We've held off posting about a story that's blown up in our little nebulus of the Internet the last few days. It regards a troubling incident at Ohio University where a woman filed a sexual assault complaint after seeing an Instagram picture of a public sexual act she was involved in go viral. According to OU's student newspaper, she claims it was a stranger. Maybe you've seen it on other sites, maybe you haven't. We're not publishing it because it's not cool or really even newsworthy to circulate a picture of an alleged criminal act as abhorrent as what's being said to have happened on the streets of Athens. Plus the details are still very foggy. In this case, it's best to wait it out than make judgements and allegations in the haste of publishing.
In case you're not familiar, though, the Ohio University's The Post explains:
The woman filed the complaint after a video, allegedly showing a man performing oral sex on her on a sidewalk in Uptown Athens, circulated on Instagram. Popular local Twitter accounts caused a frenzy Sunday evening when screenshots of the video were posted. Screenshots seem to indicate the event taking place in front of Chase Bank, 2 S. Court Street.
What was particularly troubling was the reaction on social media, Compton said. “There have been some real examples of some victim-blaming behavior.”
This suggests a serious problem. Rather than stepping in to help or suggest something wrong was happening, people pulled out their cell phones and snapped pictures of the event.
"To everyone who is posting pictures with the girl who got taken advantage of, you are a disgusting human being and you should be ashamed"— OU Confessions (@OU_Confessions) October 13, 2013
Charges have yet to be filed, but today some new details emerged:
“Yes, we have all people involved, at least as far as the allegation of sexual assault is concerned,” Pyle said. “The two people involved have been identified and have been cooperating in the investigation.” He added that it’s hard to say whether those who posted videos online will be facing any charges, and that he doesn’t believe there is any footage available from cameras located on Court Street that would have the crime depicted on it.
As of Tuesday, the case has not been brought to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office, spokesman Dan Tierney said.
To frame it in a wider context of what did or didn't go down, the best thing I've read on the incident is over at Policy Mic.