Steubenville Rape Case: Everything You Know Is Wrong

If you’ve heard about the Steubenville rape case and are trying to figure out what’s true, here’s a brief overview.

In this post, I link to some of the dozens and dozens of articles about Steubenville.  Why all the focus from liberal media? Many of the stories focus on an anti-American narrative. Omnipresent themes are America’s Rape Culture and the danger posed by America’s Football Culture and how the American Justice System is a dismal failure.  With the Left so completely invested in the story, it was only a matter of time before the non-political case would fulfill a Defenders of the Steubenville Rape Crew Embrace the GOP’s Protect the Rapist Mindset

But what if all those sources were getting the story very wrong?

What if the story were being misreported on a grand scale, full of clear factual inaccuracies and claims that nobody is making; not the prosecution, the defense, the accuser, the suspects, the witnesses, the police, or anybody connected to the case. 

What if all those sources had published complete factual fabrications that confused the case?

What if Anonymous had actually made things in the story much worse for everyone involved?

Among the widely reported and false claims:

  • Steubenville is so corrupt that no justice is possible.
  • There has been a massive cover-up in the case.
  • The victim was drugged, put in a car trunk to bring her to a series of parties, urinated on, and left for dead in a field.
  • That there a number of witnesses to the assaults who have not come forward.
  • The school’s football coaches were involved in the night’s activities.
  • That football players were given easy or preferential treatment in this case.
  • No media was covering the case except for one blogger until Anonymous got involved.
  • That no justice would happen in this case were it not for the intervention of Anonymous.
  • The infamous video of Michael Nodianos joking has anything to do with the legal case.

To reiterate, those claims are rumors that are unsupported by evidence and yet if you click on any link to a story about the case, you’ll find any number of in whichever story you read. I’ll be picking them apart point-by-point.

This is not defending the suspect or attacking the accuser. Or vice versa.Nobody involved in the legal case is making these claims. This is correcting the record. As we lay out the facts on this blog, judge for yourself and ask for proof at every turn.


Steubenville: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Today, jury selection begins in the trial of former school superintendent Michael McVey as the Witch Hunt portion of the Stuebenville rape case continues. As Cleveland.Com reports, it’s not the only new development:

McVey, 51, has pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice, both felonies, and misdemeanor charges of falsification and obstructing official business.

The trial begins less than a week after Trent Mays, one of two teens convicted in the case, was released from a Department of Youth Services facility. Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, then 16 and 17 years old, were convicted in March 2013 of raping a 16-year-old girl during a party in August 2012.

Richmond was released in January 2014.

McVey, who has been superintendent since 2008, is accused of deleting emails and data on computer hard drives or had someone wipe it for him and misled authorities about the school’s investigation into the rape allegations, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

I’m watching this latest development and allow me to be blunt: from everything I’ve seen and heard, these are trumped-up charges against McVey that were made by Attorney General Mike DeWine in an attempt to show something happened after the myth of a cover-up became nationwide news.

The reality is that there was no cover-up. That was a story made up by an angry blogger and perpetuated by Anonymous misfits, local malcontents and activists with an agenda. None of these people ever brought up McVey as one of the suspects behind the supposed cover-up. The people they DID bring up weren’t charged here because there was no cover-up.

It’ll be interesting to see the state of Ohio’s case here.

Hatred Of Football Culture

This quote from highly respected leftist intellectual Noam Chomsky sums up something I’ve noticed time and again in the coverage of Steubenville; hatred of football. Football stands in for the typical leftist list of evils; racism, sexism, patriarchy, and American values. 

Don’t take my word for it, though.

“When I was in high school I asked myself at one point: “Why do I care if my high school’s team wins the football game? I don’t know anybody on the team, they have nothing to do with me… why am I here and applaud? It does not make any sense.” But the point is, it does make sense: It’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority and group cohesion behind leadership elements. In fact it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports.” 
― Noam Chomsky

Prinnie Did WUT? Alexandria Goddard’s Premeditated Sexual Assault Confession

Hi. I’m back.

Months ago, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine convened a grand jury in Steubenville. At that point, i decided to sit back and let that develop and take a break from Steubenville blogging. I could not have predicted that September would roll around and there’d be no end in sight. But, here we are. And no end is in sight. So, I’ve decided to pick up blogging, anyway.

I also did a new Radio Stranahan show about Steubenville today: you can listen here.

A month ago, a major article came out in the New Yorker by Ariel Levy entitled Trail By Twitter. It was deeply researched-must be nice to have those New Yorker travel budgets-and got a lot of the story right. Not all of it, but a lot and certainly more than most. It also confirmed what I’d been reporting here on this blog for months; that the Steubenville narrative as told by Anonymous and Prinnie aka Alexandria Goddard was almost all totally wrong and that terrorized both citizens and officials in Steubenville.

