STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (KDKA) — Steubenville, Ohio, is a typical small town where the high school football team is intertwined with the community’s image.
“The high school football is kind of a hope for us, an inspiration,” said Jerry Barilla, a resident of Steubenville.
But in mid-August, during a post-scrimmage party, investigators say some members of the Big Red football team were allegedly videotaped with a teenage girl who had passed out.
The girl did not remember being assaulted until the videos were posted to YouTube.
Two star Big Red players were arrested and charged with rape, but the area has been consumed by claims other players may have been involved and allegedly let off the hook.
“They ought to get the rest of them; I heard there was six of them,” said one Steubenville resident.
The cover-up charge has gone viral, and the town getting national media attention.
“We’re getting a bad image, and it’s simply not true,” said Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty.
The chief says no one has come forward with any evidence.
“As a police officer, we have to go through the court system. We just can’t arrest on rumor or speculation,” said Chief McCafferty.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is handling the case.
“We’re not going to leave this case until we’re satisfied that everyone who is guilty of a crime or who we believe the evidence shows is guilty of crime has actually been charged,” said Mike DeWine, of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
“It’s frustrating because I know that everything has been done right,” added Chief McCafferty.
“I just think Steubenville is getting a bad rap. What has taken place does not encompass the whole town,” said Tim Walters, a Steubenville resident.
The trial of the two players won’t come until the middle of next month so this spotlight isn’t going to fade quickly.