Tape doesn’t speak for the community

To the editor:

I haven’t talked to anyone who condones rape or doesn’t want justice for Jane Doe. I have seen a 12-minute tape of one very immature person joking about this incident and it repulsed me. But that video does not speak for the community.

I would like to see someone publish the proven facts to date and establish some type of time line of the events of that night. I would also like to see some supportive evidence for the accusations that are hanging out there in limbo. To this point, the information has come slowly and in trickles. The investigative arm of the law and the media have been accused of not attempting to vigorously pursue this case. It seems unfair to post information and act like it is newly discovered evidence when the prosecution has yet to finish its investigation. I believe that procedure requires that authorities do not release information until the investigation is complete so as not to jeopardize the building of a case. Asking me to believe that there is a cover-up requires you to provide me evidence that allows me to conclude that it is a fact. I am not one to dismiss any wrong doing by anyone in authority but it would be unfair to do so on the speculation of rumors.

Students have been requested to come forward with information about the night in question. We want them to be responsible citizens and step forward. Now realistically, asking teenage students to come forward is expecting them to place themselves in a dangerous and difficult position. A student who volunteers information would be faced with consequences that many of us haven’t begun to consider much less understand. And what does it say to a young person when adults went online using icon names to disseminate speculation and then used the ACLU to keep their names secret because they were afraid of retaliatory actions for what they said after they placed individuals in jeopardy of retaliation by posting their names on line. Do you think that maybe the students who could help put that night into perspective might have the same concerns for their safety as these people who posted under fictitious icon names? Many of these kids seem to be following the lead of adults who are afraid to stand behind their testimony which in many cases was unfounded. The young people see adults masking their faces and withhold their names while tossing accusations at real faces with real names. Is this how we show our children to stand up and be accountable?

What took place here was deplorable, the parameters of which have not been fully discovered, but Steubenville is part of Ohio which is part of America which is part of the world and Steubenville didn’t invent evil. What is happening here is happening everywhere but the rest of the world can look at us and excuse their responsibility for the moral decay going on all around us.

Joe Scalise