Alexandria Goddard aka Prinnie is the person most responsible for the vicious lies spread about Steubenville and its citizens. She pushed the false story, at first on her blog and later on countless national TV and print interviews. They have her blog millions of dollars in free advertising and promoted her as a champion of free speech and indie journalism.

The real Alexandria Goddard is a vicious, bitter liar.

One stunner in the article has gone almost completely unnoticed by the media that was so intent on crying ‘rape culture!’ at the town of Steubenville–Alexandra Goddard’s blunt, vile confession to planned sexual assault.

In my trips to Steubenville, I had heard the stories about Alexandria Goddard supposedly exacting on a man. The stories sounded too crazy to be true. Several independent sources told me that years ago, she and a friend tricked a guy into coming to their apartment under the guise of a threesome, then tied him down and proceeded to shove a bottle of hot sauce into his rectum. They said that Prinnie bragged about this and the story was well known around town.

I didn’t report it at the time. As I said, it sound too crazy. Even though my sources were solid and had proven dependable…really? Luring a guy? Hot sauce? Really? 

In the New Yorker piece, Alexandria Goddard confirms the basics of the story in her own words. Some details are changed, probably because Prinnie learned the definition of rape in Ohio includes penetration. That means if the story Prinnie admitted to others was true, Alexandria Goddard was a rapist under Ohio law.

Here’s the key paragraph from the New Yorker. It’s an amazing confession.

Once, a guy in town tried to force himself on a friend of hers, so Goddard devised a retaliatory scheme. They lured the man to her house under the pretext of having sex, and, after he took off his clothes, “I had a bottle of habanero sauce we used at the bar for wing night, and I lightly basted his junk,” Goddard said. In her recollection, they threw him out on the street, naked, in the cold. “It was snowing like hell, and he had to walk a very long way,” she said. “All the guys at the mill were talking about it. After that, men were scared of us for a very long time.”

This is a person with deep issues. Much more on this coming….

Serena Williams: Attacked For Asking Common Sense Questions On Steubenville

This has been bubbling up today from Deadspin, with a story about a comment made by Serena Williams about the Steubenville story. Deadspin is also the sports websites that promoted the Anonymous hacking story early on.

Here, for instance, is Serena with an unfortunate “she wore the dress” take on Steubenville:

We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV—two high school football players raped a 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

This bad journalism, designed to stir up controversy for no possible good outcome. This is really one of the most dangerous parts of the whole discussion; the cult-like pandering to the idea that suggesting any modicum of common sense behavior is somehow ‘rape apology.’

First, the obvious. Two things are true.

  1. Rape is wrong and criminal for good reason.
  2. Teenagers should not get so drunk that they black out.

This is just common sense. Stating that teens shouldn’t get black out drunk doesn’t mean it’s okay to rape them, as every single honest person on the planet knows. This is one of the reasons that teenage girls in particular shouldn’t get drunk; they might get raped or worse.

Deadspin writer John Koblin’s  idiotic statement to the contrary. getting drunk on purpose is not the same as ‘she wore the dress.’ It’s not even close and Koblin is aware of that. Maybe the ladies fact check me on this: wearing a dress doesn’t make you pass out or forget what you did the night before or make rash, unwise decisions such as fighting with your friends when they suggest you should go home.

Further, go read Serena’s comments again. She’s thinking through the issue. Look at her statements; they are complete common sense, trying to be smeared by the P.C. police who don’t actually care a bit about the safety of women. They are true and any sane parent would tell their daughter – don’t put yourself in that position. Don’t get so drunk you can’t remember things. There’s not a single place where Williams says Mays and Richmond shouldn’t have been charged.

Does this ‘don’t get drunk’ thing apply to teen boys, too? OF COURSE it does. The boys involved made stupid–and in the case of Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, criminal decisions. Booze was a factor in the behavior of everyone. If the sixteen year-olds involved didn’t decide to get drunk that night, the rape wouldn’t have occurred.

That’s not blaming the victim. That’s blaming the booze.

The whole point of this faux-outrage is to literally shut down discussion. As the father of a teenage daughter, it’s disgusting to me. There’s not a single, solitary thing wrong with suggesting binge drinking is a bad habit for teen girls. Further, if there’s a pattern of binge drinking then it becomes a really important discussion because that behavior may indicate other problems.

Jane Doe didn’t deserve to be raped and Serena Williams doesn’t deserve to be attacked for saying out loud in the presence of a reporter what every sensible person thought when they heard the real facts of the case.  Anti-drunk isn’t pro-rape.

