Maryville, Mo., is just like Steubenville, Ohio.
That's what so many are saying, and if that doesn't concern the prosecutor's office of Nodaway County in the far northwest part of the state, then perhaps it doesn't know what has just begun, or fathom what is still to come.
Steubenville was thrown into the international spotlight over the past year after members of the local high school football team sexually assaulted a drunken 16-year-old girl. It was a horrific crime made even worse by the gutter behavior of onlookers, which included crude jokes on social media, a cellphone filming of one of the acts and a complete lack of concern for the well being of the victim.
Yet in Steubenville, authorities not only charged two players, they handed the case over to the state's attorney general's office to run the prosecution. Both boys were convicted last March and are in the juvenile justice system to this day.
Even still, the city was brought to its knees by allegations of corruption, cover-up and favoritism. Local bloggers printed wild, unproven allegations. The Internet hacking group Anonymous tormented some locals and staged street protests that washed the city out. It focused pressure to make sure the case was pushed – and continues to be pushed – forward. It was devastating and divisive to Steubenville. Even locals freely repeated the most outlandish of rumors.
And, again, it's worth repeating: The two defendants weren't just charged; they were convicted.
In Maryville, the main suspect, a one-time, high-profile local high school athlete, is accused of assaulting a drunk 14-year-old girl before dumping her passed-out body on her front lawn in sub-freezing weather. He isn't even standing trial; all his charges dropped earlier this year.
No, what is likely to come for Maryville – fair or not, reasonable or not – is probably going to be far more intense.
A few things...
I do not believe this story is political, so I hope this thread does not turn political and/or get moved to the political forum. From what I understand, many people's requests to be added to the political forum have not been performed, so moving this story there would remove it from conversation.
My reason for posting this is to ask; are we seeing a new phenomena here with online hacker groups preventing these types of stories from being swept under the rug? I've often viewed online hacker groups as simply nothing but trolls who want to create chaos in the lives of others for no apparent reason- but is this something where their presence could be used for the greater good of society?