With the rape trial of a 16-year-old victim right around the corner, an online petition which boasts 70,000 supporters is requesting that the police department continue their investigation of the August 2012 incident to apprehend everyone involved.
The petition, which was presented to the Ohio attorney general’s office, calls on Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine’s office to continue the investigation to gather all evidence and ensure that all people involved, either directly or as onlookers, are prosecuted.
Currently, two high school football players, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, are being accused of raping the unconscious 16-year-old girl at a back-to-school bash on Aug. 11.
Partygoers, including athletes, used social media to joke and talk about the alleged attack, posting a photograph of the victim on Instagram and talking about rape candidly on Twitter.
“We want to make sure everybody involved in this crime is fully investigated and justice is served,” Kate Londen, communications manager for Choice USA said.
The Ohio chapter of Choice USA formally presented the petition to DeWine’s office in Columbus on Thursday morning. Another group, UltraViolet, which says it works for equal rights, also gathered signatures.
“To see one person so disrespected hurts the victim and damages the whole community, and Ohio deserves better than that,” said Diana Sencherey, Choice USA chapter leader at Ohio State University.
The petition comes as many in the town of Steubenville, Ohio believe that the charges would have never been filed without the pressure of social media. But supporters of the men say that social media was used to stage a public lynching and that the victim brought it on herself because she had placed herself in a bad situation.
Judge Thomas Lipps, who is presiding over the case in Jefferson County Juvenile Court, is deciding whether to close the trial to the public or not.
Prosecutors, the alleged victim, her family and one of the defendants have asked to close the trial. News outlets, led by the Associated Press, have sought to keep the proceedings public.
Whatever the judge decides, we here at GlobalGrind don’t take kindly to rape tolerance and we hope that justice is served.
SOURCE: LA Times