Silence ≠ Consent

The boys’ lawyers plan to argue that silence is consent. Attorneys for Maystried to get the charges dropped entirely because two of his friends were denied the chance to serve as witnesses. When that failed, the defense came up with a different strategy: They plan to argue that, “[s]he didn’t affirmatively say no,” and thus gave her consent. This ignores Ohio’s law, much like laws in the rest of the country, that agreeing to go out with someone does not mean you have given consent to sex. The lawyers’ argument is perhaps most disturbing, because it actually echoes one of the jokes captured in the uploaded Anonymous video: “It isn’t really rape because you don’t know if she wanted to or not.”

Read more: Everything You Need To Know About The Steubenville Rape Trial