Tag Archives: Jefferson County
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 23, 2013
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller: 614-466-3840
Second Indictment Issued by
The Steubenville trial is quickly approaching and once all is said and done – lives will be changed forever. Lives have been changed regardless of the outcome. The lives of every person who tweeted or retweeted the events of that night will forever have those bad decisions to follow them anytime someone Googles their name. Michael Nodianos’ life changed when he and his friends laughed maniacally over the sexual assault of a young girl. Many lives have changed, including my own.
I was sued for defamation of character for allowing the exchange of ideas and opinions on this blog. My anonymous commenters lives were changed as well. I am sure many of them are hesitant about ever voicing an opinion online for fear of becoming a legal target again because in their town you aren’t supposed to talk about it. I was hospitalized for a week while trying to defend myself from accusations of defamation and trying to make sure that my John Does weren’t hung out to dry. I’m okay with that. It was worth every second of it to stand tall and fight for what I believed in.
And then my life changed when people who I thought were my friends jumped on the “Alex is attacking our town” bandwagon and used our friendship as a weapon in their attempts to wipe their own slate clean. My writing about Steubenville has never been an attack on the town as a whole. There are some wonderful people there, and I still have friends and supporters there. I wrote about this case because I was providing information that the media was not. ANYONE looking for the information could have found it. I lived in Steubenville and think I have insight into what it is like there. I have no grudge against an entire town. I have no grudge against individuals – even the mother of my former best friend who wished AIDS on me and hoped that I died a slow death. I feel sorry for her that a woman her age has is capable of this much hate and I am embarrassed that Connie’s mother has brought her own family shame because of her behavior.
Indeed, lives have changed and will continue to change. Life is change. Embrace it.
Debra Copeland, a physical therapist at the School of Bright Promise in Jefferson County, Ohio was put on paid administrative leave and is facing three charges of child endangerment for abuse that was secretly recorded by an intern. The intern who worked at the School of Bright Promise secretly recorded the sessions with Copeland and two special needs children. The woman who is being identified as BJ told News 9:
“Her demeanor, the way she would speak about the children, sometimes I would hear her talk down to kids. It seemed odd to me.”
This comment was left on WTOV9.com’s site regarding Debra Copeland.
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.
#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.
I watched the “Nodi Wylin About a Dead Girl” video today and it took nearly an hour to finish listening to it. It was a very painful 12 minutes 29 seconds. The content of the video was just THAT horrible. Almost two months ago when I first started writing about the Steubenville case, I detailed how shocked and upset I was at the tweets that I discovered. Reading those tweets was a walk in the park compared to actually hearing the filth roll off of another human being’s tongue about the events of that night. I cannot imagine if Nodi were my son or my brother, but I can feel compassion and sorrow for his family — unlike the lack of emotion he showed for the victim. I cannot imagine the humiliation and shame that his actions have brought upon his family – who are also innocent victims. They did not ask for this shame. Many lives were forever changed that night by the actions of all of those involved.
I think what most find disturbing is the lack of empathy and compassion from so many of those who witnessed the brutality. What kind of person stands by and watches gleefully as another is violated and publicly humiliated? There are so many questions and it is my hope, and has always been my motivation that those questions somehow be answered.
I thought I would make a post with links to live streams of the rally tomorrow for those who can’t make it and would like to watch.
On behalf of myself and the John Doe defendants, we are very pleased to announce that the defamation lawsuit filed against us has been dismissed with prejudice. Dismissals with prejudice mean that this case can never be refiled again and this lawsuit is officially over. On December 20th, the plaintiffs approached us about settling this case, and we were quite happy to oblige. Lawsuits are costly and very stressful, and this suit has taken a toll on all involved. 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.
Cody Saltsman has asked to make a statement here to express his remorse for the photo and comments that he tweeted. It is also his desire and ours to clarify that we never had any evidence of his direct involvement in the subsequent events of that night. While he may have been present at various parties that evening, there has been no evidence of his involvement in the rape, nor has he been charged with any such crime. We are happy to post his statement; it is below. We appreciate that Cody