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March 18th, 2013
09:56 AM ET

Steubenville teens found guilty as mom of victim speaks out for first time – Poppy Harlow reports

CNN's Poppy Harlow reports on two Ohio teens convicted and sentenced to a juvenile correctional facility for rape. The Steubenville rape victim’s mother spoke out for the first time since her daughter was raped. See what her mother said, as reported by CNN's Poppy Harlow on this morning’s Early Start.

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Andrew John

    CNN needs to take a hard, serious look at the reporting of Poppy Harlow. Review her statements on twitter and her outrageous sympathy for the rapists. She is concerned about "star" football players and their ruined lives. What about the victim - yes, the girl who was raped and assaulted is the victim. Poppy Harlow needs to be fired. And CNN should be embarrassed and ashamed.

    March 21, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  2. TxMom

    Poppy and Candy, more than men watch the news, but now you can count on me now watching CNN until you are both removed from the network. Your coverage of this triall was disgusting and sad. Pity for the men that committed a crime, ladies you should be ashamed.

    March 21, 2013 at 4:14 am | Reply
  3. Jessica

    This is..ridiculous. How dare you feel sympathy for the rapist. They decided to rape and degrade this young woman. They weren't tricked into it. They DECIDED to do it. It's their fault. The fact that we're supposed to feel sorry for them? When they raped and defiled a young woman? That's..absolutely terrible. Our prayers and thoughts should be with the young girl who was ATTACKED. Not the boys that did it. And they should have to pay for it for the rest of their lives. Shame on you CNN.

    March 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  4. Sabrina

    CNN. What is WRONG with you?

    They're not sorry for raping the girl. They're sorry they were caught. hey only showed remorse AFTER the guilty verdict.

    These 'boys' deserve a MUCH longer sentence than 1 and 2 years. They DESERVE what they've gotten. They DESERVE the 'lasting impact'. Anyone who has sympathy for this 'mistake' are a complete dumbassess. What the hell is this news coverage?

    WHAT ABOUT THE GIRL WHO WAS RAPED? THERE WAS HARDLY A WORD ABOUT HER. SHE IS THE VICTIM. NOT THE BOYS.

    March 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  5. GabbyB

    I want to know where was mom during the party? I'm sorry but I have little sympathy for all parties involved. Mom wants to speak in trial, she should have been speaking to her daughter about being her behavior. That is not the way a young lady should conduct herself. As a female, I don't feel sorry for her. I think the parents are all at fault. I think the adults who supplied the alcohol should all be charged as well. Everyone allows this to happen. They let their kids 17 and younger go to parties and get drunk and it is acceptable. It is our job as adults and parents to take care of our children. I might sound old fashion and a party killer, but I want to my kids to enjoy their childhood out of prison.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Deb Garner

      You should be ashamed of yourself...it doesn't matter what that poor girl was doing that does NOT give ANY ONE any right to rape her. It doesn't matter what or where HER parents were, the parents of those two boys should have raised their sons better. Taught them to be descent young men and to HELP anyone that needed help as this girl did. I was gang raped at 17 but I guess you wouldn't have felt sorry for me either because I trusted a family member and went to his house. I hope that nothing like this ever happens to you or anyone you love because it is DEVASTING. And this girl will go through this for the rest of her live. This happened to me almost 34 years ago and I still live with it every single day of my life.

      March 24, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • JSRex

      People make mistakes. Young people especially. Young women with little to no experience with alcohol can easily and understandably overestimate how much they drink and get sick and pass out. That is NO excuse for anyone to take advantage of them and abuse their bodies. Drinking too much is a mistake; raping someone is not – it's evidence of a complete absence of empathy, moral fortitude, and respect for human life.

      "Where was her mom during the party?" Not at the party, as with most parties. Her mom should be able to live life (and let her daughter live life) without fearing that her daughter will be reprehensibly abused by "friends" if she leaves her sight. What behavior could her mom need to talk to her about? Laying down passed out asleep and completely incapacitated?

