Dear Kelsey Weaver and Gianna Anile,

[Trigger Warning]

Your former best friend is the victim in the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial. She was very drunk and refused to leave that party with you last August when you were concerned about her safety. Three witnesses (who have received immunity) testified that she was so drunk she didn’t know what was happening to her that night. So drunk that she passed out. She was unaware that her incapacitated body was being carried around like a rag doll.


She was unaware that she would be raped in a car, then raped again when she was “passed out, naked, and face down on a basement floor.” As witness Anthony Craig put it, “She wasn’t moving, she wasn’t talking, she wasn’t participating.”

Your former best friend was so incapacitated in fact that party goer Michael Nodianos put on a 12-minute performance of mysogynistic masculinity where he talks about your former best friend as a “dead girl” (“deader than OJ’s wife”), describes students urinating on her, admits she was raped (“she is so raped right now”), and continues to joke about her being raped even after a concerned young man says “they raped her” and asks “what if that was your daughter?”

Your former best friend woke up naked in the basement the next morning and said she didn’t remember what had happened. Her conversations and text messages in the days following the incident confirm this.

Kelsey and Gianna, at the trial this week you testified against your former best friend, reporting that she has a history of drinking and telling lies, as though these facts somehow make her worthy of rape. When did you stop being her best friend? When did you decide that you would side with the alleged perpetrators in attacking her character, as though her actions somehow justified these heinous crimes?

Rape survivors often lose their friends when they “go public” with their experiences because they do not want to be branded with the social stigma that survivors face. According to Golden et al., “The continued judgment of, or distain for, victims of rape is a form of social stigmatization. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for victims of rape or sexual assault to suffer not just from the attack but also from their treatment by their friends and relatives afterwards” (The Truth About Rape, 2010).

Kelsey and Gianna, you live in a football town where two football players have been charged with rape, and, thanks to the work of Anonymous, we know that coaches, school leaders, town leaders and law enforcement officers have circled the wagons around the alleged perpetrators. You live in a town where people routinely blame your former best friend for crimes perpetrated by others. As one coach put it, “The rape was just an excuse, I think …What else are you going to tell your parents when you come home drunk like that and after a night like that?”

It takes courage to stand with a friend when some of the slut-shaming and victim-blaming filth thrown at her will land on you. It takes bravery to public admit that even imperfect girls can be raped. It takes a certain brand of loyalty to stand with your best friend when you know she’s been wronged, even if it means you’ll lose male attention and other friends, and face ridicule at school.

But it is vitally important that the survivors of sexual assault and rape know they are not alone: 1-in-33 men, 1-in-10 people in prison, 1-in-6 women, 1-in-4 women in college, 1-in-3 women on reservations. I can only imagine the awful pressures you are facing right now, but I hope that you will soon find the courage, bravery, and loyalty to stand with your former best friend.

Things that Cause Rape
Anonymous Protest in Front of Courthouse


  1. Another sports rape and this time in the frozen north? Well – somethings never change do they? Is the DA a District Attorney or that other abbreviation? The 12 minute video of these thugs with their tiny wackers should send them to prison for a long time. As for the poor girl – yes she showed poor judgment. Since when does poor judgment authorize a violent gang rape? I want to hear about this on FOX News and other media giants!!!!

  2. you are kind to them. too kind, part of me thinks. i want to rage at them, to ask them why? to demand that they defend what they have done. they are no better than the rapists themselves, no better than the boys with immunity who participated in the rape by voyeurism and social media sharing. they are no better, and i want to be like you, as good as you, and show them the solidarity of women so that some day they may learn. but i can’t do it. so i’ll hate them quietly, and let you fill up my silent space with kinder words.

  3. I pray that the judge will find the two boys guilty. And then, hopefully there will be a serious investigation where additional guilty parties face trial and punishment too. (These two were the easiest to prosecute but they are not the only ones whom behaved criminally in the situation.) The victim’s parents should sue those, especially those in authority, whom failed to do the right thing by their daughter — the parents whom own the homes and the vehicle where the crimes occurred as well as the coaches, teachers, administrators, etc. whom attempted to cover up the crimes and harass the victim. As for the two former “friends,” Kelsey Weaver and Gianna Anile, they should have gotten an adult when they saw the condition of the victim — they failed her then and failed her again by defaming her character. There will come a time that the two girls regret what they did and did not do. There is no excuse for their behavior; they should be ashamed of themselves. I pray that neither of them or their sisters or mothers or their own daughters in the future will face the horror of rape — oh wait, sadly, there is a very real likelihood that they themselves or someone they truly care about will be raped. Clearly, neither of them honestly cared at all about the victim.

  4. Honestly they weren’t all that helpful to the prosecution, especially with the one forgetting what she said before. Ultimately they also ended up helping the prosecutions focus on supporting the case that the victim was too impaired to consent and one even gave them the nugget of how she has a history of being extremely hard to wake when she drinks and passes out and one has to wonder, did the defendants know the victim blacked out like that. I am still not convinced there was not some degree of premeditation to this and there is no way to know if they weren’t feeding her extra shots others didn’t see. If they were trying to get her drunk to take advantage of her, this would not be hard to imagine the pulling off without people really noticing.

    It is almost certain they assaulted her in ways that haven’t really been acknowledged. Some was revealed in testimony but other fondling and acts of molestation are pretty much a given in the light of all other evidence and testimony of their treatment of the victim. Both accused touched her sexually without shame or concern in front of others. They readily exposed her to others and their cameras in addition to taking and sharing their own pictures of her nude, unconscious and soiled with semen like a sort of sick trophy of their perceived sexual conquest. This is not how you treat some one you have the least bit of respect or compassion for. These were unforgivable and blatant acts of deep contempt and they were alone with her for hours after one witness saw them still eager and actively taking advantage of the unconscious girl.

