What has changed? Not really anything.
What has changed? Not really anything.
Seven years ago I had written about a child murder case in Steubenville, Ohio. The father of the baby, Fred Roman, bashed his son’s head against a wall because he was crying. Today, the mother of that child is in jail on a charge of child endangerment, and her son is dead. COVERED in bruises from head to toe according to Sheriff Fred Abdalla and had burns on his feet.
In June 2007 WTOV9 reported about this same woman after her son was murdered:
Sheriff Abdalla said that there was no way Nicholas got the bruises from falling down the stairs as is being alleged. The burns on his feet — he was NEVER taken to the hospital for treatment. WHO DOES THIS!!! Who doesn’t have their baby treated for burns? I should probably just shut up now because I have nothing nice to say about this woman or anyone who had any contact with this child knowing that he needed medical treatment.
Last week the State of Ohio dropped charges against former Steubenville schools superintendent, Mike McVey. The basis of the agreement was that McVey would resign from his job, agree never to work for Steubenville schools again and avoid contact with those who were party to the case or his former co-workers. While McVey was accused of deleting emails and obstructing the investigation into the rape case, here is my issue with this whole dog and pony show. Where is the justice in punishing someone by dropping charges and then basically making them the leper of the city by disallowing him to have contact with his peers when this disallowed contact hasn’t been defined? This is such an odd end to a case that the State of Ohio vigorously pursued.
WTOV9 news sat down with Mr. DeWine and some of the things that he said just do not make sense.
“not to have really any contact with the witnesses or anyone connected with the case.” What does this even mean? Is there an Order that states he is not to have any contact with these individuals and how long is this Order in effect? What type of contact? If he is at the grocery store and one of his former coworkers walks in – is he violating this no contact order by virtue of being in the same establishment as them? How can the State of Ohio restrain him from contact without specifically citing the specifics of potential contact? WTOV9 then asked Mr. DeWine if the punishment for being charged with felonies was sufficient enough, Mr. DeWine responded with:
Continue reading Steubenville Justice Defined?
It was announced today that the court accepted a plea from Mike McVey. McVey agreed to resign from the Steubenville City School system and tendered his resignation this morning. The school board accepted it this evening after a special executive session. The agreement states McVey will not seek any employment with city schools, nor have any contact with school board members or the administration, witnesses or co-defendants in the special grand jury.
According to the State of Ohio, they were not confident that they had enough evidence to get a conviction as far as whether McVey wiped systems or deleted emails.
I guess my thought here is why wait until now to end this when it appears as though it could have been done long ago. If they knew that they might not be able to get a conviction – how long ago did they know and why not drop charges then? I never believed that Mr. McVey woke up one morning and thought to himself, “well, gonna go to work and obstruct justice today“. I have always believed that someone instructed him to do so, if emails were deleted. The fact of the matter is – no one will ever know the full extent of what occurred in the days following the rape and who done what or he said/she said. It did become obvious that there was a disconnect with staff and administration regarding the mandatory report laws. I don’t think it was necessarily a lack of knowledge about mandatory reporting as it was an unwillingness to abide by the mandatory report law. Just an opinion, of course.
I also find it a bit odd that McVey cannot have contact with school board members, witnesses or co-defendants in the special grand jury. Steubenville is not a big town, and he has worked for the school system for almost 20 years. It just seems like an odd punishment for deceptive behavior. But…it is what it is.
Honestly, I’m fine with how things turned out. I think a lot of people are just glad to see this case finally put to rest. Sure there are questions, but we are not the judicial system and they did what they saw fit to do. There are always things that we don’t know. It’s easy to make assumptions, and from the very beginning – this case was filled with them. The good part of all of this is: This case has spawned an international discussion about rape culture and bystander intervention that has continued to grow over the past two years. That in itself is more important than the outcome of judicial proceedings against some of the players in this case.
…and on that note, I shall bid you adieu.
12/17/14PRAECIPE FOR SUBPENA FILED AND SUBPENA ISSUED TO SHERIFF OF JEFFERSON COUNTY FOR SERVICE ON BEHALF OF STATE OF OHIO FOR 01/12/2015.
12/22/14 PRAECIPE FOR SUBPOENA FILED AND SUBPENA ISSUED TO SHERIFF OF JEFFERSON COUNTY FOR SERVICE ON THE FOLLOWING ON BEHALF OF STATE OF OHIO FOR 01/12/2015
12/30/14PRAECIPE FOR SUBPOENA FILED AND SUBPENA ISSUED TO SHERIFF OF JEFFERSON COUNTY FOR SERVICE ON THE FOLLOWING ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT FOR 01/20/2015:
01/07/15 NOTICE OF APPEARANCE FILED ON BEHALF OF STEUBENVILLE CITY SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION BY G. DANIEL SPAHN.
