A damning video showing a group of Ohio high school students laughing hysterically about the possible rape-in-progress of a 16-year-old girl at multiple alcohol-fueled parties was leaked by a hacktivist group.
The leak is potentially devastating to two teens accused of violating the girl because a teen in the video explicitly states that the defendants raped her.
The video, which was leaked by the Anonymous cell KnightSec, shows a boy identified by Deadspin as 16-year-old Michael Nodianos laughing and joking about the alleged August rape.
Nodianos also tweeted, "Song of the night is definitely 'Rape Me' by Nirvana," "you don't sleep through a wang in the butthole," and "some people deserve to be peed on," an apparent reference to one of the acts that the alleged rapists committed against the victim that night.
The accused, Steubenville High School football stars Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, both 16, were arrested on August 22. They will stand trial beginning February 13. The New York Times recently published a detailed account of events on the night of the alleged rape.
According to testimony from a preliminary hearing as reported in the Times, the alleged victim, a student at another, religious-based school, was so drunk that she could not remember anything that happened to her after midnight. Two witnesses, friends of the defendants at the time, testified that partygoers taunted the girl, chanting and cheering as a Steubenville High baseball player dared revelers to urinate on her.
At another party, the girl was so intoxicated that she needed help walking. She was seen vomiting outside and then topless in the street. A witness saw Mays and Richmond holding her hair back while she threw up.
On the way to yet another party at the home of a football player who is now a prosecution witness, that boy says he was sitting in the back seat of a car with Mays and the girl. Mays allegedly showed the girl's breasts and penetrated her with his finger while the player recorded the incident on his phone. The player then shared the photo with at least one person but later deleted it. He claimed he shot the video because Mays was "being stupid, not making the right choices."
At the third party, the girl was still incapable of walking on her own and continued to vomit. Mays allegedly attempted to coerce her into giving him oral sex but she was unresponsive.
Later, the girl was seen lying on the ground naked and, still unresponsive, as Mays exposed himself and Richmond sexually assaulted her.
"I tried to tell Trent to stop it," another athlete testified. "You know, I told him, 'Just wait-- wait 'til she wakes up if you're going to do any of this stuff. Don't do anything you're going to regret.'"
According to the witness, Mays replied, "It's all right, don't worry."
Other partygoers took photos of the drunk girl that they shared on social media sites. According to the Times:
"Twitter posts, videos and photographs circulated by some who attended the nightlong set of parties suggest that an unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted over several hours while others watched. She might have even been urinated on."
It was through these posts that the victim was able to piece together the night's events.
The newly-leaked video certainly lends credibility to the prosecution's claims of rape. Over more than 12 and a half minutes of footage, Nodianos and other boys gleefully and explicitly describe what has happened-- or possibly was still happening-- to the girl.
"She is so raped right now," Nodianos gloats. "She's deader than Trayvon Martin," Nodianos jokes, referring to the unarmed black teen shot dead by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida last year.
"They raped her harder than that cop raped Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction," Nodianos says at one point in the video.
"He's putting a wang in the butthole, dude," Nodianos says, apparently referring to one of the accused. "They peed on her. That's how you know she's dead, because someone pissed on her," he continues before opining that, "it isn't really rape because you don't know if she wanted it or not."
But the most damning words of all come from someone off-camera, who states that, "Trent and Ma'lik raped someone."
Local media have been criticized for underreporting the case. There have been repeated allegations of a cover-up, including an accusation that a senior staff member at a local media outlet ordered a reporter not to cover the story out of fear of damaging the beloved Steubenville High School football team, also known as 'Big Red,' which has won three state championships since 2006.
School officials have also been accused of trying to suppress the case. And although Mays and Richmond were not allowed to play football this season, other players who witnessed the alleged crimes against the girl were not disciplined until the season was nearly over. When a New York Times reporter pressed legendary Big Red coach Reno Saccoccia on this, the coach snapped.
"You made me mad now," Saccoccia fumed. "You're going to get yours. And if you don't get yours, somebody close to you will."
Learning of the story and becoming enraged by a perceived lack of justice, KnightSec launched its #OpRedRoll campaign by publishing a website, Stopbigred.com. KnightSec also published a list of football players and others who may have witnessed the alleged incidents.
KnightSec explained why it was getting involved in the Steubenville case:
"On this fateful night [of the crime] a life was changed forever as a group of football players of Big Red High School dubbed themselves 'Rape Crew' and began taking advantage of an underage girl. The girl was sexually assaulted, molested, raped and [dragged] unconscious from party to party.
This is a warning shot to the school faculty, the parents of those involved, and those involved especially.... You can hide no longer, you have attracted the attention of the hive. We will not sit idly by and watch a group of young men who turn to rape as a game or sport get the pass because of athletic ability and small town luck. You now have the world looking directly at you."
Anonymous and KnightSec mean business. Recently, the hacktivist group targeted the Westboro Baptist Church, a group best known for its "God Hates Fags" motto and its picketing of funerals of celebrities and US troops killed in war. After learning that Westboro planned to picket the funerals of the 27 people, including 20 children, killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Anonymous hacked the church's Facebook and Twitter accounts and tweeted personal information about its members, including their home addresses and phone numbers, as well as the location of hotel rooms where they were preparing for their protest.