Steubenvillle Rape Brings Similar Cold Case To Light
It was the disturbing photo that shocked the nation of two high school football players from Steubenville, Ohio carrying a 16-year-old rape victim like a sack of potatoes.
No one in America was more touched by the photo than Amanda Stevenson.
She told INSIDE EDITION, “Shocked because it's so similar. A girl in Ohio raped by her peers.”
She says the same thing happened to her 12 years ago. Now, she's speaking out about her story that's being called "The Next Steubenville."
Just like Steubenville, her nightmare has drawn the attention of the hacker group Anonymous, who wear V for Vendetta masks.
A member of Anonymous known as Darstin told INSIDE EDITION, "There are so many similarities between Steubenville and this one."
Watch Darstin Discuss The Case
In 2001, Amanda Stevenson was a pretty 14-year-old freshman cheerleader at Logan Elm High School in Laurelville, Ohio, about a three-hour drive from Steubenville.
She says he went to a party at a cabin in the woods and someone offered her a Mountain Dew. She drank it and started feeling woozy.
Amanda says, “By the time I got into this room I’d lost the ability even to stand up. So, I was fully conscious but I couldn't move, I couldn't speak.”
In her helpless state, she says she was raped by three high school athletes. She was taken to the hospital and DNA evidence was collected.
Amanda says she was afraid to give cops the names of the athletes who attacked her.
When she returned to school, classmates reacted like the infamous Steubenville cell phone video where a student actually joked about the sexual assault.
"I was being called names, that I was promiscuous,” said Amanda.
Amanda was so devastated that just days after the assault she left her Ohio home and moved to Virginia to live with her father. Cops later dropped the rape investigation and no one was ever charged.
Amanda went on to graduate from the University of Virginia. She's just gotten married to 33-year-old Tim Tolka, a journalist. When Steubenville became front page news, she told Tim that it had also happened to her.
He said, “I cannot tell you how much this outrages me.”
Amanda returned to Ohio, and demanded that the 12-year-old case be reopened. That's when she was told the disturbing news that the entire case file, including the DNA collected at the hospital, had been lost by local police.
She said, “I thought it was neglect and it was inspired by the hero worship of high school athletes.”
Amanda reached out to Anonymous, whose members did so much to bring national attention to Steubenville.
Darstin, the Anonymous member, published details of Amanda’s case on the internet, including links to the Facebook pages of her alleged attackers.
Darstin said, "We are hoping that there will be justice. We are hoping it will finally get into America's minds that athletes are not gods."
Amanda wants the world to know what she says happened to her at the hands of privileged high school athletes who thought they could get away with anything.