CNN under fire for gushing sympathy for convicted rapists

Posted Mar 18, 2013 by Arthur Weinreb
When the network broke the news of the convictions of two Ohio high school football players, two reporters and a legal analyst talked about how devastating the convictions will be on the young men. The future of the rape victim was ignored.
Yesterday, Judge Tom Lipps, sitting in juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio, rendered his verdict in what is known as the "Steubenville Rape" case. Lipps found Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond,16, delinquent of rape. Mays was found delinquent of another charge of distributing a picture of a nude minor.
Lipps sentenced Richmond to serve a minimum of one year and Mays to serve a minimum of two years in a juvenile facility. Both teens could be held in detention until they are 21.
Under Ohio law, digital penetration constitutes rape. Lipps, sitting without a jury, was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt the victim, a 16-year-old girl who was too drunk to be able to consent to sex, had been digitally penetrated at a party on Aug. 12, 2012. Mays took pictures of the victim that were then uploaded to the Internet. The girl had no memory of what happened and the findings of delinquency would not have been possible without photos and emails obtained from the Internet.
After the verdicts, Richmond, who with Mays was a star player with the Steubenville High School "Big Red" football team, broke down. He collapsed crying, and said,"My life is over, no one is going to want me now."
The plight of these poor rapists was just too much for two CNN reporters and a legal analyst. Candy Crowley appeared on the network to announce the breaking news of the convictions. She then went to reporter Poppy Harlow who had been covering the trial in Steubenville. Crowley said to Harlow, "I cannot imagine having just watched this on the feed coming in. How emotional that must have been sitting in the courtroom." Harlow responded, "I've never experienced anything like it, Candy. It was incredibly emotional—incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart."
Later on in the segment, Harlow spoke about Richmond apologizing to the victim and her family. "I was sitting about three feet from Ma'lik when he gave that statement. It was difficult to watch."
Later on in the segment, Crowley went to Paul Callan, a CNN legal contributor. She said, "You know, Paul, a 16-year-old now just sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, still sound like 16 year olds. The other one, 17. A 16-year-old victim. The thing is, when you listen to it and you realize that they could stay until they're 21, they are going to get credit for time served. What's the lasting effect, though, on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?"
Callan replied the worst thing is that they are now registered sex offenders and that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Yesterday, Harlow tweeted that the two football players were found guilty of raping an "allegedly drunk" 16-year-old girl despite the fact the judge found as a fact the victim was too drunk to consent to sex.
Reaction came swiftly on social media. Posters criticized CNN for making the two boys the victims and completely ignoring the real victim and what her life will be like. Crowley, Harlow and Callan were accused of setting back feminism and sympathizing with rapists.
Authorities believe more offences may have been committed that night and the investigation is continuing.