Protesters wait for decision in juvenile rape trial
STEUBENVILLE – A small crowd of protesters stood vigil Saturday night outside of the Jefferson County Justice Center during closing arguments of the rape trial in Jefferson County Juvenile Court.
While several people held signs, flashlights and battery-operated candles, others, including men and women wearing the Guy Fawkes masks used by protesters at Anonymous-sponsored rallies, gave interviews to media representatives.
“I came here tonight for the young girl. I think what happened to her was wrong and I stand here tonight for Jane Doe,” stated Reva Gugliemotti of Hartley Hill, a small community in Brooke County.
“This is very sad and I will be here again when the judge announces his ruling,” she added. Visiting Judge Thomas Lipps, who heard the testimony in the Steubenville rape case, is expected to issue his ruling at 10 a.m. today.
Her friend, Tammy McClure, of Wellsburg said she also came to support the 16-year-old victim.
“It is just a shame this happened. I am hoping for justice for Jane Doe,” McClure said.
Earlier in the evening, Chris and Debbi Zajac stood in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse waiting for a candlelight vigil.
“I would like to know why this was held in juvenile court instead of an adult court. I also want to know why officials tried to cover this up when it first occurred,” questioned Chris Zajac.
Two men who said they were with the group Anonymous said they had attended every Anonymous rally and had been at the justice center since the trial started Wednesday.
“My Twitter handle is Mission No Leash so you can call me that. We all want justice for Jane Doe. And no matter what happens in this case we won’t stop. We will go onto the next operation. We were also in Weirton earlier today for a rally to protest the dismissal of charges against a man who had been accused of abusing a 3-year-old child in 2011.
“That guy was re-arrested, so we are good with that case right now,” said Mission No Leash.
The second masked man said he was a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran who came to the protest Saturday night, “for women and kids. This stuff shouldn’t be happening to them.”
“I want justice to be done in this case,” stated Judy Fogiletti of Steubenville.
“I want justice and I want this city to return to normalcy. I grew up in this city and I never saw it this bad,” she added.
“A horrible thing happened to Jane Doe. It wouldn’t have gotten this far if officials had done their job from the beginning. I have attended every rally and will be here until this is finished,” said a female wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.