Alex Witt   |  March 17, 2013

Social media’s impact on Ohio rape case

Legal Analyst Lisa Green joins MSNBC’s Alex Witt to discuss the impact social media played in the Steubenville, Ohio rape case.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> just moments ago about the use of social media in this crime.

>> i think it's even more difficult when a victim is continually victimized in social media . and that is what has happened here. this is not just a stubenville problem. this is a nationwide problem. this is a societal problem. what's even more appalling is that crimes of a sexual nature are occurring every friday night, every saturday night across this country. we need to say enough is enough. this has to stop. this is wrong. this is immoral.

>> let's get right to analyst lisa green for some legal perspective here. so you've got the ohio attorney general saying how these crimes are immoral and wrong. but this is extraordinary with these thousands and thousands of messages between these kids.

>> 17 phones were retrieved and tens of thousands of text messages and if anyone ever doubted that social media infiltrates every aspect of a criminal investigation, those doubts end today.

>> this is a girl who was inebriated enough that she did pass out, although she did make a strong case for herself as a witness, but really those texts were so damming.

>> the defense relied on an almost old-fashioned technique to talk to the judge, saying that the victim wasn't really trust worthy, they brought on two former friends of hers, but they were completely outmatched by the prosecution because of that sort of electronic, forensic evidence. they had the upper hand.

>> do you think that social media is what sealed those two defendants' faith?

>> we just heard about the attorney general talk about the victim being revictimized and it's traumatizing to even think about all of those next day messages, the videos and the stills being circulated that next day, if not for those would we be sitting here today?

>> can you believe this how teenagers seem to be completely unaware of how this can affect them still today.

>> which have these powerful weapons at their disposal, a camera and they need seem to have no doubt the need to chronicle in real time what is happening and everyone from judges to parents is pleading to these kids too be more careful.

>> i do think it's appropriate and the juvenile authorities will take a look at these sentences, they each start one year for one defendant and two years for the second defendant but they could be increased over time .

>> just an awful story it is, lisa green, thank you