With the Steubenville, Ohio rape case at the center of attention five months after the actual incident occurred, the 16-year-old victim feels "tormented" and wants the entire ordeal to end, according to her lawyer.
Bob Fitzsimmons spoke with Mail Online about how the victim is coping and what the family has had to go through to help her function during this challenging time.
"There are days when mom finds her daughter, or dad find his daughter crying, upset," Fitzsimmons said. "She's still a teenager, she's still a kid and we forget that. You have a young kid at the heart of this who has been victimized and people have lost focus."
Tweets, photographs and video from partygoers that night described the horrific incident, including details about how the two football players being accused of the crime handled her like a toy. Information taken from social media say the girl was urinated on, carried back and forth to multiple parties, raped in a basement and attacked in the back seat of a car.
But even with compelling evidence and eye-witness reports, half of the town of Steubenville is divided about whose fault it actually was.
Tweets suggest that many of the teens that night think the victim was deserving of the treatment she received. The tweets read:
"Some people deserve to be peed on"
"Never seen anything this sloppy lol"
"I have no sympathy for ******"
But the victim is also gaining supporters; the campaign group Anonymous staged a protest outside of the Jefferson County Courthouse to call for more justice, after Sheriff Fred Abdalla defended the way he has handled the case and his decision not to arrest or apprehend any of the other teens that were involved in the parties (or who posted lewd comments and videos via social network sites).
As imagined, the victim, who is now the center of a national case, is "desperate" for the ordeal to end.
"She is a remarkably strong young lady, gaining more strength through her family, but she's going through this ordeal as a victim of a very prolific crime and the attention is unparalleled," Fitzsimmons said.
The victim has also returned back to school and is determined to get back to her normal life.
"She has completed a season of sports and had a good time doing that last fall. She kept her grades up and her mom just told me today that she's being inducted into an Honours Society and her parents are really proud of that."
Though the victim has not spoken out, her parents have expressed outrage about the case.
After a Nov. 16 hearing that revealed the football coach gave character testimonies for both of the teens accused of the rape, the victim's mother spoke on the alleged cover-up and special treatment the football players are getting.
"Just Coach Reno saying that he would testify for those boys, saying he was so proud of them, that speaks volumes. All those football players are put on a pedestal over there. I do feel like they've had preferential treatment and it's unreal, almost like we're part of a TV show. It's like a bad 'CSI' episode. What those boys did was disgusting and for people to stand up for them, that's disgusting too."
Despite the tornado of events, Fitzsimmons contends that the ordeal has brought his client's family closer together.
We're keeping the victim in our thoughts and prayers and sending good vibes her way to help her get through this horrific ordeal.
SOURCE: Daily Mail