Periscope, an app created to help you live-stream from your phone, has been used for something horrible. A woman in Columbus, Ohio has used the app to live-stream her underage friend being sexually assaulted.
Marina Alexeevna Lonina, 18, used Periscope to film her 17-year-old friend being sexually assaulted by Raymond Boyd Gates, 29.
The three individuals had been drinking at Gates’ home on February 27. Gates forced himself on the victim. For some reason, Lonina decided this would be a brilliant thing to live-stream. Consider my faith in humanity lost.
The charges for Lonina and Gates include kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, and pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. Lonina is also facing charges for illegal use of a minor in nude-oriented material or performance, and taking nude photographs of the 17-year-old.
Lonina is currently saying she’s innocent. I’m really curious how her lawyer is going to play that one. Too bad it was a friend of hers from out of state that reported the stream. Maybe someone closer could have helped.
Gates doesn’t have a lawyer. This would normally be a good thing, but considering rape convictions are abysmal, I don’t know how much help this will be to the victim.
One issue that may crop up is that Periscope videos are only public for 24 hours. After that, unless someone saved them, they’re gone. So the key evidence, the stream itself, might not be around anymore. That could make this a very hard case to win. Because for some stupid reason, rape cases are almost always difficult to win.
So, not only do we have to worry about nude pictures being leaked, or hacked, we have to worry about the live-streaming of sexual assaults. I have a hard time understanding what kind of sick individual would believe this is a good idea.
Plus, women are at a high enough risk for sexual assaults. We shouldn’t have to worry about our friends not only sitting on the sidelines, but also live-streaming our assaults. I really don’t understand people.
The pair could each face 40 years in prison if convicted of their crimes.
Not surprisingly, Twitter and Periscope aren’t commenting on the case.
Featured Image Courtesy of WCMH