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Good That the Two Steubenville Rapists Have Been Judged Guilty, But Are Dozens More in the Community Getting Off Scot Free?

Who else should be held accountable for the horrible sequence of events during a drunken pre-season Big Red football team all-night celebration?

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And this community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth ... Everything that has happened in Steubenville has been very difficult - very, very sad - and very tragic. But let me be clear - this is not just a Steubenville problem. This is a societal problem.

What happened here is shocking, and it is appalling ...

Rape is not a recreational activity. We, as a society, have an obligation do more to educate our young people about rape. They need to know it is a horrible crime of violence. And it is simply not ok.

And After the Grand Jury and the Good Intentions, Then What?

Reading the students' emails is an illuminating if not pleasant experience, and there are hundreds in evidence.

In one that expresses the dominant tone of the exchanges, Trent Mays responds to a friend's inquiry about his activities: "Yeah dude, she was like a dead body. I just needed some sexual attention."

In the courtroom immediately after the trial, Jane Doe's mother spoke briefly to the defendants, telling them, in part:

You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code. Your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you. You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. This does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow, and move on.

The Grand Jury will give Steubenville an opportunity, as a community, to persevere, grow, and move on. And maybe Steubenville, if enough of its people persevere, will make progress on questions of rape and violence to women. And maybe the Big Red football team's Rape Crew will fade to an ugly local memory.

And then maybe the American military can persevere and grow and teach the troops not to rape their fellow soldiers.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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