It Was Rape
Words from the defendants, their lawyers, and their parents
“I had no intention”
“No pictures should have been taken”
“Terrible mistake that they made”
Today we learned that there would be justice for Jane Doe. The Steubenville rape case had more indisputable evidence (text messages, photos) than many other rape cases that are brought forth. After the verdict of adjudication of delinquency (similar to a guilty verdict in juvenile court) the calls for leniency were ignored as the two defendants could have been tried as adults. Even during sentencing very little was said about the rape of Jane Doe and the defense seemed preoccupied with their own fates. The tears cried by 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond were tears of the scared, not tears of the remorseful.
Rape is a felony of the first degree in the state of Ohio category 2 offences in juvenile courts. The court made the decision to keep the matter in the juvenile court. Regarding charges of rape, committed minimum 1 year maximum until 21.
Juvenile sex offenders will have treatment to prevent a similar crime from being committed. Both defendants will be registered as juvenile sex offenders. It is court ordered that they have no contact with the victim until they are 21.
This is an important case to keep in mind. Rape is not the inevitable result of a night out drinking it is a conscious decision on the part of the perpetrator to violate another human—in the case of Steubenville the alcohol ingested by Jane Doe negates the ability to consent.
If Jane Doe had been drunk and passed out with no rapists present she would have been fine. This case wasn’t about two bad athletes but about a culture where these boys have been brought up to think that they have to right to penetrate, urinate, and otherwise humiliate a young woman. It speaks volumes of the environment when so many people witnessed these behaviors and yet no one stepped in. Yes they were young, but that cannot excuse behavior like the humiliations to which Jane Doe was subjected.
Although there was justice for Jane Doe today her battle is not over. She lives in a town that repeatedly tried to victim blame. Jane Doe won an a cost of two friends and national shaming. It takes a brave spirit, and it also illustrates why more women may be afraid to come forward.