The Steubenville, Ohio rape case involving two high school football stars became a viral news story. The case was essentially created online through digital and social media channels. The victim, a 16-year-old girl, was blacked out and didn't remember the incident, but because of text messages and cell phone pictures spread on the Internet the prosecution was able to find the two Steubenville teenagers guilty of rape. Once again, online media is helping shape this story. A YouTube user "Samantha Stendal" posted a video on March 22 titled "A Needed Response" showing rapists everywhere how they should react to a drunk teenage girl being passed out on their couch.
The YouTube viral video is short (only 26 seconds), but it has already gotten nearly one millions views as of Monday, March 25. Clearly, it helps that the video is directed at the Steubenville rapists, but it also shows the power of the Internet. The video depicts a girl passed out on a guy's couch. The guy then shows rapists how to properly handle the situation by giving the girl a pillow and comforter. The video concludes with the guy talking to the camera saying, "Real men treat women with respect."
Trent Mays, 17, was sentenced to serve two years in the state juvenile system while Ma'lik Richmond, 16, was sentenced to serve at least one year. The girl had no recollection of the event occurring, but according to evidence and testimony, sexual acts were performed on the victim while she was so drunk she didn't have the cognitive ability to give consent to sex. Judge Lipps described the evidence in the case as "profane and ugly."
Another issue is that photos of the girl were taken and spread around. Ohio's legal definition includes digital penetration. Besides the obviously disgusting part of the rape involved, there were a lot of other issues brought up in this case, including the supposed cover up by some officials in Steubenville, Ohio because the two guilty parties were star high school football players.
You can watch the viral YouTube video "A Needed Response" below.