Suspicions Confirmed in Steubenville

steubenville

Suspicions and accusations have been confirmed today as four more people were charged with various crimes, including obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence, relating to the infamous Steubenville rape case. And these aren’t average individuals; they’re persons who occupy significant positions of authority in a small town like Steubenville.

In a news conference on Monday morning, DeWine explained that four additional adults are now facing similar charges. In addition to the superintendent, an elementary school principal, a wrestling coach, and a volunteer football coach were also charged — the first two for failing to report child abuse, and the last for facilitating the underage drinking and delinquency of a minor. The high school’s beloved head coach, who was accused of telling football players that he would protect the two rapists from any repercussions, is not facing any consequences from the grand jury.

The school superintendent, Michael McVey, has been charged with one count of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstruction of justice alongside making a false statement and obstructing official business.

As you may recall, the school’s director of technology, William Rhinaman, was arrested last month for tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, obstructing official business, and perjury.

This brings the total to five adults in positions of authority who had a hand in facilitating or covering up that night’s events.

Beyond what they were charged for, these people are also responsible for facilitating and preserving rape culture for their own ends. The school officials clearly didn’t want the rape prosecuted because they knew it would look bad for their athletic programs and thus their own careers.

Repeat — they saw the evidence themselves and rather than report the rape of a young girl, they chose to cover it up so the school wouldn’t look bad.

And just to make it clear; Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine left little room for doubt for what the implications of these charges are when he made a statement today.

“All of us, no matter where we live, owe it to each other to be better neighbors, classmates, friends, citizens. We must treat rape and sexual assault as the serious crime of violence that is,” DeWine noted. “When it’s investigated, everyone has an obligation to help find the truth — not hide the truth, not tamper with the truth, not obstruct the trust, and not destroy the truth.”

I doubt these will be the last charges filed as DeWine insists, and it would seem that there are more than enough grounds for a whole host of civil lawsuits.

If America is lucky this will serve as a cautionary tale to other town officials across the country who have almost certainly engaged in similar behavior.

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  • Christopher Foxx

    The school officials clearly didn’t want the rape prosecuted because they knew it would look bad for their athletic programs and thus their own careers.

    Well, they certainly managed to prevent that.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The school officials clearly didn’t want the rape prosecuted because they knew it would look bad for their athletic programs and thus their own careers.

    This is reminiscent the “code of silence” one hears about on police forces and other similar organizations. The mindset of “We cover up any wrongdoing so people think we’re good folks, because they never hear otherwise.”

    The idea that, for folks to have confidence in your organization, you have to diligently hide anything you can be criticized for is not just morally bankrupt, it’s ineffective. Personally, I’m far more likely to have confidence in an organization when I see that they diligently air their dirty laundry and make a point of cleaning it up than if all I ever hear is “Nope, no corruption here!”

    “All our cops are good cops because we’ve never admitted there are bad cops” is less convincing than “All our cops are good cops because you know that time we found a bad one we did not stand for it.”

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      “All our cops are good cops because you know that time we found a bad one we did not stand for it.”‘

      “No news is good news” is a conservative mantra. Bad news shakes up things. Admitting weakness means the entire system is weak. Ostrich head meet sand.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Yes, very much that. It’s a mindset that shows how insecure and afraid the people holding it are. Any hint of criticism terrifies them, so they go to extremes to hide anything they can be criticized for.

        When, in reality, if they made a point of rooting out the bad folks, rather than covering up for them, they’d be praised.

        But since their world view is predicated on being a victim, they never recognize that.

    • Draxiar

      Or they consider themselves in some sort of fraternity and can’t let one of their own burn in flames (perhaps because of some other skeletons in the closet that may come out).

      • Christopher Foxx

        I get the loyalty aspect. If I had a child who had done something bad, there would be a tendency to protect them. But no matter what the crime, that protection has limits.

        If they shoplifted something I might not make them turn themselves in, but I would make definitely them return it to the store. The victim is made whole and nothing is really served by turning the child in. I’d take care of discipline at home (i.e., internally).

        Bit if they roofied and raped someone, then it’s a whole different story. I’d provide the best lawyer I can find, but I’m not going to help them further victimize the victim.

        Loyalty goes both ways. My loyalty to you means I’ll stand up for you, but your loyalty to me means you don’t put me in a position where I’m supposed to cover your crime. If you do, then the loyalty bond was broken.

  • D_C_Wilson

    The school officials clearly didn’t want the rape prosecuted because they knew it would look bad for their athletic programs and thus their own careers.

    Yeah, they thought that at Penn State, too. Didn’t work out so well for them either.