Rape Culture Taken Seriously: More Indictments in Steubenville

8213432552_fd1a8cc461Four more people have been indicted in the infamous Steubenville, Ohio rape case. All  are adults affiliated with Steubenville schools.

The town of Steubenville drew national attention when a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by two of Steubenville High School’s football stars at a party in August 2012—a crime captured in part by social media. Controversy surrounded the mainstream media handling of the events and efforts within the football-centric town to discredit and intimidate the victim. The hacktivist group Anonymous got involved, demanding that Ohio authorities investigate further. Following the conviction of the two football players in March, Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine convened a special grand jury investigation to examine the role that adults had played in enabling the rapists and covering up the crime.

Yesterday, DeWine announced the grand jury’s findings: Michael McVey,  superintendent of Steubenville City Schools, was indicted on felony counts of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence; Lynette Gorman, an elementary school principal, and Seth Fluharty, a wrestling coach, face charges of failure to report child abuse; and assistant football coach Matthew Bellardine is charged with allowing underage drinking and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Said DeWine,

While this started out being about the kids, it is also just as much about the parents, about the grown-ups, about the adults. … How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?

At this point, the attorney general does not anticipate further indictments.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Chris Potter via Creative Commons.



Melissa McGlensey recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in English and Spanish with a minor in creative writing; she is currently interning at Ms. Read more from her at OhHeyMeliss.com.


  1. Just a month ago, a local newspaper where I live had an article about a man who was sexually assaulting older women (in their 80’s) and then using the images for pornography. This was a big joke – older women being sexually assaulted; older women being used in pornography. Also, there have been articles about what a joke it is that a Santa in a Shopping Mall was sexually assaulting a female elf (18 years old so technically she is an adult). This is also a big joke. Maybe rape culture and porn culture are taken more seriously when the victim is a teenager, but otherwise, I don’t think that much has changed. As for parents, they seem awfully concerned about teaching their daughters to be careful. What about teaching your sons not to sexually assault? Also, I am sick of all this sexual exploitation (porn/strip clubs/prostitution) and I don’t consider the problem to be totally economic. It went on in the Communist countries as well. I have already figured out that most of the women’s movement isn’t fighting sexual exploitation (porn/strip clubs/prostitution). Well, how do you raise boys to be compassionate in a society where even the women’s movement isn’t against sexual exploitation, if this makes any sense.

  2. I think anyone in the town who supported the rapists and in turn abused the victims should be held accountable and charged. From everything I’ve read there are far more adults than just these few who are guilty of something in covering up or denying these crimes.

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