Steubenville High School Rape Trial Zeroes in On Texts, Photos, Video

Source: Erin McClam / NBC News

Testimony in the rape trial that has shaken an Ohio steel town focused Thursday on text messages, pictures and cellphone video from the night that a 16-year-old girl claims she was assaulted by two star high school football players.

Investigators from the state crime lab and the local sheriff’s department talked about the forensics of recovering data from phones — a technical hurdle that prosecutors have to clear before the people who sent and received the messages can testify.

The trial opened Wednesday and has cast a harsh spotlight on the town of Steubenville and its beloved Big Red football program. The boys are accused of raping the girl, who was drunk, last August during a night of victory parties.

Digital media will be critical in the trial. The case made national news because graphic cellphone photos and video, including a YouTube posting of a partygoer cracking jokes about the alleged rape, spread on social media.

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