An online hacker group called Anonymous began a campaign for justice in the case, revealing details of what happened at the party and organizing rallies.
When the trial began last week, it was the Internet chatter that formed a case against the two. Yale law professor and author Adam Cohen wrote in an opinion piece for Time:
"The prosecution introduced many text messages. All of this documentation proved critical to a conviction.
Sexual-assault trials often come down to 'he said, she said' battles.
Cases like the Steubenville rape, which the victim has few memories of, can be especially hard for prosecutors to win.
"Text messages from wrongdoers and viral videos from bystanders provided a robust record of what actually happened."
The events of last summer in Steubenville were a tragedy. Lives have been damaged and forever altered. And we have further proof that in this age, very little behavior is immune from public access.
That's a chilling thought.
But it's strangely comforting to know that we are more likely to have a record that can be used, when necessary, to achieve justice.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.