One Billion Rising Steubenville Flash Mob

Today  in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville at 12:15 p.m. flash mob participants will perform a nearly five-minute dance by Broadway choreographer Debbie Allen to the song “Break the Chain,” written by Teva Clark.  One Billion Rising events will be held worldwide, including gatherings in Kent, Chardon, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Akron, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College.

Deb Lemire is the organizer of V-Day Akron and   coordinated the flash mob to coincide with One Billion Rising, a global activist movement that brings attention to violence against women and girls.  I have seen a lot of not so nice comments by some  individuals in Steubenville who are claiming that outsiders have ruined the reputation of their town.  I think it is awesome that outsiders continue to come to their town to bring attention to violence against women and girls.  These people are making a difference.   Perhaps those who are complaining could learn something from the “outsiders”.

Read more here.

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Third Wintery Weather Rally

I received this in an email the other day and was so touched by it that I wanted to share.  I can tell you that while watching all of the rallies, I have been so incredibly moved by the outpouring of support for Jane Doe, but for all of those wonderfully compassionate and caring people who braved cold weather to let their voices be heard.

Third Wintery Weather Rally

(Thankful good people like Prinnie were willing to share the truth, hard as it was to hear).

Tying my hood a little tighter, as the wind sneaks through to my ears, shuffling my boots to dig deeper into the patch of snow and ice so I don’t slide off the curb where I’m standing to give myself a few extra inches of height…..looking at the crowd of speakers..at the Guy Fawkes masks, wondering which one is which…do the social media admins even come to these local protests? I am not as computer savvy as I’d like to be. I don’t tweet, I don’t even own a cell phone…refuse to be that assessable…always did hate phones. But, have been following these young Anon’s that have put up Facebook pages on her behalf. Most of them are probably not much older than she.

Been spending parts of days off of work going from one Facebook page to another, reading article after article, post after post, (I even found twitter on my iPad), searching, waiting, hoping that more will have the morals, values and character to do the right thing, to stand up and state, “I was there, this is what happened , this is what I did, and I am very very sorry”. But, the teens who attended these rape crew parties obviously have parents whose parenting skills are as rusty as the skeletal remains of the steel mills that lie dead on the shores of the Ohio.

So many involved and only two taking the fall for all. The posts from these deviants along with my intuition tells me there are other rapists who have been kept safe from the same fate.

Just one from the very large crowd of the apathetic ‘I didn’t help her’ guilty came forward to apologize to this young victim. Not only does no one else step up to apologize to the innocent students for the shame they brought upon their school, but many big fish in this small pond of a town are going to extreme measures to discredit the very people who are here for this little girl. Instead of honest, lets fix this mess and salvage our reputation, there is damage control. For many it is easier for this dying town to make excuses for and divert attention from the football team, involved students, coaches and school board members than to confront, acknowledge and amend. I am frustrated at the lack of empathy.

I am angry that the very citizens of this town did not call forth this rally to stand up for this victim and to state loud and clear, ‘Rape In My Town Is Unacceptable!’

But they didn’t, so here I stand with these strangers who did; old, tired and growing colder. Beating my gloved hands together to try for a little friction heat. I read the protest signs, lend my ear to the voices, smile at these vocal youth who are all heart, giving the only thing I can offer this young girl – my presence and support.

I stand in the middle of a group. Surrounded by local police who are keeping their crumbling city safe from this little old lady so bundled up she can barely move. A kind person passes out hand warmers and blue ribbons. This rally is young, old, man, woman, boy, girl, victim, survivor, neighbors of Ohio Valley near and far. We are masked and unmasked. We are a presence sharing our hope that she hears our voices saying, “we are so sorry sweetie, we are doing what we can to drown out their apathy , hoping our presence will bring enough attention to this case that as hard as they might try to stop it, you have a fair chance for justice”.

I tie my Steeler black and gold scarf a little tighter around my neck, carefully step off the icy curb to make my way across the river to home ….a little lighter in heart because these people braving this weather, speaking from their heart…. are something that is right in this world.

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Weirton Families in Need

Last night a gentleman contacted me about two Weirton, WV families who were in dire need of supplies for their children.  The families needed baby diapers (sizes 1, 5 and 6) and Similac with iron formula.  The children range in ages from 2 to 10 years old.  Through the use of social media we were able to get donations of food cards, gift cards and many people are sending the children much needed clothing.

