These Teenagers Allegedly Live-Tweeted A Rape; Meanwhile, Coach Claims He Doesn’t “Do The Internet”
3:30 pm, January 3rd | by Colette McIntyre
Anonymous launched its operation, #OpRedRoll, against the football-crazed Ohio town after two beloved football players, Ma’lik Richmon and Trent Mays, were arrested in connection to the rape allegations; the attack is meant to highlight other Steubenville athletes and adults in the community who Anonymous believes were complicit in carrying out or covering up the assault. As the video’s poster, misternunya, writes, “This video was obtained by Anonymous as part of #oprollredroll and #occupysteubenville. Only 2 arrests in this ongoing case while those that witnessed the incident and even on camera admit it’s rape, have not been charged due to lack of evidence.”
The video (which I actually suggest you don’t watch because it was the most agonizing twelve minutes of my life and made me want to She-Hulk all over the place) shows some of Mays and Richmond’s friends joking about the rape, allegedly on the same night that it occurred. Teen Michael Nodianos, a former Steubenville baseball player, is at the center of the clip, referring to the unnamed girl as “deader than” both Trayvon Martin and Caylee Anthony. The teens then talk about the assault with Nodianos claiming that the underaged girl was both sodomized and urinated on.
As Jezebel points out, Nodianos is one of the students alleged to have live-tweeted the rape, posting on the same night as the incident comments like, “some people deserve to be peed on #whoareyou.” Despite having posted photographs and comments about the girl the night of the assault, Mays and Richmond’s fellow teammates were not disciplined until there were only two games left in the season. When asked by the Times about his decision to postpone benching certain players involved with the case, Steubenvile’s head football Coach Reno Saccoccia claimed he did not “do the Internet.”
For the most part, Nodianos is the star of the video, cracking rape jokes faster than Daniel Tosh. It is disturbing how casually these boys talk about a rape that was potentially happening simultaneous to their conversation. “Listen to yourself,” one of the teens tells Nodianos, but it doesn’t make a difference; Nodianos knows what he is saying because the references and the jokes are so familiar. Rape jokes are commonplace, something people joke about after a hard test, something that happens in another room somewhere else. Right before the clip ends, the person filming exclaims, “This is the funniest thing ever!” With the video having been released the same day as the Violence Against Women Act was blocked and in light of the sexual assault of high school student Savannah Dietrich mere months before, we can’t say we agree.