even intent.

        • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:51AM (#42520143)

          I can't tell if you're a smart guy trying to slam Anonymous or an idiot idolizing public officers

          I was trying to say that the only difference between Anonymous and public officers is accountability. Public officers are also prone to frame someone or tamper with evidence -- this happens frequently. But the fact that they're accountable is important, and makes me more inclined to trust lawful authorities than a faceless mob.

        • If they are truly anonymous, how do you know if they have a vested interest in anything or anyone?
        • by Thomasje (709120) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:02PM (#42521233)

          Yeah, and they would never frame anybody or tamper with evidence or anything, because their motives are always pure and above reproach. And unlike public officers, they're completely accountable!

          Wait, who are these people again?

          I can't tell if you're a smart guy trying to slam Anonymous or an idiot idolizing public officers. Either could be corrupt and/or unaccountable. Anonymous, however, has no vested interest either way in the lives, well-being and reputations of those in Steubenville Ohio - or their football team (which, if you read the NYT article, seems to be the main concern of many in the town)

          How would you know Anonymous has no vested interest? You don't even know who they are. It worries me that people refer to Anonymous as an entity, rather than a mask of anonymity that could be worn by anyone or everyone, and that people ascribe lofty motivations to what is just another bunch of ACs.
          Also, lack of vested interest, proven or not, is no guarantee of benign intent. I was falsely accused of several acts of vandalism once, back in school. Once the accusation was made, the entire class believed it and turned against me, and several came forward in following days making additional accusations. I didn't do any of those things but that made no difference to the court of public opinion. Now, you could argue that a bunch of stupid naive kids can't be expected to make sound judgements as to what is true and what is false, but unfortunately most adults are just as credulous, and for anyone to throw accusations about in public can create a dangerous situation. Not something I'd applaud the way I see people doing here. The place to find truth is in a proper court of law, not the court of public opinion.

    • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:18AM (#42519543) Journal
      Uh. They're chaotic-whatthefuck. They do what they want with no regard for impact, just attention.
    • by Zephyn (415698) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:22AM (#42519587)

      Its parent groups were killed off while it was watching, what else did you expect?

    • by epp_b (944299)

      Ha, I thought precisely the same thing as I parsed the headline.

      It's interesting to see how they've gone from hated, wanted outlaws to (at least in my mind) maybe-they're-not-so-bad...

  • Finally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:51AM (#42519129)

    Anonymous does something truly useful and good!

    Way to go guys!

    • Re:Finally... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ciderbrew (1860166) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:58AM (#42519235)
      I'm sure they'll say the evidence isn't admissible.
      • Re:Finally... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SirAstral (1349985) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:04AM (#42519315)

        Well, if the video can be forensically shown to be un-tampered with then it will be admissible. The nature of the evidence is taken into account as well as the methods of collection. In the case of video, anyone can find it under just about any circumstance because the actions depicted in the video is the evidence itself, which tends to avoid the issues associated with other types of evidence that can be planted which is why they have to follow a strict chain of custody and procedures.

        Its a lot more difficult to plant video evidence of you raping someone as opposed to me walking in and claiming I found this illegal gun with the serial filled off in your home.

        • Re:Finally... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by nametaken (610866) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:33AM (#42519783)

          Maybe, maybe not.

          More important, cops will know who to question directly, same as if they'd had an anonymous tip. They can do that.

          Apply pressure to the people involved, one will flip. Everyone goes down, one with a lesser charge.

          • Maybe, maybe not.

            More important, cops will know who to question directly, same as if they'd had an anonymous tip. They can do that.

            Apply pressure to the people involved, one will flip. Everyone goes down, one with a lesser charge.

            And cops know how to cover up for their friend's kids. Which is exactly what is happening in this case. If Anonymous had not stepped in, these fuckers would be getting off with little more than a slap on the wrist. Read up on this Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

      • by crakbone (860662)
        They just need to point to where the evidence is located not present it. The full forensic procedure can be followed.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:55AM (#42519175) Homepage Journal

    I've been half-heartedly following this story once I heard the initial reports and what took place was almost, but not quite, as bad as the Indian student who was attacked, raped and beaten on a bus in India and later died.

