Fox News accidentally aired the name of the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim while covering the trial on Monday.
Correspondent Mike Tobin was reporting on the guilty verdicts in the Steubenville rape case on Fox News’America’s Newsroom when the discussion turned to the state of the previously unnamed victim.
The girl, who lived in neighboring West Virginia, was raped over the summer by two members of the high school football team last summer during an alcohol-fueled party.
“We have not known, really, how the victim is doing, Mike,” host Martha MacCallum told Tobin. “Is there any information on that today?”
“Well, a relative tells me that she spends a lot of time in her room,” Tobin replied. “She has been back out playing sports, and through it all — you’ll be surprised to learn — she made the honor roll one more time.”
“A family representative says the remorse coming from the football players came too late,” the correspondent added. “We saw their reaction yesterday.”
Fox News then cut to a courtroom recording of one of the rapists, 17-year-old Trent Mays, apologizing to the victim. When Fox aired the statement, the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim’s name was not bleeped out.
“I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community,” Mays said, giving the victim’s full name. “No picture [of the rape] should have been sent around, let alone even taken.”
Fox News had noted on previous articles that it would not name the 16-year-old victim in the Steubenville case.
The Steubenville rape case had been making headlines and drawing controversy since news first broke over the summer. Many critics accused police in the small Ohio town of protecting members of the football team, many of whom witnessed the rape and put accounts of it and pictures onto social media sites during the party last summer.
With the initial trial over, authorities in Stebuenville are now engaging in a probe that could target adults, including some of the teams 27 coaches, who knew about the crime but failed to report it.
The naming of the Steubenville rape victim isn’t the only controversy surrounding coverage of the case. On Sunday, CNN came under fire for what appeared to be sympathetic coverage for the rapists.