While waiting for the mail to make its way to West Virginia, the kids are going to need to eat.  I spoke with Rob at Fox’s Den Pizza in Weirton and he has agreed to take phone donations towards a gift card for pizza for the weekend.  You can call (304) 723-3697 and ask for him.  He will take your cc info towards  gift certificate donation.

A very special thank you to everyone who has helped and to Kathi Eastham, owner of Fox’s Den for helping these families out!!

 

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Solidarity for Jane Doe

#OccupySteubenville had another great rally today.  There were many times that I teared up listening to some of the various speakers.   I applaud everyone who stood out in the cold to take part and show their support for ALL Jane Does.  I noted that the topic that kept being repeated over and over today is this is not just a Steubenville problem.  I do not believe that the world is hating on everyone in the city of Steubenville specifically.  People are asking questions – not just about Steubenville, but perhaps about their own towns.  Something magical has happened as a result of this case – rape culture is being acknowledged around the world as a real problem and people are addressing that problem.  That is a good thing.  Knowledge is power and education is key.

Repeatedly the speakers implored people to get involved.  Start a group in your town.  Ask questions – address issues.  Be that voice.   Talk to your children and teach them that we are all equal.  Teach them that it is okay to be the one who stands up as the lone voice in the crowd.  Teach them that is is okay to say NO or object to behavior of their peers.  This incident shouldn’t be what divides the city, but rather should be utilized to create unity and bring the community together.  Everyone wants justice for Jane Doe.

Rich Olivito left with some wise parting words.  The law cannot change the hearts of man.  It is up to the community to change and move forward from this in a positive manner.   Rather than wasting energy on negativity and laying blame on perceived enemies;  rise above it and be the one to elicit change.

 

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Tweeting Sexual Pictures

We all realize that kids do stupid things.  They are kids, but bring social media into the mix and it can have disastrous effects.  I don’t think anyone here is going to argue about the long-lasting effects that social media can have on someone’s life.   A 16-year old Stow, Ohio high school boy is facing a felony charge after he took a picture of himself and a female classmate engaged in a sex act and posted it to Twitter.  According to a police report, the 16-year old student took a photo of himself while engaged in a sex act with a 14-year old female student.  He texted the photo to three of his friends and then tweeted it.  He removed it from Twitter approximately 10-15 minutes later, but by that time it was too late.  Once it hit Twitter it was seen by countless people who circulated it around the school.

A student told a teacher about the photo that was circulating, and the school contacted police.  The 16-year old is now facing a second degree felony for pandering obscenity involving a minor and a misdemeanor charge of  telecommunications harassment.  Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of having “that talk” with your kids about the use of social media and what is considered proper use of the internet.

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Who's to Blame?

 

Lay the blame where it belongs – with those who stood by and did NOTHING.  Blame those who refused to cooperate with law enforcement and blame the parents who raised children without a moral compass, empathy or compassion.

Clearing Up the Defamation Rumors

There has been a lot of false information being disseminated regarding the dismissal of the defamation suit filed against myself and 25 unnamed John Doe Defendants and I wanted to take a moment to clear up some of those rumors.  First and foremost, there was no settlement in terms of agreements not to discuss the case or even stop talking about Cody Saltsman.  On or about December 20, the Plaintiffs approached us wishing to dismiss the defamation claim WITH PREJUDICE.  They asked if Cody  could post a statement on my blog, and I was glad to allow him to do so.  I did not HAVE to do anything, nor was I forced to post anything about the case in return for a dismissal.  I chose to provide a statement because many people were following the case and wanted to know what was going on.

I was not forced to stop talking about Cody or the case.  If I wanted to call him a little booger eater…I could, but I won’t.  What he did was really crappy and there is no excuse for it, but at least he made the attempt to right his wrongs.  As part of the settlement  we did not pay any money; we did not agree to retract any statements, nor did we agree to stop covering the case or discussing it.  I was glad that Cody wanted to make a statement.  In all honesty, whether people choose to believe him or not — he is the ONLY person thus far to have the testicular fortitude to stand before the public’s judging eyes and try to explain his actions or inaction that night.  For that, I do give the kid MUCH credit.  He has done more in that respect than any adults who have been implicated in this nightmare of a case.   There were never any threats made to him or others on this site.  People discussed this case much Read the rest of this entry »

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Bystanders & Blamers

When I first started writing about the Steubenville case, there was one thing that bothered me the absolute most.  It was not that law enforcement did a shoddy job — I never claimed that, and will never make that claim.  I know many of the officers at Steubenville PD and they are very fine and upstanding men.  What bothered me greatly was the number of bystanders (as evidenced by social media) who stood by and did nothing.  The complete and utter lack of empathy of anyone that night bothered me greatly.

