Witnesses in the case are explaining that the victim, whose name hasn’t been revealed (thank goodness), was so drunk that she could barely walk, and that’s a big deal. Why? Because if she was that drunk, she also couldn’t legally give consent, which is really important in getting the alleged rapists convicted.
There’s been an ongoing debate in the Steubenville case as to whether or not the victim was conscious when the incident (or incidents, depending on how you look at it) occurred, and witnesses have various stories as to whether or not she was actually passed out throughout the night. But they all agree: she was in really, really bad shape. One witness said she’d never seen the victim that drunk ever before. Another witness said that the next day, the victim was crying and saying she didn’t remember anything that happened. (If you remember, the rape case came about after the accusers’ friends, who are apparently just as much dumb scumbags as they are, released pictures and tweets of the incident.)
What’s disturbing is that local police in Steubenville took 16 days–that’s over two weeks, girls–to take the victim’s clothes in for analysis in their lab. As a result, some crucial DNA evidence for the case may have been lost, and a lot of fingers are being pointed at Steubenville as a town and their strong football culture, with people insinuating that the cops may have deliberately stalled as a means to protect the Steubenville High School football players who are accused of the assault.
It’s super important to remember that regardless of reports, these guys are innocent until proven guilty. But if this girl was as wasted as it appears, then she legally was unable to give consent, which doesn’t look promising for the accused, Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond.
It’s also really important to remember–and I mentioned this yesterday–that regardless of what happens, rape is not the victim’s fault. Obviously, there are situations that are safer than others, and ideally, underage and binge drinking wouldn’t happen, because they make everything murky, scary and more dangerous. But two wrongs don’t make a right: It’d be dumb for me to leave me car unlocked with a bag of money in the backseat, but it’d still be wrong for someone to steal it. Someone being inebriated doesn’t give anyone else the right to violate you, to do the wrong thing or to break the law. That’s why rape is illegal–not being a rape victim.
Do you think the Steubenville rape case was indeed rape? Do you think the victim of the Steubenville rape case had it coming? Do you think it’s ever a victim’s fault for rape? What do you think the outcome of the Steubenville rape trial will be? Tell us in the comments!