Our Fixation With Periscope In This Rape Case Means We’re Ignoring The Bigger Picture

Our obsession with the role new technology plays in crimes means we risk diminishing the crime itself

Our Focus On Periscope In This Rape Case Means We're Ignoring The Bigger Picture

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Raymond Gates, 29, and Marina Lonina, 18, are accused of the assault of a 17 year old girl which took place on 27th February. They have been charged with kidnapping, rape, sexual battery and pandering sexual matter involving a minor, to which they have both pleaded 'not guilty' but could face up to 40 years in prison if found guilty.

Lonina is said to have broadcast the assault via the live Twitter video application, Periscope. Speaking to WNCN, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said that Lonina had told police that she had periscoped the incident to ‘keep her friend from being assaulted’ but had got ‘caught up by all the likes she was getting’.

He went on to say that, ‘Based on the video that I saw it didn’t appear for the most part of it that she was attempting to help the victim.' Disturbingly, apparently the victim can be heard on the video screaming ‘No, it hurts so much’, ‘Please stop’ and ‘Please no’.

The defense, Lonina's lawyer, Sam Shamansky claims that at one point she tried to help the victim by asking those watching ‘What should I do now?’ and that ‘as she immediately told the police, she was filming in order to preserve, not to embarrass or to shame or to titillate anybody', the New York Times reports.

It’s said that when the assault took place, Lonina and the victim (who is 17 years old and cannot be named for legal reasons) were drinking with Gates at his home.

This isn’t the first time in recent weeks that Periscope has been implicated in a crime. At the beginning of April a brawl involving London girl gangs was organised via the video platform.

What’s somewhat troubling in the coverage of this case is the focus on Lonina and Periscope, which is taking away from arguably the most important thing in this case: that a 17 year old girl was raped. Of course, the crime Lonina is accused of is horrific, but lets not forget about 29 year old Gates, the alleged rapist and his part in this awful crime.

Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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