August 11, 2012 was just another average night in the small town of Steubenville Ohio. The End of summer parties were in full swing as some graduates were preparing to ship off to college, and others were preparing for another year of school, and another year of Big Red Football.
All the attendees to these parties were underage , but somehow managed to arrive to party after party with Beer. Others had a stockpile of liquor. One of the parties was hosted at the home of a Steubenville volunteer football coach.
This wasn’t your typical End of summer party weekend though. It was a weekend that would forever cast Steubenville and the Big Red Football program into the eyes of the world.
“Huge Party…Banger.” High School football Player Trent Mays posted on His Twitter account in regards to one of the parties going on that fateful night. This would be one of the many social media postings from the big red football players detailing the events of what would soon become the plight of the town. There are countless other twitter postings from this evening available online, but too graphic to read on air or post for the purpose of this story.
A 16 year old girl form West Virginia was in attendance of the Steubenville parties, and soon become to intoxicated to walk or speak according to police documents obtained from eye witness accounts. The alleged victim left the first party with Trent mays and another player, Malik Richmond, but not before others at the party including other football players, laughed at, taunted, and dared others to urinate on her.
The alleged victim was taken to a second party where the suspects and victim did not stay long. Witnesses have testified that the girl needed help walking and was vomitting in the street. She was taken by Richmond, Mays, and other athletes to a 3rd party at the home of another athlete.
This player who hosted the third party told police that he was in the backseat of his vehicle as Mays began taking advantage of the girl exposing her breasts, and penetrating her with his fingers as the witness videotaped the incident with his cell phone.
The player testified that he shared the video with at least one other person and was stupid for filing it and wasn’t thinking when he did so. The witness further testified that at the 3rd party, the victim was barely responsive, vomitted several times, eventually collapsing unconscious. At this point Mays began trying to coerce the victim into performing oral sex. At no point at the party did any of the other athletes try to stop mays or assist the girl because “noone thought anything forceful or wrong was being done.”
It was around this point pictures of the girl were posted to instagram and twitter of the girl, unconscious, shirt removed being carried by the arms and legs by the 2 suspects. This picture was shared multiple times by Steubenville athletes on various social media sites, and became the subject of jokes by those in attendance at the parties.
A recent graduate and former athlete of Steubenville high school tweeted from the party: “song of the Night is Rape me by Nirvana, and some people deserved to be peed on.”
The girl awoke the next morning not remembering what happen, but was further embarrassed when a family member filled in the blanks by showing her the photos from twitter and other social media sites as well as a video from the incident posted onto you tube as well as text messages from other teens who may or may not have been at the parties, but were spreading the incident far and wide.
The victim was taken to the hospital, and local law enforcement were notified, but police said it would be hard to investigate because the alleged victim had taken at least 1 shower after the incident and too much time (3 days) had passed since the alleged rape.
Mays and Richmond were arrested on May 22 one week after the rape. None of the other participants in the parties who stood by, took pictures or video were charged. The adults who provided the alcohol were not questioned or even charged.
Football Coaches were quick to dismiss the victims claims as unfounded or lies because she had to answer to her parents for being where she should not have been. Their trials begin on Febuary 13, but not before the local district attorney and judges recused themselves for having connections to the team.
Coach Reno Saccoccia stands by his players however. Despite photo and video evidence circulated around the internet, he has dismissed the girls allegations as unfounded, and refused to discipline any of his players for partying or standing by while the alleged rape took place.
When this Reporter called Coach Saccocia for a comment on this story, I was told in no certain terms would he comment and then threatened physical violence towards me should he see me in Steubenville investigating this.
This story received little or no attention from local ohio media until a blogger opened it up on her page, promptly bringing lawsuits from the families of the players involved in this case. The New York Times broke the story on December 16th this year.
However this is not the first case of alleged rape involving local high school athletes. In April, a 14 year old brought accusations against players of the team to which law enforcement dismissed the victims claims as unfounded.
We’ve all seen the lengths to which school officials and coaches will go to protect their football program with the scandal at penn state involving Jerry Sandusky in which child rape was covered up for decades. In the small town of Steubenville, It’s not uncommon for athletes to get special treatment for their activities off the field.
