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ohiosasealThere is a light at the end of the tunnel, finally, as the unmitigated mess that was the Big Red Rape case fades into the annuls of internet history. The Grand Jury probe into the actions of individuals and institutions has resulted in a net indictment of a total of 6 individuals. How many of these individuals who were indicted that had a direct connection to the rape itself is unknown at this point. One person who was indicted was on charges unrelated to the Rape Case. It is said that one or more of the latest four indicted were unrelated to the case as well but were caught up in the probe into the actions of the town.

At the moment there are shouts of “hail victory” among those who have been crucifying the town and anyone remotely supporting the two young men prosecuted in the case or those who had even the slightest negative viewpoint regarding Jane Doe and any actions she may have undertaken that got her into the situation she was involved in. Those who are celebrating their victory seem to have forgotten how the justice system works in the United States as well as in the State of Ohio.

anonmaskThere is this peculiar rule that one is “innocent until proven guilty” that seems to get thrown out the window by those who follow or go to the extremes and even barge into the case making the lives of total strangers miserable because they  feel they have a personal mandate to see that justice is done. There is this vigilante mindset that takes over where the participants feel that the system is not working and they feel compelled to take matters into their own hands.

Such as was and still the case with the Steubenville Big Red rape case. It was not enough for the parties involved to engage in a civil debate as to who did what and why. Certain individuals felt compelled to get directly involved investigating anyone they felt had even the most remote connection to the rape or, by their perception, had something to do with trying to cover up the rape and prevent the prosecution of those they felt deserved to have the book thrown at them.

A lot of unsuspecting victims wound up having their personal information put on the internet. There were “investigations” into the actions of extended family members of anyone the vigilantes felt necessary to “look into.” These investigations expanded to include anyone that offered a viewpoint that anyone dared make that went against the grain of this particular group. There was and still is a vast amount of name calling against those who have the so called “wrong headed” point of view.

Labels such as  sluts, shrews and rape supporters appear in blog after blog. Now that the indictments are coming down there are calls for resignations and questions of why this person or that person was not named in the indictments.

bigredWhat these people who are celebrating this big victory fail to understand is that these are merely indictments. This matter is not resolved by a long shot. The State Attorney now has to decide who to take to trial and how they are going to proceed. There has to be a jury picked (or in some cases a judge will render a verdict)  as well as various motions to be filed by the officers of the court on both sides. It will be months before all the cases are heard. Charges may  wind up being dismissed. There might be negotiations for reduced sentences or even probation (withholding of adjudication) or any number of alternatives short of having the book thrown at one or more of the individuals indicted.

There might even be acquittals by a jury of one or more of those charged. The game is not over for the game has not even started yet.

There is the old adage “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” I hope she can carry a tune.

Stay Tuned