It's become a thing in the news just lately, that a young girl in Steubenville, Ohio was raped in August 2012. Exactly how the circumstances came to be what they were, that she was apparently unconscious and in the company of some high school football players, is unknown to me. The word "party" has been uttered more than once, but in my experience the combination of the words "party" and "high school football" usually translates to "lots of unsupervised, underage drinking."
What happens next? Well, given no supervision and lots of adulation from fans, evidently high school football players figure they can do whatever they want. They raped the girl.
Several voices can be heard on the video. None of the voices express any concern for the girl's well-being, let alone her consent to any of what was going on; in fact one even jokes that in light of her unresponsiveness to the ongoing sexual assault, she must be dead.
They also briefly debate whether it could even be construed as rape, since they didn't know whether she would have "wanted it" or not. "Maybe that was her final wish."
Well, I can certainly understand where the young lady's father is coming from. He wants the attackers hanged. I think he has a point.
Those young men are old enough to make some smart choices with their lives. They've seen enough about crime on the TV and seen enough of those crime shows to know what is and isn't a crime. There has been too much glorification of taking when the taking can be done, of being "owed" or "deserving" access, privilege, superiority. But they aren't using what little wisdom they could have developed. Instead they are taking advantage of another person's incapacitation for their own wants and desires. Their victim's wants and desires? Not acknowledged, only mocked.
So why am I writing about this? Certainly there's enough outrage going around but let me drop a little more. One of the kids' names is Michael Nodianos, and his attorney Dennis McNamara has this to say about him: "Michael is a really good kid from a really good family who did a really dumb thing and regrets it,"
A RAPIST IS NOT A GOOD KID. A good kid would have recognized that the young lady was in harm's way and defended her. Nodianos didn't do that. He didn't even rise to the level of ambivalence; even mocking commentary in this instance cannot do anything but harm her psychologically. At best, ambivalence would have been to walk away, but that didn't happen either.
Other bad kids, even worse ones, include Trent Mays - accused rapist.
Malik Richmond, accused rapist.
As soon as I learn more names, I will post them here. No one should ever be permitted to get away with stuff like this. It's the worst sort of behavior, and I would hope that the parents are tearing their hair, wondering exactly what the hell they did wrong that their kids turned out to be such monsters.
I don't support the death penalty. But as a father, if it were my daughter in this situation, I would be murderously angry.