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Monday, January 7, 2013

Steubenville Rape Case: Monday Updates

As I observed in my major new piece at The Nation yesterday, I have been watching the controversy and outrage over the sexual assualts and alleged coverup in Steubenville, Ohio,  for weeks, partly because my wife's family lives nearby.   I have been to that small city at least fifty times.   Here are my weekend updates (almost 20 of them), with Monday's below.

8:00 CNN covering case tonight and AC leads off with it.  New evidnece put out by Ohio Attorney General today from "probable cause" hearing in October.  Quotes witness on girl "out of it" and assault on girl in backseat with witness videotaping (this has come out before). "Carried out" of party like in the now-famous photo.  Three witnesses testified then and cross-examined by defense attorneys--neither dispute that sexual acts took place but only that they were consenual.

Then Gary Tuchman talked to @KYAnonymous guy.  He appears on screen in mask in front of green "Anonymous" flag with voice scrambled. He defends putting evidence out and charging some guilty without trial.  Then student Ed Wilson goes on screen to say he had been IDed as being at party but denies it fully.  Another student, Atkins, claims two charged students not guilty for sure.

Then on to attorneys Jeff Toobin and Mark Geragos.  They are conflicted about Anonymous actions--"admirable" but "disturbing" as Geragos puts it.  Toobin things change of venue unlikely because juvenile court, just a judge and no jury.  Also, judge could seat courtroom. Toobin says "consent" will be key issue, of course. Geragos finally brings out the real key: girl could have been too drunk to give real "consent." Toobin wrongly says it may come down to "he said/she said" when in fact many witnesses and social media comments.

5:10   Local TV station reports U.S. Justice Dept. "is getting involved" and "intervened" in state and local prosecution efforts.  "A former federal law enforcement official said federal agencies have many investigative resources and perhaps manpower and equipment that Ohio doesn't have.  The former official further said it's also likely the FBI intervened in the case. In addition, if computer hacking is involved in a case, that is federal jurisdiction."

3:10   Attorney for Michael Nodianos (see below) who is featured in the "hard raping" viral video held a presser a few minutes ago in which he claimed his client was delivering only "second hand" information and was not at the party site where the alleged rapes took place.  He had arrived at an earlier party just as she was being carried out.  Two problems come to mind:  the rapes are alleged to have taken place at more than one site; and Nodianos in the video seems to suggest more firsthand knowledge (and at one point a friend seems to go check on the victim's condition).   Attorney says Nodianos withdrew from Ohio State but hopes to return in fall.

3:00  Whoa boy:  Nancy Grace now on the case--and with Roseanne Barr tonight.   Anderson Cooper tonight with more. 

2:10   Over the weekend, Ohio State U. issued a cryptic statement on student Michael Nodianos--who is the featured creep in that viral video talking about "hard rapes" and so on.  It stated that he had not been on campus since mid-December but this coincided with Christmas break. Today their official Twitter feed announced:  "Michael Nodianos is no longer a student at The Ohio State University."

1:05  The Atlantic Wire, which has contributed some valuable updates of its own in past days, returns with lengthy look at several subjects (that I've already covered) but also a little background on notable corruption in Steubenville's past.  Some 30 years ago I wrote a book on "whistleblowers" in which one chapter was devoted to the sheriff of the county right across the river in Weirton.  He risked his life busting local corruption and illegal gambling--got promoted to U.S. Marshal, and then got busted himself. 

11:45 p.m.  Flier for male students posted at Miami University: Top Ten Ways To Get Away With Rape. 

11:40  Democracy Now! covers the case: 

11:30  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, under pressure, says his office still looking at possible additional prosecutions but seems to throw cold water on this with this statement:  "There is a different between being insensitive and doing immoral things and committing a crime. And what I am confined to by Ohio law is what is a crime and what is not a crime."  Is not intervening to halt a crime in process right in front of your eyes not a crime in Ohio?

10:10 Attorney for the young man featured in the viral "hard raping" video will have press conference at 2:30 today.

10:05  To show how heated things have gotten: A "Mr. Jett" with Facebook charge that "masked people" threw things at his "honor roll athlete" son and he ponders tearing arms off them. 

10:00  Yes, there's one of those petitions that compel some response from the White House and it has virtually reached its goal.  Meanwhile, another local woman wants to speak out on being raped by kids--back in the 1960s.

9:10 a.m. Winston Ross of The Daily Beast with a new report, including chat with one of the Anonymous folks, a visit to the Spot Bar and some new alleged info from attorneys (an adult at one of the parties, not at another, etc.).  Ross gives equal time to defenders and protestors.

8:45   Everything you'd ever want to know about "roofies." 

8:30  New ABC video report...Was more coverage on morning shows today.

Late Sunday

8:10 p.m.  Attorney for one of the two defendants today calls for trial to be 1) postponed 2) moved out of Steubenville.   CNN:  "Adam Nemann, the lawyer for 16-year-old defendant Trent Mays, told CNN he wants the case moved out of Steubenville because of the extensive publicity it has received 'and what we perceive as threats to individuals, perhaps witnesses, and also defendants and even defense counsel.'"


Anonymous said...

Don't know what happened; but BECAUSE I don't know what happened, I'm willing to let this thing called "due process" work.

Eventually, in a calm setting, all the facts can be separated from the non-facts and some kind of clarity can be obtained.

(I guess that makes me a hard-corps pro-rape apologist...)

Anonymous said...

"Is not intervening to halt a crime in process right in front of your eyes not a crime in Ohio?"

No. Nowhere else in the United States is it a crime either. Nor should it be. Too many problems to make it one. Safety, for one. Especially in though gun control jurisdictions that prevent potential crime-stoppers from having the means to stop a crime.

Failure to report a felony is a crime, though. RC 2921.22.

Anonymous said...

Good Samaritan law says you have to help someone in trouble or do your best to help someone in trouble. These people laughed about it and ok-ed the actions of these animals.