To be quite clear, RAPE was mentioned on August 11th as it pertains to the events that unfolded that night.  No one but those using social media to discuss what happened that night put those words on their keyboards.  They tweeted about “rape“.    It was they who initially identified what happened that night as rape, and later the prosecutor’s office defined the happenings that night as “rape” when charges were filed against the two juveniles now awaiting trial.

Nodianos - song of the night is rape me tweetSince then there has also been a lot of blaming.  There is blame laid at the defense attorneys who represent the accused.  They are simply doing their jobs.  I had occasion to meet Mr. Madison – I thought he was very polite and cordial.  I met mothers of some Big Red students and have nothing but nice things to say about them and their children. Not all kids at Steubenville High School are bad because of an irresponsible, uncaring few. Read the rest of this entry »

Did They Pinkie Swear?

The Steubenville rape case has been rife with controversy since August.   When the rumor of deals struck by the prosecution surfaced, they were quickly dismissed by the Attorney General’s office.   “We’ve made no deals with anyone,” was the response to the question of deals; however today Attorney General Mike Dewine fessed up that indeed the three individuals were given immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony.  In all three letters the state committed to not prosecute.  Perhaps my decoder ring is different than everyone else’s, or I simply do not understand the English language, but that sounds like a “deal” to me.   How is NOT filing charges not a deal?

The special prosecutors  agreed to accept testimony against the two defendants in lieu of  no charges being filed against the three who testified.  Color me perplexed, but isn’t that a DEAL?   So, I looked it up just to make sure I knew what I was talking about and lo and behold – a deal is an “agreement entered into by two or more parties for their mutual benefit”.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t immunity from prosecution technically mean they struck a “DEAL”?

People generally find it offensive when officials utilize the use of “word salad” in an effort to explain away behavior.  I’ll even go so far out on my limb to state that these deals/immunity discussions qualify as word salad. Read the rest of this entry »

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Steubenville Facts

The City of Steubenville has opened a webpage steubenvillefacts.org to provide information to the public.  Below is the information released thus far.

August 11-12, 2012. The incident that began this case occurred.

August 14, 2012. The incident was reported to Steubenville Police. 0140

August 16, 2012. Electronic devices of people who potentially had knowledge of the incident were taken, pursuant to search warrants.

August 17, 2012. Steubenville Police request technical and investigative support from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation “BCI” (a state agency supervised by the Ohio Attorney General). At the request of Steubenville Police, BCI expedited the evidence analysis. The analysis involved uncovering and reviewing tens of thousands of emails, texts, and photos from approximately a dozen electronic devices. The vast majority of such data was unrelated to the case.  Investigators and forensic examiners never found any video of the alleged crime.

Joann Gibbs, a forensic analyst of digital media with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, said she looked at 15 cell phones and two iPads that were submitted by City Police following search warrants.

She said Apple iPhones with later generation operating systems make it impossible to recover files that are deleted. Gibbs testified she did recover two naked pictures of the victim that were part of text messages sent on Mays’ cell phone.  October 13 hearing

August 22, 2012.  Based on the investigation of the Steubenville Police, two juvenile males were arrested and charged. Their names are Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond.  Suspects remained in juvenile detention until November 1, 2012 when the Visiting Judge (from outside the county) assigned to the case placed the suspects on home arrest.

August 28, 2012.  County Prosecuting Attorney delegates her authority to special prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

August 30, 2012. Steubenville Police meet with the special prosecutors.

The Juvenile Court trial in this case is scheduled for February 13, 2013. Circumstances surrounding media and public access to that trial are controlled by the Visiting Judge.

Feeds for today’s protest:

 

Live stream by Ustream

Again, this case should be a testament to the need for parents to MONITOR YOUR CHILD’S SOCIAL MEDIA participation.    YOU are responsible for them and it is your duty to monitor what they do. There is no shame in being nosy.

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