Home Law Court Street incident points to growing trend

Court Street incident points to growing trend

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During homecoming weekend, an Ohio University female student was allegedly raped on Court Street in front of about 10 to 20 people. Both students involved were intoxicated. The next day, the woman who appeared in the videos and pictures filed for rape. This story has grabbed national attention because of the plethora of evidence that was posted on social media.

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said, although while the crime was “despicable…[the videos and images that were posted] also assisted in our investigation.”

Students on campus appear to have conflicting thoughts about the incident. Groups like f*ckrapeculture are using it to call for an end to what they see as a culture of victim-blaming and slut-shaming, while a number of other students who have written letters to campus publications defending the man who performed the sexual act.

Vince Blanc, a witness who took the picture and put it on social media, told The Post that “It was obvious that both the man and the woman were very, very drunk…I guess the thing that puts everyone there at ease was that she never said stop, she never struggled and she never asked for help. She put her hand on the back of his head. She seemed like she was enjoying it, so I guess everyone there was like, ‘Ok it’s not assault. It’s not rape.’”

However, the Ohio University definition of consent states that, “consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or some other condition.”

Pyle said it was obvious that the onlookers didn’t realize what they were witnessing. Even Blanc says that he put the picture up on social media for “shock value…It was never meant to harm or embarrass anyone.”

Recently an OU sorority sister was targeted by @Anon_Central, an anonymous twitter account, which accused her of being depicted in the pictures from Court St. The student had to file a report to the Athens Police Department, and eventually deleted all of her social media accounts.

It seems that cases like this are popping up all over social media. Just a couple months ago, two high school football players in Steubenville Ohio were charged with raping a woman. The evidence was posted all throughout social media.

The number of crimes where evidence is on social media is growing. Due to the fact that social media is relatively new, the justice system is having a hard time creating laws in which evidence pertaining to crimes that are put on social media are deemed admissible in courts. There are virtually few laws that protect the victims and even the onlookers who are snapping pictures and videos of victims.

The case will go to trial next week.

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No Comments

  1. FalseRapeMuch?

    October 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Yea agreed false rape charges should be a serious offense. Regret in the morning should not = Rape.


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