    This girl was, apparently, passed out drunk (she was 16) and while passed out, was raped by at least 2 members of the football. Her limp, violated, body was carried by her arms and legs, all while being recorded and while others stood by and did nothing.

    Some people present tweeted what was taking place, some took pictures and one shining example of the human race was recorded for a length of time bragging about how much she was fucked (worse than in the movie Pulp Fiction according to him). No one called the police.

    Further, when asked about how he would feel if his daughter was raped (he apparently at the ripe of a late teenager had a daughter) in 10 years, he pontificated that in ten years his daughter would be raped and dead. What a wonderful guy.

    While the death penalty cannot undo what was done to someone, we as a society can no longer continue to coddle people who refuse to live with the basic bounds of society. There isn't something new in not raping, murdering, shooting, tealing from, beating or otherwise doing something to someone, and people such as this who have no regard for others do not deserve any sympathy or regard from the rest of society.

    • What's next, cutting off a thief's hands? Death penalty is not proportional to the crime. Yes, rape is bad, but it's not murder.

      • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:26AM (#42519657)

        What's next, cutting off a thief's hands? Death penalty is not proportional to the crime. Yes, rape is bad, but it's not murder.

        Obviously, castration would be proportional to this. :-)

    • This girl was, apparently, passed out drunk (she was 16) and while passed out, was raped by at least 2 members of the football. Her limp, violated, body was carried by her arms and legs, all while being recorded and while others stood by and did nothing.

      Do you know how much porn is online from what counts as respectable pornographic film companies doing exactly that? I don't mean staged content; I mean a couple 40 year old guys slip into a college party and fuck a completely drunk, barely awake (if even) college girl.

      Alcohol is considered fair play. I know too many girls who, when I bring up that I don't mess with girls once they've had more than a minor buzz, proceed to carefully explain to me that what they do when they're drunk as fuck is their bus

      • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <henrikstevn&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:34AM (#42519801)

        Do you know how much porn is online from what counts as respectable pornographic film companies doing exactly that? I don't mean staged content; I mean a couple 40 year old guys slip into a college party and fuck a completely drunk, barely awake (if even) college girl.

        You probably believe those Dancing Bear videos where a male stripper shows up to a bachelorette party and ends up fucking the bride-to-be and all the bridesmaids aren't staged either.

        No, those bangbus guys don't just pick up random girls on the street and fuck them in the back of a van for cash, either.

        Repeat after me: all porn is fake. Yes, ALL of it.

        Do you have any idea how much pressure is on porn producers to verify and document the legal age of every single performer in their productions? They will get shut down if records are missing or tampered with. All performers are required to submit to regular health and STD checks. Stringent records and contracts are kept.

        Why take a gigantic risk and have your male talent (which is in severely limited supply) rape some random girl on camera, provided they would even agree to do so and not just hand you over to the cops immediately? They would basically be filming their own confession.

        It's fake. All of it. Yes, even that video you just found that looks really authentic. Fake.

        • by slim (1652) <john@hart n u p.net> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:43AM (#42519985) Homepage

          They do, however, have girls sign consent forms, then genuinely coerce them into doing stuff they didn't want to.

          That is, the girl makes it clear when she takes the job that there's no anal, nothing rough, no bondage - then one by one, her agent, the director, the male co-star, etc. - browbeat her (verbally) into submission. It wouldn't surprise me at all if girls were given alcohol to expedite the process.

          For example, recently a documentary aired on British TV (sorry, can't remember the name) in which exactly this was happening, until the documentary film crew felt they had to intervene, rather than be accessories to rape.

