(WOMENSENEWS)–Karin Roland, campaign director at the online women’s activist group UltraViolet, has a simple reaction to the deal struck this week keeping an Ohio school administrator out of court and jail. "This is wrong" says Roland.
She also worries about its implications for pending prosecutions related to the nationally sensational case of an intoxicated female teen raped in the summer 2012.
"It does really concern me," Roland said. "I don’t know if there will be a direct impact but justice should be served for anyone who is complicit, who helped covered up this Steubenville. Everyone who was involved should be put in jail."
As widely reported, all charges brought against Michael McVey, superintendent of Steubenville City Schools, for deleting evidence and misleading authorities investigating the rape were dropped on Jan. 12, the day his trial was scheduled to begin, in exchange for resigning and being barred from any further work in Steubenville schools.
"That is not how we should be punishing crimes in this country," said Roland. "You can obstruct justice, delete computers’ hard drives and cover up evidence of a rape but instead of being sent to jail for it, you just resign from your job and you go about your business."
The Steubenville City School Board had no one available when Women’s eNews called seeking comment.
Another Trial Pending
The trial of William Rhinaman, the Steubenville schools’ former technology director, who is facing charges that include tampering with evidence and obstructing justice is still pending.
UltraViolet ran two online campaigns related to the case. In January 2013, it presented a petition with 70, 000 signatures to the attorney general’s office calling for the investigation and prosecutions of all parties directly or indirectly involved. The other campaign in June 2013 denounced the prosecution of Deric Lostutter, a hacker who exposed the Steubenville case. A member of Anonymous, an international network of hackers, he faces up to 10 years in prison and is awaiting trial.
Prosecutors said McVey erased emails and hard drives, or had someone wipe them; lied about the school’s review of the incident, created emails with bogus information and directed others to create records after the fact. They say he also concealed information about a party that occurred four months before the rape, rumored to have involved teen drinking and sex, according to court documents, The Post Gazette reported.
"That just shows how pervasive the rape culture is in our society and how hard it is for survivors of sexual assaults to get justice," Roland said.
Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement on his website that he is "satisfied that he [McVey] has been held accountable for his actions with this agreement and consider this a just result."
>Two Steubenville High School football players, Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond, both now 18, were found responsible in juvenile court for the rape in March 2013. Mays was also found delinquent of using his phone to take a photo of the nude victim. Earlier this month, Mays, was released after serving a two-year sentence. He will be put on probationary status and will have a sex offender classification hearing, The Associated Press reported.
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