My fiftieth excursion had been a long, nice day and I was ready to go home. But though I was already heading south for home, there was one stopping point left, as long as the light held out: Steubenville, Ohio. Steubenville is south of East Liverpool, also on the Ohio River, and also a struggling Rust Belt town.
In which our intrepid hero explores a town under shadow…
One of the more prominent rust belt towns along the Ohio River is Steubenville. Most Americans had never heard of this town until 2012. That year, a horrifying news story emerged from Steubenville. A group of high school students, including members of Steubenville High School’s vaunted football team, sexually assaulted a teenaged girl at a party. Steubenville adults were nowhere to be seen, it seems, as groups of students drank heavily at various parties around town. The victim, already drunk, left one party to go to another, accompanied by a handful of football players. There she drank even more and became incapacitated. After a while, the group left the party to go to a third, and then to someone’s home. In the car, one of the assailants removed the victim’s shirt and sexually assaulted her, while others took pictures of the assault. At the house, the assailants took off the rest of her clothes, then two of them sexually assaulted her again. Once again, the whole incident was caught in pictures.
What followed was as shameful as the initial assault.