Free Legal Advice For Deric Lostutter aka KYAnonymous

I am not a lawyer, so take this for what it’s worth.

I believe that Deric Lostutter aka KYAnonymous is in legal hot water for the hacking of Jim Park’s website. I think that he’s underestimating the legal trouble that he’s in. I think his lawyer Jason Flores Williams is downplaying the realities of the situation publicly and to his client.

I think the most likely outcome is that Deric Lostutter aka KYAnonymous is going to plead guilty to charges against him because of overwhelming evidence against him, most of it through his own statements.

And if that’s the case, spending a lot of time and money fighting the criminal case is a waste of time and money.

Why do I think this?

I’m quoting a few paragraphs from Gawker’s article by Adrian Chen Weaponizing The Media: An Anonymous Rapper’s War On Steubenville. None of this is good for Lostutter in any way.

We were sitting at the Waterfront Restaurant and Lounge, Lostutter’s favorite Winchester bar, on a sprawling deck overlooking the muddy banks of the Kentucky River.

Lostutter turned to a woman sitting next to us. “What did you think about that case in Steubenville where the football team raped that girl?” he asked. “And what did you think about that stuff where the hackers took down the team’s website?”

The woman gasped. She had heard about the case, but not the hacking. She asked, “Who hacked the website?”

“Some good-looking kid who’s sitting at The Waterfront with a reporter next to him writing a story about him,” Lostutter said with a huge grin. Later, Lostutter relayed that he had overheard the woman walking around telling other patrons “there’s some hacker here.”

Lostutter later asked me not to report the hacking comment. He is adamant that he did not actually hack or help plan the hack. A hacker named BatCat later took responsibility in the Steubenville Herald-Star, saying he broke into the site in 15 minutes by guessing the password.

Lostutter said BatCat approached him one day during Op Roll Red Roll and offered to hack the site: “I formed an IRC channel, BatCat jumped in, said he could hack the site. I said OK, whatever. Everybody says they can hack.” However, in our first phone call Lostutter had told me that he logged into the administrator panel of using a password BatCat gave him, then changed the password. Lostutter said he admitted this to the FBI during the raid. This was almost certainly illegal.

These are facts not reported by me. This is not me trying to stick the knife in. This is me pointing out reality.

Video: Reality Shift In Under Three Minutes

You watch. Things can change very quickly.

I’ve been the voice in the wilderness on a number of stories now, not just Steubenville. On stories like the John Edwards affair, uncovering rapes at Occupy Wall Street  and Pigford, I’ve been vindicated time and time again.

The trick is being right.

Why? Here’s an illustration.  This is entrepreneur Derek Sivers riffing on a point made by Seth Godin (I’m not sure who started it but I’m big fans of both Derek and Seth) and it’s exactly how you go from lone nut to New Conventional Wisdom in a snap.

Steubenville Revisionism Starts

I haven’t written about Steubenville much lately because I’m waiting for the current Grand Jury investigation to finish. I’ll probably have quite a bit to say then.

In the meantime, the ‘news’ that KYAnonymous is actually someone from Kentucky named Deric Lostutter has hit the headlines recently. Hardly anyone mentions that I was saying that publicly, for months. I interviewed Deric on my Blog Talk Radio show recently and it’s certainly worth a listen if you’ve been following the story and want to get a fuller picture.

The best piece I’ve read so far on the story is Cathy Young’s Anonymous Is No Hero. She makes a lot of relevant points.

Adrian Chen also has a good, detailed piece over on Gawker — and I don’t just say that because he calls me competent;

Stranahan emerged as the harshest critic of KYAnonymous and his Steubenville campaign. He is not exactly neutral himself, writing for right-wing propaganda outlet and appearing in Breitbart’s 2012 documentary “Occupy Unmasked,” a hit job against Occupy that painted Anonymous as dangerous cyberterrorists. But he is also a competent reporter who self-funded multiple reporting trips to Steubenville and developed sources within the community. And it should be clear to anyone who reads the Steubenville Files today that it is total bullshit.

Well, allow me to retort on a couple of points:

1) Occupy Unmasked doesn’t paint Anonymous as cyber-terrorists — it paints them as vindictive bullies who threaten, harass and dox their perceived enemies. I don’t agree it’s a hit job, either — it’s providing perspective on Occupy Wall Street that the media did not.

2) It’s not that it should be clear TODAY that the Steubenville Files are total bullshit — it was clear months ago.

But I was about the only journalist saying it at the time. I wasn’t just the harshest critic; I believe I was the only journalist writing critically about the obvious bullshit and using facts to back up my assertions.

And because I did that, I was threatened, harassed and dox’d by Anonymous. Just as shown in Occupy Unmasked.