The way we live now: cities and cops are forced to enact websites to combat internet vigilantes in an effort to transmit the truth. (Or, at least, their version of it.)
The City of Steubenville and the Steubenville Police Department launched a website called Steubenville Facts "to disseminate the most accurate information about a recent case involving sexual assault charges pending against two juveniles in Steubenville (Jefferson County Juvenile Court Case Numbers 2012-DL138 and 2012-139)."
You may have already guessed the minors they're referring to: Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, the two high school football players charged with raping and kidnapping a teenage girl last August. (Read all about it here.)
Anonymous sub-group KnightSec has become extremely involved in the case and recently released a large dossier detailing what they believe went down that night, including accusations that more teenagers were involved in the rape, the girl was roofied, and a team booster was exchanging photos of underage girls with teammates. They also released a disturbing (understatement of the year) video of one former Steubenville student joking about the hiiilarious rape the night it happened, and have been leading protests in the area. As a result, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said that no more suspects will be charged and defense lawyers are trying to move the case elsewhere.
It's impressive if Steubenville launched a website in hopes of championing transparency; less so if the city and police just want to defend themselves. And, indeed, the website reads a tad defensive at times — "Steubenville Police investigators are caring humans who recoil and are repulsed by many of the things they observe during an investigation." — it reminds readers in bold italics.
But the website also provides a timeline, law summaries, and facts about the police force — all crucial information for reporters and interested citizens alike. "City leaders know that many people outside Eastern Ohio are interested in this matter and people from other states and countries may not be familiar with some basic facts about the background of the case," the website acknowledges.
Anonymous: ball's in your court!