      • by slim (1652) <john@hart n u p.net> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:56AM (#42520209) Homepage

        I know too many girls who, when I bring up that I don't mess with girls once they've had more than a minor buzz, proceed to carefully explain to me that what they do when they're drunk as fuck is their business and their responsibility--up to and including fucking the hell out of everyone when they're too far gone to remember their own name (or stay conscious).

        People just don't see this as wrong. I don't know why.

        Well, (assuming you're male, heterosexual, available, and not opposed to casual sex in general), let's turn it around. If someone tells you, hey, if you're 8-pint drunk, you're not allowed to consent to sex, what would you say? I'd say, to hell with that! Why should it be any different for girls?

        If you're not conscious, you can't consent; you can't even imply consent. So that's rape, no question. I doubt the girls you're talking about were defending their right to be shagged while unconscious.

        You can be very drunk indeed, still know what you want and what you don't, and still say no.

    • by epp_b (944299) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:37AM (#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.

    • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:38AM (#42519881) Homepage

      people such as this who have no regard for others do not deserve any sympathy or regard from the rest of society.

      I agree, but then why are you regarding them so much? Why are you spending so much of yourself on hating them? Why not just remove them from society and get on with your life? Why would you let them turn you into a killer? Why let them poison who you are?

      It's like torturing terrorists when you don't get actionable intel; even if they genuinely deserve it, that's not the point. It's about what we subject ourselves to. We choose not to torture because torturing harms us, not because the sonofabitch doesn't deserve it.

      We choose not to kill because killing is a nasty business, and is not necessary to achieve the goal of minimizing the rapist's ability to effect our world. Rather, it increases his effect on who we are. He does not deserve that power.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:55AM (#42519185) Homepage

    The really disturbing part is not just the fact that a 17-year-old was gang-raped, and no charges have been filed. No, the really really disturbing part was that a significant portion of the population of the town have actively opposed doing anything about it.

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)

      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?

    • by alen (225700) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:01AM (#42519277)

      but these were jocks, football players

      they are more equal than others

      • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:15AM (#42519477) Homepage

        Why is being able to run fast and throw/catch a ball accurately considered something that elevates these people above everyone else?

        Why can't people be elevated for doing things that actually contribute to society?

        Our priorities as a culture are SERIOUSLY fucked up.

        • by spidercoz (947220) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:49AM (#42520091) Journal
          Being originally from Small Town, Ohio, I can attest to the fact that people who live there have small minds and neither know nor care about things outside their own little world of shitty beer and Friday Night Lights. Quite simply, they make these dumb fucking children who have never been taught right from wrong into hero-figures because that is all they have. A few of those kids who are lucky/rich/smart enough will make it out, but for the majority of them, HS football is the peak of their lives, and they will spend their years after graduating living in the same town, working a shit job, and clinging to those days of "glory". Then when they have kids, they try to live vicariously through them, pushing them down the same path, and the cycle perpetuates itself. It's ridiculous and pathetic, but it's all these sad sacks of shit have.
      • by yurtinus (1590157)
        We're still talking about this? Maybe I see the world differently, but the whole nerd vs jock thing completely stopped mattering to me at high school graduation... The best advice parents can give to their grade school nerd children (and what mine gave me): Once you're out of high school, you'll have more friends, make more money, and be more respected than just about all of those jocks. Then again, my small town might not have been like this small town...
    • by Kinthelt (96845) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:08AM (#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.

    • It's not really disturbing. This is common in small-town America. The parents might be successful members of the community, they might know local government figures who can quietly plead with the small police force to investigate selectively. The mayor's son and the police chief's son might be on the same team. They might be all banding together to protect their kids from a lifelong fate that resulted from a terrible thing they did when they were a bunch of stupid kids.

      Note that I'm not condoning this AT AL

    • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:29AM (#42519729) Journal

      Because sex with drunk chicks is a major past time in America. Parties are arranged with alcohol specifically because people want to get drunk and fuck. It is well known that women do not go to bars to get laid; they go to bars to have fun, which is why we have wingmen--distract the girl's friends so she is isolated, because she's not there to get picked up. That's why guys take home so many drunk chicks: they did not come there to get taken home, they're just too drunk to think straight!