In the course of investigating this story other alleged rape victims have come forward after Anonymous became involved by Hacking the Big Red Booster Site demanding Justice for the August victim,and threatening consequences for those involved by releasing their personal info should they not come forward.
Many of the local players began attacking anonymous when the twittter postings from august were made available to the public sparking further outrage from the public, and shedding new light on the actions of not only the 2 arrested, but on the many eyewitnesses who were present on the night of the alledged rape, and did nothing to stop it.
The following are 2 alledged rape victims story shared on the condition of anonymity:
I was a former Steubenville High School student, and I used to date Jordan Banks, who was very abusive. He even broke my window in the school parking lot, while I was in the driver’s seat. Then, in the summer of ’09, right before our senior year, there was a series of parties. Me and Jordan got into a altercation, which caused the police to be called. I made the worst decision of my life and ended up leaving with him. When we were in the car, we continued to argue, and he punched me. I woke up from being unconscious in Trinity Hospital’s parking garage. I was naked, and he had his phone out. Although he said we were going to have sex, he didn’t rape me, but a security guard had came down before he got a chance anyways. I told the guard I thought he was going to rape me, and Jordan said I was just drunk. The guard was going to take both of us up to the hospital to call the police until Jordan said he played Big Red football. The guard let him go. I was taken up to the hospital lobby, and then taken home by a police officer. The next day, my mother and sister went to the hospital to retrieve the incident report, but the hospital never made one, and the lady told my mother that I was trespassing. I moved away the next week. Although I’ve never been happier, one night changed my life forever. Please help this little girl get the justice she deserves.”
Some of the boys accused were Freshman at Big Red and some accused were in my class at Harding. I started texting (insert name here) who is a senior football player at Big Red. After texting for a while, he asked me for a picture. Without thinking I sent him a nude picture. Within the next week, everyone from Big Red/ Harding had the picture on their phones. I asked him multiple times to please delete the picture and he swore to me he did.. I hung out with him and a few big red boys that following summer at a graduates apartment in Steubenville. When I got there, they showed me that they all still had the picture and proceeded to make fun of me. (Name of one boy affiliated) told me to go into the bedroom with him where he began to touch me sexually. Being as scared as I was and not knowing what to do, I let him. We had sex.. Afterward I walked back into the living room asking for them to just take me home.. They told me no. They proceeded to tell me to go into the bedroom with another student, (name of boy who sent out the picture).. not knowing what was going to happen, I did.. We got into the bedroom and I began to tell him how scared I was and how I just wanted to go home.. He began to try to talk me into sleeping with him saying, “Just do it.. No one will know.. I promise.” He began to touch me. I told him to stop but he continued and I let him.. As he crawled on top of me, both of us now naked, the people that were in the living room busted into the bedroom, turned on the light and started screaming. One of them had their phone out. (I don’t know if any pictures were taken) Disgusted, I jumped up, threw my clothes on and demanded to be taken home. One boy stood up and volunteered to take me home. When we got in the car he told me if I didn’t flash him, he wasn’t taking me home. I screamed in a rude manner to just take me home and he began to drive me home. I was harassed for the almost two years after the events of that year transpired. Almost to a point of suicide. They started rumors about me saying they trained me. Which had definitely not happened.. I never told my story because I was afraid of the criticism I would receive. It’s not a rape case but I believe that these boys would do what they’re being accused of.. Considering the boys involved with me had no problem doing what they did”
Residents of the town of Steubenville have contacted me privately on social media sites, claiming that there are many more victims out there, and the town of Steubenville it’s schools, and officials are happy to look the other way not only at the conduct of it’s athletes, but when it comes to the improper conduct of their law enforcement. Jefferson County Sherriff Fred Abdallah has been investigated by the FBI many times for corruption as well as other charges.
The town of Steubenville has been split in half by Big Red Supporters, those who want justice not only for the victim, but who want the alleged corruption of the town exposed.
Anonymous has promised to bring justice to the victim, and expose the corruption in the town of Steubenville.
Anonymous promises to hold rallies in Steubenville on December 29th at noon as well as January 5th 2013 at Noon. Threats from residents have been fluttering online since the announcement as well as hundreds coming out in support and promising to attend the rallies.
More on this Story as it Develops