Steubenville Police Launch Transparency Site

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by Allison Brown, Fox 8 News Reporter

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- Leaders in Steubenville are spreading the message of transparency in an alleged rape case involving a 16-year-old girl. 

Just weeks before two high school football players go on trial, police want the public to get as much factual information from them as possible.

Steubenville police have been pushing a website, SteubenvilleFacts.org, because a lot of people have been getting information—true and false--from the internet via blog sites and social media.

Officials are showing the public, through this site, what they’ve been doing in regards to the rape investigation.

“Everyone in this city is for justice," said William McCafferty, Steubenville Police Chief.

However the fact two football players are accused of such a heinous crime, there’s public criticism—even about how police have handled the situation thus far.

At a press conference Saturday morning, officials said their peace.

"The thought that everyone in Steubenville is acting or is like the individuals that are involved in the case, the teenagers. That we are a community that is run by football, that is not the case," said Cathy Davison, Steubenville’s City Manager.

Chief McCafferty says his department is being transparent, and arrests were made eight days after they got the complaint about the incident last August.

“This is a very good community, very good people, and nothing is being covered up," Chief McCafferty said.

But it’s tough to convey that, especially when disturbing internet videos, tweets, and social media information continue to swirl around the rape case.  Steubenville officials know that people demand answers, but they want to make sure no one gets hurt as a result of trying to get them.

"With all of this misinformation being put out there, a lot of our innocent citizens are subject to telephone calls, harassment, because of misinformation put on these websites, said Chief McCafferty.

Police say they will continue to update their site, steubenvillefacts.org, as new developments happen in the case. 

Another theme at Saturday’s press conference was education.  Police want to stress the gruesome effects of underage drinking, that it’s not right, and it’s also illegal.

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