01/07/15 PRAECIPE FOR SUBPOENA FILED AND ISSUED TO SHERIFF OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY FOR SERVICE ON: DAN CLARK, DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL TRAINING FOR CRCC; ATTORNEY KARRIE M. KALAIL ON BEHALF OF DEFENSE FOR 01/20/2015.
From an LA Times article regarding Dan Clark:
Trent Mays was released from juvenile detention yesterday and apparently cried in court. Boo hoo. I am having a hard time mustering up sympathy for him. He is out of his “prison”…Jane Doe is forever bound by the actions of he and his friends. She doesn’t get “do overs”, and there is no part of me that is hopeful of his placement back into society. Second chances? Nope. Don’t care if he gets one.
His attorney released a statement on behalf of his family that has my ass a bit chapped.
Their privacy became a non-issue when Trent and his friends decided to use the internet to humiliate and demean Jane Doe by bragging about her rape. Trent did this to himself and if he never has a moment’s peace because of his actions then it’s a moment too soon as far as I’m concerned.
Continue reading Trent Mays & the Lunatics of Steubenville
THIS breaks my heart. Simply rips it from my chest and causes me to have soul crushing pain for this child. After years of abuse and rejection from strict Christian parents, Leelah who was a transgender teen commited suicide by stepping in front of a moving tractor trailer this weekend. Leelah Alcorn, also known as Joshua Alcorn, was struck and killed by a passing semitrailer on southbound Interstate 71 in Union Township Sunday morning. A suicide note placed in a queue was subsequently posted on her Tumblr. It breaks my heart to read someone so young be who is feels as though they have nothing to live for. It also makes me very angry at those who use religion as an excuse to abuse others or belittle them. I could go on for days about that, but this post is to honor Leelah and bring attention to transgender issues.
Her mother posted this on her Facebook that he was hit by a truck while on an early morning walk.
Continue reading Rest Easy, Leelah Alcorn
I spent a bit of time on the phone today with a documentary filmmaker who is doing a film on Steubenville, and among the things that we talked about is how or how hasn’t Steubenville changed in the past two years. He has done some traveling for this project and told me that he hears over and over how terrible people think Steubenville is and that it really has a bad reputation. I agree, but we also talked about how they have handled the publicity.
It hasn’t been dealt with very well and over the course of the past two years, I can’t think of one positive thing or turn of events where this case has been involved. Sure, locals are going to say that Ma’lik rejoined the football team and that they think this was a positive event; or maybe their bragging rights that he made great grades is something that makes them feel that somehow this qualifies as redemption, but overall how has the town’s reputation been uplifted? What has occurred locally that qualifies as an xample of a positive learning experience from this case? The news coming out of Steubenville is grim.
Tomorrow Matt Belardine will be sentenced for probation violation. The Judge reportedly wants to speak to the woman in Arizona who is at the center of the assault controversy there. I hope she’s a bit more level-headed via Skype or telephone with the Judge than she has been on Twitter.
Regardless, all of this is going to make for some very interesting material in the future and one can only hope that one day the powers that be in Steubenville can get their act together in Steubenville and start making positive change in their community.
There is not much information available to the public other than a 15-year old girl was abducted after missing her bus as she walked along McGuffey Road in Columbus.
Her grandparents who have asked to remain anonymous said she missed her school bus and decided to walk back to her Northeast Columbus home when the suspects pulled her into the car. They duct taped her and drove her to another location where she heard several voices other than the two that she heard during the abduction and in the car.
Columbus Police Detectives have little to go on in terms of suspect information but believe a 2-door black car was used in the abduction. (Source) There is no information regarding the description of the occupants of the car.
Investigators ask anyone with information on this abduction to call the Columbus Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit.
Hate to say it, but who didn’t see this one coming? I suppose the answer is obviously EVERYONE but Matt Belardine – otherwise he wouldn’t have gone off to Arizona sans probation officer approval, or gotten shit faced and assaulted protesters while being filmed. Looks like social media got Belardine once again. When are these people going to learn? That’s a rhetorical question because two years later and nothing has changed.
As a result, he is being held in the Jefferson County Jail until a hearing in front of Judge Patricia Cosgrove on Dec. 17.
The following are the violations:
All of the probation violations are pretty self-explanatory and from the looks of it, the attorney general’s office isn’t messing around. It will be interesting to see how Judge Cosgrove feels about seeing Mr, Belardine in her court again. #Steubenvillemade probably isn’t gonna cut it this time.
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