    In the case of the allegations of urination, they could have easily given her a quick shower. Considering that she was vomiting all over herself earlier and the defendants were all over her like a piece of meat later when last seen with her, I suspect this could be the case. Also, It is a sickening thing to consider but with lubricant and condoms combined with her being so relaxed they described her as a dead girl repeatedly would mean she could have been raped by several people and little or no trace of DNA or trauma detectable. The descriptions of her being like a dead girl and her former friends testimony of how she is near impossible to wake after passing out when drinking would indicate such an opportunity for them, whether they manipulated her knowingly into it or not. The unidentified semen sample recovered and her missing underwear does raise such suspicions in light of the other evidence and accounts.

  5. I can’t imagine the pain the victim is going through to be repeatedly victimized: first, by learning that she was violated by “friends” while dead drunk; then to learn that other “friends” have been sharing photos of her being violated and laughing like it’s some great comedy; then finding that your closest female friends have also ostracized you so that they can maintain their own social status within the school and town, which have sided with the attackers. Those two ex-friends will do fine at college – drinking, going to frat parties, getting drunk…what could go wrong?

  6. Thank you for calling out those two horrible girls for the scum that they are. While reading up on the trial I was disgusted by them. Special place in hell for you two.

  7. I wonder what chance these girls will have in life. Employers google candidates. I wouldn’t admit them to college or employ them, even to dig a ditch. Not one of those kids who have had their names associated with this case are innocent, blameless, or in any way redeemable as a human being. Worst case, the girls in the blog post should bear some criminal or civil responsibility for not helping their friend. Best case, they are just vile and amoral.

  8. Did they have a choice about testifying? If you’re subpoenaed, you have to show up and answer questions truthfully whether or not you want to. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Their evidence (which I haven’t read in detail) may have made it clear that they are in fact terrible people, but the very fact that they testified doesn’t mean they “sided with the perpetrators.” As a prosecutor, I find conclusions like this unhelpful. People are often reluctant to testify for the prosecution, even when they have valuable evidence to give, because they fear being seen as taking sides against the accused (who is often a friend or family member). I am constantly reminding them that they don’t have a choice and that the accused should know that and not hold their testimony against them; articles like this contribute to the perception that testifying for one “side” puts you firmly in that side’s camp and undoes much of the work that I (and probably defence lawyers) do daily.

    1. The fact that they testified is not the issue AT ALL. If you haven’t read the testimony, perhaps you should stay quiet until you do so. We’re saying they “sided with the perpetrators” because they literally did.

      1. To me, the article reads very much as if it’s blaming them for testifying too, especially in the fourth paragraph (“you testified against your former best friend, reporting that she has a history of drinking and telling lies…When did you decide that you would side with the alleged perpetrators in attacking her character…etc.”) They were subpoenaed as part of the defence case and had therefore had to testify for the perpetrators, and had to answer the questions about her character truthfully. If they’d pretended she didn’t have a history of drinking, or refused to answer those questions, they could have gone to jail for perjury or contempt. They shouldn’t be blamed for that. As for their true “siding with the perpetrators,” blame away. (I realize that’s the main concern here and I’m not trying to defend these girls; I just fear that this article feeds the common perception that testifying for someone is equivalent to allying yourself with them — a perception that often makes prosecutions difficult).

      2. Nobody is disputing that they had to testify for the defense. Really, like I said, until you read the testimony, you should refrain from commenting. I’m a counselor who works with sexual assault victims, & I am routinely involved in court proceedings. In fact, I was in court earlier today. You don’t need to explain to me or anybody else how court works. These girls screamed at the victim, blamed the victim, ceased communication with the victim, then testified that she lies & drinks too much. They are disgusting individuals.

      1. Ron, I know very well what a hostile witness is. These girls said bad things about the victim while testifying for the defence, which makes them the exact *opposite* of hostile witnesses. You may wish to look up the term yourself.

        I don’t want to drag this on any longer, but Layla — I totally agree with you that they are disgusting individuals. I read detailed accounts of their testimony before posting the last time. The only thing I was trying to express concern about is the way some parts of the article are worded. Apparently I’m not making that clear, and I apologize if it appears that I’m defending them as people

  9. Kelsey Weaver and Gianna Anile make me sick. They disgust and revolt me. I’m sure the victim is facing ostracization and I hope she knows the respect people around the world have for her for going to trial despite the continued emotional and physical harm she is surely enduring. I hope she stays strong and knows it will get better & the toxic people around her, like Kelsey and Gianna, mean nothing in grand scheme of life. They are ignorant, foolish weaklings. Every sting and insult and barb they give to the victim, thousands of people feel it and are enraged and sickened. For every hurt the victim feels, or lack of support she endures, I hope that she knows thousands are sending her love and supporting her. Good on her parents to follow up in a responsible way. Shame on any girls (or boys, or adults) who are failing to view the victim with anything but compassion, for they are pathetic little people who the world loathes.

  10. It’s the rare video that makes me wish I could reach through my computer screen, grab the smug bastard WHO JUST WON’T SHUT UP and throttle him, if only to give him a small taste of the pain and suffering he jokes about. Watching someone gloat like this is sickening. That anyone would question the vile realities of this rape is beyond comprehension. Your post hit me like a gut punch. I only wish there was a flood of anger and rage identical to yours. Thanks too for including a host of important facts and research points. Yours wasn’t just stream of consciousness outrage, it was the type of reaction any thinking human being should have in cases like this.

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