Untangling The “Nobody Helped The Victim” Lie

It’s 2:30 in the morning here in Steubenville, Ohio and I really should be asleep. I have to get up early in the morning to head over to cover the first day of the Steubenville rape case trial but I think there are probably a lot of people like me in this town right now who are up later than they should be tonight. Around eight months since the incident happened, and we’re finally getting to the trial that will bring out a lot of facts about what really happened that night.

There’s a persistent myth that nobody did anything to help or support the alleged victim the night of the incident. The motivation behind spreading this message is clear; it relates to the narrative that every man woman and child in Steubenville is so obsessed with football that they are willing to overlook sexual assaults happening all around them.

It’s just not true. People actually did try to get the alleged victim to chill out a number of times during the night. I can state this as fact before the trial even starts because there are two examples of it cited in the on the record, probable cause hearing transcript.

The alleged victim actually got into fights with people twice when she wanted to go with Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond.. The first time was at the first party, where she got into a public squabble about leaving with the boys. The second time was at the gathering at the Howarth house where the alleged victim was once again urged not to leave.

The fact that she left with the suspects even after being advised not to may not say much as to the guilt or innocence of the suspects but it does show that it’s simply not true that no one tried to “help” her.

The goal of myths like this is just to make everybody in Steubenville look bad.

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