      Guys go out to the bar to find drunk bitches to fuck. Guys arrange parties and tell their friends to find chicks to bring so they can get them drunk and fuck them. This is not what college kids do. This is not what teenagers do. Thirties, forties guys do this. It is common, consistent, continuous behavior.

      Most laymen don't register this as 'wrong' until somebody calls it rape. Hell even women don't really take much notice that they've been taken for a romp; they just wake up, ask where the hell they are, and try to find their way home without giving it much thought.

      There is a sickness in the world, though perhaps I am pessimistic. Maybe the only reason we freak out when someone calls it 'rape' is because we've accepted this behavior to such a level that everyone pre-accepts the consequences--women don't go out to get fucked while they're passed out drunk, but when it happens most of them are like, "Oh yeah, that happens lol... man I was druuuuunk..." and don't flinch. Is this really what we are?

      • by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:48PM (#42522033)
        They drugged her. Then when she was unconscious they raped her. Not the same thing at all.
    • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:03PM (#42521253) Homepage Journal
      In a case like this where there is one person raped and a group of influential people who are the suspects, the town is going to defend the suspects or attack the victim. In texas where an 11 year girl was raped multiple times, the town said it was her fault for going with the people who raped her, she looked older than she was, she asked to be assaulted. This is not surprised. Many think boys have a right to sex, and when there is defenseless girl, of course they are going to assault her. And, of course,their boys are so virile that they would never have to force themselves, girls are naturally just going to submit. Are you saying my boy is so ugly and unskilled that he has to force girls to suck him? Is that what you are saying? Just saying.

      No, the disturbing issue is that the cops won't do their jobs and round up the suspects and let the prosecutors and grand jury decide base on evidence that was gathered in good faith. In the texas case, unlike the ohio case, the law followed the law and over 20 people have been convicted of a crime, and given various crimes from probation to life sentences. It is not up to the police to decide who is guilt and not. It is up to them to make arrests and collect evidence.

      And this problem is not limited to ohio. Minnesota has areas of with incredible high rape rates. Their excuse. It sometimes gets hot. Corpus Christi in Texas also is hot, and teens go there to party very hard, yet the rape rates are no where as high as parts of Minnesota. Maybe because the cops are going to arrest those who rape others, and not just blame the weather or the fact that victim was drunk.

  • It would appear... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:59AM (#42519249) Journal

    The better title might be 'Anonymous actually gives a damn about gang rape case, unlike clannish and football crazed natives of some backwater hellhole'.

    The perps in this case were almost unbelievably sloppy in concealing their activities; but the people supposed to be enforcing the law were, by turns, overtly apathetic and far more interested in protecting their hometown heroes and their precious football season than actually seeing justice done.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:24AM (#42519627)

      The authorities aren't overtly apathetic, they're seem to be in full-on coverup mode. According to the narrative that Anonymous/Localleaks/Knight Sec are telling, they have a vested interest that goes well beyond preserving hometown pride. One of the players implicated is the son of the county prosecutor attached to the case, and allegedly the girl transported to the prosecutor's residence during that night and raped before being transported to another location.

  • Video link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:01AM (#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.

  • This just in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s0nicfreak (615390) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:08AM (#42519377) Homepage Journal
    Anonymous wanted for possession of child porn
  • by BenBoy (615230) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:14AM (#42519469)
    Not addressing the rape here, but the tech ... It's striking, I think, that we still frame the conversations "The People", with cameras (social media), and "Big Brother", with cameras. But it's all just data, isn't it? And every side gets a chance to try to obtain and to frame that data. I wonder if London didn't waste a bunch of cash installing their panopticon when crowd-sourcing seems to be getting the job done so nicely.
  • by fsterman (519061) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:46PM (#42522011) Homepage

    This needs an update to include the town sheriff's amazing press conference ("Anonymous, I am coming after you!") and Anonymous's response [wordpress.com].

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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