Steubenville teens joking in video about possible rape - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

FOX19 Investigates: Steubenville teens joking in video about possible rape

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The small town of Steubenville, which is closer to Pittsburgh than any major city in Ohio, finds itself in the midst of an international uproar. It isn't bad enough that a girl's parents say she was raped by two of the town's high school football players while she was unconscious. Now there's a video online showing boys joking about it.

"It's hilarious," said one boy in the 12 minute video, which appears to have been shot after the alleged rape.

"What if it was your daughter?" asked another boy, who told the group he didn't find it funny at all.

"But it isn't," said the first boy. "If that was my daughter, I wouldn't care."

The video came to light this week after the hacker group Anonymous posted it on YouTube. Members of the group held a protest last Saturday in Steubenville and plan another one at noon tomorrow. They're worried the town may let the football players get away with a crime.

"We will not sit idly by and watch a group of young men who turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small town luck," said one of the group's members in an online video. "You now have the world looking directly at you."

Multiple media reports say everyone from the local prosecutor in Steubenville to police --- to even a judge --- have all had to take themselves off the case because of close ties to the high school and the football team.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office will prosecute the two 16-year-old football players at a trial next month. DeWine said today the investigation into what happened is far from over.

"We want the community to feel that justice was done," he said. "You know, the job of a prosecutor is not just to get convictions. The job of a prosecutor is to seek justice and that's what we're trying to do."

But in a case in which much of the evidence is online and the world is weighing-in on whether the boys are guilty, defense attorneys worry their clients may not get a fair trial. The picture that has surfaced of the two football players holding the arms and legs of a girl who appears unconscious is deceiving, claims one of their lawyers.

"The photo is out of context," said defense attorney Walter Madison. "That young lady is not unconscious. That young lady is capable of walking. And her friends are individuals who indicated that information to the police."

He says he will argue in court that the girl consented to the sexual conduct that occurred.

Meanwhile, online today, even more details of what supposedly happened were leaked.

"Fran and I have eight children," said Attorney General DeWine. "And I imagine if this was my daughter and I kept seeing things on the Internet and knew everyone else was seeing things on the Internet that no one can control, is a tragedy. It's just very, very sad and very upsetting."

What faces prosecutors, defense attorneys, and eventually jurors in this case is the difficult task of separating Internet rumor from established fact.

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