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January 3rd, 2013
10:31 AM ET

Blogger on her findings regarding the Steubenville rape case she brought to light using social media

Two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio are under arrest for the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl. The case has received national attention after evidence of the alleged attack first surfaced on social media. Alexandra Goddard blogs at and has been posting on this developing story. This morning she joins “Starting Point” to discuss her findings including a 12-minute video posted on YouTube showing several teens making jokes about the alleged rape.

Goddard says after becoming aware of the story she felt compelled to research it further because she “felt like because it was involving football players and there’s a culture [in Steubenville] that football is very important that there was probably a little more to the story than local media was reporting.” Goddard says she proceeded to sift through various twitter accounts where she found disturbing messages that laid out a timeline regarding the events that reportedly transpired on August 22, 2012. In particular Goddard says she came across the cache of a YouTube video that many people claimed did not exist. She adds the release of the 12-minute video which has garnered a response from both Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine proves that the video existed all along. She goes on to say that “some of the commentary that was going on by the person in it tells the horrific things that happened that night.”

On the topic of verification and authenticity of the tweets and videos posted on social media Goddard says the “person has identified themselves in the video. They’ve also identified others in the room who were allegedly involved and through the twitter accounts most of these kids were using their full names.”

Recently a defamation suit against Goddard by a football player and his parents regarding the case was dismissed. Goddard says however her investigation in Steubenville has “been for the most part very positive.” She adds that she has not been the recipient of any hate mail but admits there are some who are very “upset” by her pursuance of the case. Goddard says there are others however who have thanked her for bringing the case to light “because their local media just wasn’t providing enough coverage and they were coming to my blog for information.”

Filed under: Crime • Lawsuit • Rape • School • Social media
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. jiffypop

    "Stop blaming the victim?" Stop calling her a victim. Would you call a guy a victim if cheerleaders fucked him when he was passed out? It's an insult to victims of violent rape, and it treats women as lesser.

    March 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. youreallwrong

    I really wish I was able to comment on this a couple of months ago so I could explain to you how wrong you are. You and your misinformed and doomed commenters. But after researching and spying on your mails, I can see where you're headed. You're nothing more than a pampered whiny little gnat who knows nothing but spouts off at the mouth and clings to others. why don't you just become a useless activist and move to LA

    March 13, 2013 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Martin Cosentino

    This is an outrage of the first water. That ANY of the Steubenville responses from football coaches are true, smacks of a timid and nervous coverup from parochial coaches who could care less about their boys 'sowing their oats." If national, and state scorn and justice are not brought to bear on this reenactment of a gay boy's death in Wyoming, then the prophecy in Revelations is truly manifesting itself as these terribly deluded youngsters 'blow breath into the beast' with their little toys. That the video made YouTube and was not immediately confiscated as evidence in a crime speaks volumes about how numb we have become to even the very depiction and admission of a crime.

    The image, for its own sake,whether by cellphone, computer, internet or TV, has taken on an authority of 'having made it' to the 'big time' that is at total cross purposes with the banality and gross indifference displayed by these little monsters. It is up to the citizens of Steubenville to bring those responsible for this heinous crime to accountability, and it also speaks to the local district attorney, as well as the state's attorney general, to pursue relentlessly the trail the leads to the arrest and conviction of all of those responsible for this shameless and callous assault on a young girl.

    January 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kathleen anderson

    Thank you for having the perserverance to pursue this matter. This falls into the same category as the rape in India, the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scout scandal, and the reports of policemen using their athority to engage in meaningless sex. . This is deplorable. It bespeaks of a twisted idea about sex for men. If my son or grandchildren were ever involved in something like this, I might well be the first person to report them. This is appalling, absolutely disgusting. All men should stand up and fight for the victim so that name of men is not sullied.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Concerned

    My 8th grade History teacher taught me that if I would be embarrassed by an action being displayed on the front page, I shouldn't act that way. These kids are announcing their crimes to the world and it took a (very brave) civilian to get it the attention it deserves. I am very ashamed to live on this planet right now, if rape is not considered disgusting and cruel. I think that town needs some investigators from an internal affairs bureau because there is something wrong with the police in that town.

    January 4, 2013 at 9:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Heartwrenching

    The FBI needs to get involved in investigating this case.

    January 4, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rollo

    Thank you for exposing this horrific story. Will be following your blog to see how and when justice is finally handed out to these animals.

    January 4, 2013 at 7:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rina

    Good for her – I am glad someone took an interest and kept following it. Hopefully this girl will receive justice.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Neena

    Come on CNN, your anchors conducting this interview blew it. You wouldn't have her on if the video wasn't real. She is not on trial here. This crime is truly beyond belief and yet you treat the blogger like she's the problem?! Anderson Cooper would have handled this much better.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jennifer

    That poor girl. Everyone who covered this up should be brought up on charges. And to the parents of the boys in the video. You should be ashamed of them, not trying to defend them.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Kay Skylar

    It is completely disgusting that these football players could commit this crime and then be stupid enough to publicize it and laugh about it on the World Wide Web. They may be able to cover it up in small town Ohio, but in the big world their fraudulent reputations in the little pond have been exposed. May they be prosecuted for their crime and accessory to the crime and suffer the consequences. Their parents should be ashamed for the abysmal job they did in raising such morally corrupt children. All should be shunned by society and banned from college campuses. I would never consider hiring an individual with such an extreme lack of character. The Internet lives forever. Thank you for introducing us to your true selves through your own words.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. George Hung

    This is case is particularly interesting because it demonstrates that hacker activism and social media can obsolete the need for main stream media and bypass the failed and in some ways archaic judicial system. There is little doubt that wealthy individuals can afford high paying lawyers to minimize fines. In this case, privilieged men who call themselves "the rape crew" have personal contacts to the sheriff. Moreoever, thanks to social media, it is believed that the prosecuting attorney Hanlin hosted one of the parties that evening. Saccaccio (aka) the new Paterno has diety like status because of the importance planced on football in that community. All members of the rape crew should be in jail awaiting trial as adults.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:00 am | Report abuse | Reply

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