      And even if she were a complete lush, there is no excuse for what those boys did to her. They knew full well that she was incapacitated; hell, they reveled in it! Those boys are 100% at fault. Nobody should ever have to go through what she went through – nobody ever has the right to do to anyone what those boys did to her – no matter what they've done. It's unforgivable. People shouldn't have to run around terrified of being raped if they fall asleep near other people.

      "...but I want to my kids to enjoy their childhood out of prison." Well then you just make sure to teach your sons that, no matter what, ever, just don't rape anyone. I think that's a pretty simple concept that anyone with a half-functional conscience can abide by quite easily!

      March 28, 2013 at 5:30 am | Reply
    • Debbi

      You have valid points but they still aren't any excuse for their behavior. I ran across a drunk person when I was walking home the other night. I could have raped them and posted the pictures on facebook, right? Because their actions or lack of judgement paves the way for any egregious behavior of mine. I wouldn't have done it if they weren't drunk, right? Or I could have called the police and reported that someone had passed out. They made choices too. What we really have to ask is how would we look at this if the perpetrators were several college girls who were committing degrading sex acts on a college boy and posting it to facebook? All of a sudden the winds change, and we see that it really wouldn't be the poor boy's fault that he was drunk and passed out, that he didn't invite that sort of behavior, or that we should ask why his parents weren't more responsible and teach him better. Its because we accept that men don't have to be responsible for their behavior and that there will always be some angle to scapegoat the woman when a rape is the crime. Remember that, when it happens to you, because your behavior and what you were wearing and anybody that you had sex with for the last 10 or 15 years will be under the microscope and your rapist will receive 1/2 the punishment that you would for a violent crime.

      June 24, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  6. Musto

    O.J. Simpson cried too

    March 20, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
  7. LikeOJ

    ma'lik's crying was a lot like OJ's before his sentencing

    March 20, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  8. maonh

    This has to be the most disgusting, irresponsible reporting of a rape trial ever. To report on the emotional aspects of the rapists rather than what the victim endured is horrific to say the least. Why CNN would allow this is beyond me. I just wish that these two boys could have been tried as adults, because 1 to 2 years isn’t enough.

    I wonder what CNN’s report would have sounded like if it was someone in one of their family who was assaulted? Where the hell are the editors?

    March 20, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
  9. Donna Stagner

    WAKE UP WORLD!!!!! Women are not your slaves, sex objects, nor are we less valuable than men! You hurt yourself as well as the woman every time you treat her as an object to be used for your pleasure! These young men made a terrible choice that night that will impact everyone involved, including, as the world watches, impact to future behavior of men towards women! And, Poppy, really, you should be ashamed of your coverage of this report! Except that it points very clearly to what is wrong in our society, the implication that this 16 yo girl's life is somehow not as important as the football star's (boy's) lives are! SHAME ON YOU!

    March 19, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
  10. Vincenzo Tambasco

    The interpreter ruined Pope Francesco's message. His interpretation missed the deeper meaning. It would have been better in subtitles we missed the beautiful voice and simple words -the interpreter did not have any emotion in his voice and the words were interpreted but the meaning was not

    March 19, 2013 at 5:29 am | Reply
  11. Dianna Adams

    I am more than disappointed at the conversation between Poppy and Candy concerning the rape case. I think the two of you must be living in an alternate universe where good is bad and bad is good. Victims are to be blamed and perpetrators are to be pitied? I would like to see you both apologize to the victim and her family.

    March 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  12. Sam

    They are not sorry for their actions, they are sorry they got in trouble. CNN your reporter spinning this as if the rapists are some kind of victim is so wrong. They are garbage, and you should be ashamed of trying to spin them as anything other than criminals found guilty of a terrible crime.

    March 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  13. Kelly

    Let's not forget that these two boys CHOSE to have sex with a girl who was obviously incapacitated. They CHOSE to film the act and brag about it on social media.

