"Jane Doe" Supporters View Verdicts as "Win" - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

"Jane Doe" Supporters View Verdicts as "Win"

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Supporters of "Jane Doe" outside the courthouse view these verdicts in the Steubenville rape case as victories.

Rebecca Mikesell, one supporter of "Jane Doe", said, "Even if they had both been found 'innocent', the victim needed a voice. We needed to be out here, speaking up for her."   Another supporter, Sable Foster, said, "This is what we hoped for, what we prayed for, what we worked for and fought for. We are ecstatic, because we are all sisters of 'Jane.' We have all been violated by someone..."  As she said the last words, Foster came close to fainting from the emotion of the moment.

The hacktivist group "Anonymous" claimed "the whole world was watching" -- including an attorney whose case led to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Steubenville Police Department.

Richard Olivito helped attract the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice in a case that led to the Steubenville Police Department signing a consent decree.  He summed his views on the verdict this way.  "For the children, it's a tragedy for all involved. And I think it's a great sense of relief for a lot of women, and a lot of young women. And I think it's important for those issues to have their moment, that they feel they're vindicated, the young girl took the stand, and it took a lot of courage to do that."

As for the future, the verdicts bring not only conclusions, but other, more troubling concerns.
Olivito said, "Beyond that, there's questions of what happened at the beginning of this investigation. And that goes even to the history of what I was involved with Steubenville. Was the official -- were the officials involved to a certain extent to protect some families that otherwise would not be -- maybe should be joining Ma'lek and Trent?"

But a supporter of "Jane Doe" thinks the case will help to change perceptions.  Mikesell said, "People have this impression this impression that rape is a stranger, coming out from the bushes, coming out from a dark alley. And they don't understand that this type of behavior with these children that happened like this -- this is socially acceptable. This happens every night, every weekend."