Editorial – Wrong victim

Ohio convicted rapists receive sympathy and a plethora of excuses while victim is forgotten.

Shameful and disgusting come to mind when discussing media’s reaction to the conviction of the two high school students who raped a 16-year-old girl.

One CNN  reporter used cliche phrases such as “watched as their life fell apart” to describe the reaction of the two convicts as they were being sentenced.

She even went so far as to state “it was very difficult to watch” as the guilty verdict was begin handed down.

Another favourite was sympathy over the judgement both rapists will be registered as sex offenders.

“This will haunt them for the rest of their life,” she said, highlighting how difficult it will be to obtain employment for the two.

Seriously?

Trent Mays, 17 and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were not only found guilty of sexually assaulting the 16-year-old female, but of photographing her naked body as she lay passed out.

The photo was then distributed. Richmond is sentenced to at least one year, Mays double, as he was convicted of distributing the photograph.

It’s not even their sentencing (or lack thereof) that is shocking. It’s the fact media turned this case on it’s head by sympathizing with the high school jocks – completely disregarding the actual victim in this case.

What message are we sending our children? That alcohol is an excuse? That if a young girl has a “reputation” she is at fault for other’s actions?

It’s how society views sexual conduct and, right now, we’re sympathizing with accused rapists’, we are mourning the “end of their lives” and providing excuse after excuse for  their deplorable behaviour.

It’s up to us to ensure theses types of events and actions are viewed as one of the most deplorable, sickening and shameful acts. It starts at home and it needs to start now.

–Autumn MacDonald, Observer