    For the rest of her life, the girl has to live with the knowledge that she was raped and that evidence of that rape will forever live on via the internet. True, she made an irresponsible decision to drink to the point of being incapacitated, as have many women, myself included. I am incredibly lucky that my mistakes did not have such horrible consequences.

    Remember, she chose to drink. They chose to rape and degrade. She committed a misdemeanor. They committed felonies.

    Perspective, please.

    March 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  14. Chris

    I'm shocked that you would report on this case as if it were some tragedy that these two rapists lives are ruined. they not only did commit the crime but the documented it and distributed it. Their lives should be ruined over raping a girl. to just gloss over the poor girl and her family as if it were an afterthought is irresponsible and sad. you should really rethink the way you report the news.

    March 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  15. darsam2

    I can not believe that two female reporters seemed to forget that a young girl was violated by these young males. Not just raped but also photographed, then those photos were plastered all over social media.

    When are males going to be taught not to rape?

    March 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  16. Jean Miller

    This is insanely stupid reporting. Why is this woman still working for CNN? What is wrong with her? We are supposed to feel sorry for these vile young men? What about the young woman who was raped? Where is the boo-hoo-hoo for her? Lots of questions. Any answers from CNN?

    March 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  17. Mandy Raymond

    Poppy Harlow – you should be ashamed of yourself for the type of grieving you did in sympathy of the rapists. I don't care that their lives are ruined and I don't care that their football careers are over!! No mater how much crying they do in court, they are STILL a bunch of monsters that raped a 16 year old girl and laughed about it on twitter. You need to grieve for the 16 year old girl that has to live with the fact that she was raped. Feel sorry for her, NOT THE RAPISTS. Poppy Harlow you are an EMBARRASSMENT to the field of professional journalism and CNN should fire you.

    March 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  18. Jerry

    Shame on you CNN. Poppy Harlow should be fired for her reporting on this case for her compassion for the "poor rapists" and total lack of compassion for the rape victim. YES their lives will be forever changed because of their reckless and thoughtless behavior – they raped a girl and then further victimized her by bragging about it online and over social media. I wonder if Poppy's reaction would have been different if the victim was her sister, her daughter, or maybe herself. This should be a lesson for every teenager who thinks they can do whatever they want with no consequence. I've been a long time follower of CNN and I question if I will continue to follow CNN in the wake of this irresponsible reporting.

    March 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  19. psrayster

    Outrageous coverage of the verdict by Poppy. Seriously? Your concern is for the ruined lives of the Rapists? What about the victim? Your coverage was obscene. Candy, You should be called on the carpet for not catching this obviously bizarre take on the trial outcome. Yes. You rape a girl, pee on her as insult to injury, film it, and then wonder why your life is over? Seriously, do either of you have common decency? What about common sense?

    March 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  20. JoeWTO

    HOW DARE YOU MAKE IT SOUND AS THOUGH THESE TWO RAPIST ARE GOING TO HAVE IT SO TOUGH. JUST ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH THE MEDIA AND THE COUNTRY BECAUSE THEY ARE STAR SPORTS PLAYERS THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RAPE A FEMALE. OR BETTER YET THEY SHOULDN'T GET PUNISHED FOR THIS CRIME. YES IT WILL BE ON THEIR RECORD FOREVER LIKE IT SHOULD BE. THE EMOTIONAL SCARES LEFT MENTALLY ON THE FEMALE WILL BE THERE FOREVER ALSO. ANY WONDER WHY CRIME IS SO OUIT OF HAND IN THIS COUNTRY. THEY SHOULD BE SENT TO PRISON FOR LIFE. WHAT IF THIS FEMALE WAS YOUR DAUGHTER I'M SURE YOU WOULD FEEL DIFFERENT. THESE POOR TEENS ONLY THING POOR IS THEY ARE GETTING AWAY WITH SO LITTLE. PLACE CRIMINALS WHERE THEY BELONG REGARDLESS OF THEIR SPORTS STATUS, SET THE EXAMPLE SHOULD GET THE DEATH PENALTY FOR SUCH A CRIME. JOE

    March 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Reply

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