As Steubenville, Ohio, prepares for the high-profile rape trial of two high school football players, officials, battling allegations of a cover-up, announced the creation of a new website today to debunk rumors and create what they said would be a transparent resource for the community.
"This site is not designed to be a forum for how the Juvenile Court ought to rule in this matter," the website, called Steubenville Facts, said.
A timeline of the case, beginning with the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl at a party on Aug. 11-12, 2012, is posted on the site. Summaries of Ohio law relating to the case and facts about the local police force including statistics on how many graduated from Steubenville schools, is included.
The case gained national attention last week when hacking collective Anonymous leaked a video of Steubenville high school athletes mocking the 16-year-old female victim and making crude references to the alleged rape.
"It's disgusting, and I've had people calling, numerous people call here, upset, they have seen it, one woman, two women were crying, because of what they witnessed," Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said. "It really is disgusting to watch that video."
Anonymous has called for more arrests, however Steubenville Police have said their hands are tied.
"Steubenville Police investigators are caring humans who recoil and are repulsed by many of the things they observe during an investigation," the website said, addressing the video. "Like detectives in every part of America and the world, they are often frustrated when they emotionally want to hold people accountable for certain detestable behavior but realize that there is no statute that allows a criminal charge to be made."
Occupy Steubenville, a grassroots group, estimated 1,300 people attended a rally today outside the Jefferson County Courthouse, where rape victims and their loved ones gathered to share their stories.
The father of a teenage rape victim was met with applause when he shared his outrage.
"I've tried to show my girl that not all men are like this, but only a despicable few," he said. "And their mothers that ignore the truth that they gave birth to a monster."
Authorities investigated the case and charged two Steubenville high school athletes on Aug. 22, 2012.
The teenagers face trial on Feb. 13, 2013 in juvenile court before a visiting judge.
Attorneys for the boys have denied charges in court.