As I write this, I am telling myself to proceed with caution. No doubt there will be much said in the days and weeks ahead about the verdict in what will forever be known as the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. Steubenville, the small town that borders West Virginia, has never seen so much press. Even for their glorious football team.
It has been reported that attorneys for the convicted football players, Ma’lik Richmond, 16, sentenced to a minimum of 1 year in juvenile detention and Trent Mays, 17, sentenced to a minimum of 2 years, plan to appeal.
I have to ask, what is the purpose of an appeal? For all the talk about taking responsibility that surrounds this case, it makes no sense to me why there is talk of an appeal. Taking responsibility means accepting consequences. In this case, minimal jail time.
Oh, and missing the homecoming game.
Additionally, further investigation may lead to charges for those who witnessed the raping and did nothing to stop it. The report states that the Ohio law which makes it a crime not to report a felony, such as a rape is a rarely used law.
I have to ask, why is the law rarely used? I don’t suppose it’s because rape rarely happens. So, is it because rape is rarely witnessed by people who find it too entertaining to report?
An emotional tirade about the shame of it all isn’t what’s called for. No, I think once the Monday morning quarterbacks have given their take on the play by play leading up to the convictions and late night TV has allowed sufficient time to pass before the kick off of clever punch lines made up from testimony transcripts there will have been more than enough skin in the game. There are lessons to be learned certainly.
I have to ask, are those lessons really that rape is not acceptable conduct? That rape is not a recreational activity? Do we really believe that people who commit sexual assault don’t know their actions have consequences? I call bullshit! We do not have people on the planet who don’t know violence against women is wrong. Dead wrong!
I have to ask, or do we?