Steubenville rape case: school superintendent, staff charged


#1

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#2

About time. Now watch those wonks get pardoned. Or slapped on the wrist. Call me cynical if you must…


#3

Ugh, Steubenville sounds like a more-sordid version of the creepy little town in “The Lottery”, where they had an annual human sacrifice for harvest purposes. I wonder how many they’d accept for a trophy win?


#4

The last line of TFA is incredibly depressing.

If convicted, William Rhinaman could be sentenced to four years in prison, which is longer than the two teens convicted of rape will serve.


#5

Oh, wow! This looks like a great “educational opportunity” for school administrators around the country. Let them know that obstructing justice to allow the continuance of rape culture can mean they could face prosecution. Who will they care about more: the raping jocks or the victim? When their own personal freedom is at stake, the value might shift strongly to the right.


#6

Why is this depressing? No matter how bad a teen is, they are the product of their environment. Taken out of the environment, they may be rehabilitated.

An adult? An adult is the product of what the adult does. They made the environment in which the teens felt invincible enough that even rape was acceptable so long as they kept winning. I grew up in a small town like this, and I played on a jr. high team…if you were football, you were golden and those on the Jr. teams were rapidly told that they were what gave the town value. It starts early with these people.


#7

Thank you for putting forth a counter argument that made me change my opinion. I had a knee-jerk reaction at first too, but you’re right: the adults in charge are ultimately more at fault.


#8

I don’t think it’s depressing at all. I think it is a very good sign - even if the accused are acquitted.

It would be really easy for the prosecutors to go after the rapists only; most of us in the commentariat would nod sagely and assume justice had been done. Maybe a few posts on Jezebel or Salon would argue that the adults were culpable too, but they’d easily be dismissed as shrill feminists looking to start a witch hunt. (Never in those words, of course. Except on Hannity.)

But these charges say to me that the prosecutors are actually doing their jobs, not just enough to look like they’re doing their jobs on CNN. Getting evidence for charges like this is hard work, particularly when the community where you have to gather that evidence is hostile. They’re not going to let anyone sneak away while the publicity spotlight’s glaring down on a couple of loutish teenagers.

Good for them.


#9

Getting someone drunk, raping them, and leaving them in the snow isn’t some minor youthful indiscretion that they’re going to grow out of. There’s some callous disregard for life and autonomy there.

Do the adults hold some responsibility? I’m not denying that in the slightest. But four years for the coverrup and less than that for rape? That’s all part of the problem.

I do agree with DevinC that it’s good that they’re going after the others, but I have a solid hunch that it’s only because of all the publicity and it’s going to stay fairly rare.


#10

Strange, I missed the part where you discussed justice for the victim.


#11

In NYT today Mike DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general is quoted:
"How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?”

“Some may ask why others were not indicted. Under our system of justice the grand jury must have probable cause to believe all the elements of a criminal offense are present.”

“It is simply not sufficient that a person’s behavior was reprehensible, disgusting, meanspirited or just plain stupid,” he said.


#12

So this is a big cup of STFU for all he people of the town complaining on various threads that the internet unjustly persecuted them and their ville.

On second thought, they were charged based on a grand jury’s decision, so I’m not sure how solid that is.


#13

This is justice for all the victims-who-would-have-been. It’s like going after the hierarchy in the Catholic church which, through coverups and hush money and reassignments, has supported sexual predators in the priesthood.


#14

“But those poor school staff, this could change their lives forever!” The MSM in a couple months.


#16

It has nothing to do with revenge fantasies. It has to do with practicality. Why would a victim ever come forward and face the abuse that a rape victim faces when the perpetrators get a trivial sentence? Out of a sense of good will, or hope to prevent future abuses? Versus being attacked for the accusation?

I understand that many people, like you, think that justice means rehabilitation. And I don’t doubt that this is a major part of it, probably the most important part. But there does need to be a motivation to the victim that their aggressor has been punished. This isn’t a revenge fantasy, but something that must be done to ensure that the system works. Lady Justice holds a sword for a reason.

With that said, I have great respect for the fact that you have gone though such pain and have come to accept rehabilitation as the optimal solution. It truly reflects a great aspect of your character, and is an incredibly honorable trait. Nonetheless, I disagree in part, but still with respect.


#18

Obviously you need to look at several factors, such as maturity, malice, history, etc. You aren’t going to treat a 12 year old rapist the same as a 16 year old rapist or a 30 year old rapist. It is a balance between enfranchising and protecting victims as well as rehabilitating an aggressor for an eventual return to society and providing some deterrence for potential rapists. But you bring up a good point as far as this being a social problem as well as a problem with individual aggressors. The entire rape culture must play a part as far as sentencing and rehabilitation. We are really caught between two ethical theories here: that the punishment and rehabilitation of the aggressor must treat the aggressor as the ends, not just a means to an end (not just a cog in the vast ‘system’) and the requirement of our society to crush rape culture so that future generations aren’t victimized. You pointed out that you “don’t know what the answer is” and I think that only means you have to be flexible as far as balancing punishment and rehabilitation. Both must serve a part, but in a way that they don’t counteract each other. It doesn’t need to be a 100 year sentence, but a 1 or 2 year sentence (or 30 day sentence such as in the Montana case) is simply unacceptable.


#19

I could see it going either way. I have no reason to suspect that the State level has any more interest in justice than the local level did; but now it’s the local officialdom, rather than the victim, who occupy the role of ‘people who made us look bad in public’, and that is not something that is taken lightly.

If it has come to the point where a state level investigation has been forced to come in and sort out the locals, it wouldn’t at all surprise me if that investigation is being moved by some combination of people who’d prefer that the whole matter stay under wraps; but have been forced by national attention (who will Not Be Happy with the locals who couldn’t keep their dirty laundry out of sight) and people who want to rack up a few scalps in the prosecuting business (who likely have no illusions about making friends in Steubenville; but smell blood on a larger scale).

If such is the case, it could end up being fairly uncomfortable for the big fish, now out of their small pond.


#20

Locking up athletes will not change anything, start locking up the administration, and people might start to learn.


#21

I’m sorry that happened to you. And I thought your comments about justice were tremendously insightful and humane.


#22

I agree with your overall sentiment, but you appear to be confusing the Steubenville case with the Maryville case - which is probably even more heinous.