Fitzimmons Cites Underage Consumption Social Media Steubenville - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Fitzimmons Cites Underage Consumption and Social Media as Factors in Rape Case

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Bob Fitzsimmons, the attorney representing Jane Doe in the Steubenville rape case, said underage drinking was one of several issues that came together in the case. He believes people accept teenage alcohol use with a "wink and a nod."

"There's no question alcohol plays a very menacing part in our society and I do think that we need to, especially as parents, we need to start enforcing it," Fitzsimmons said. "We can't just say we trust Johnny or Susie because they're nice kids and they're honor roll students and they've been pretty good so we're going to go ahead and let them drink. That's wrong."

Social media played a huge part in the case. The online bragging, the pictures, the arrogant demeaning of the victim, were appalling, but Fitzsimmons says, on the other hand, technology proved the case.

"Had it not been for technology, this crime would have gone undetected," he said. "If it wasn't for the publication of those pictures and these text messages, this young girl would have been raped and nobody would've known about it including her! People can track these things down. They can read these things. If you do something bad, there's going to be some evidence and you may be the best witness against yourself."

Fitzsimmons said alcohol and social media were certainly part of it, but he says the biggest message is that protection of women is essential.

"No means no. And if nothing's said, that doesn't mean yes either," Fitzsimmons said. "You gotta assume it's no until you get an affirmative yes. It was despicable what they did to this young girl and how they demeaned her afterwards."

Fitzsimmons had dozens of invitations from the media, including Oprah and Dr. Phil. As for Anonymous, he said they helped send an important message out nationally and that that was a good thing.