Periscope is a pretty sweet app that allows you to see whatever people are streaming around the world. Sometimes it is incredible like concerts or once in a lifetime events and sometimes its mundane like someone simply walking their dog in the morning. Other times you stumble upon something horrifying like a young girl’s rape.
An Ohio girl, Marina Lonina, 18, is facing several charges in Franklin County after prosecutors allege that she streamed her 17-year-old friend’s rape on Periscope. Lonina and the accused rapist, Raymond Boyd Gates, 29, were arraigned last Friday, April 15. Both were charged kidnapping, rape, sexual battery and pandering sexual matter involving a minor.
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien released a statement,
“The victim and the two defendants were socializing and at some point in the evening it is alleged that Gates forced sexual intercourse with the victim and Lonina started Periscoping (live-streaming in real time) the sexual assault.”
The prosecutors claim that Lonina and the victim, friends from high school, were at a home in Columbus, Ohio when Gates held the victim down and raped her. Lonina opted to Periscope the assault rather than intervene or call the police. A friend notified police after seeing the live stream.
Lonina, however, says that she streamed the rape as a way to gather evidence against Gates. O’Brien said that while she initially may have been videoing it for evidence that quickly fell apart and Lonina quickly became “caught up in the likes.” He added that, “for the most part, she is just streaming it on the Periscope app and giggling and laughing,” The video lasts an excruciating 10 minutes and the victim can be heard saying “No” and crying out for help. At one point, Lonina is seen grabbing the victim’s leg though it is unclear whether she was trying to help or hurt.
Sam Shamansky, the lawyer for Lonina, tries to claim that she was under the intimidating sway of a much older man.
“You don’t want to lose track of the fact that she’s a high school student and she and her friend were clearly taken advantage of,” Shamansky told the New York Times.
According to The Times report:
Ms. Lonina told the police that she filmed the encounter to gather evidence of a crime. Mr. Shamansky, who has viewed the Periscope video, said Ms. Lonina made “substantial” efforts to thwart the attack, though he declined to specify them.
“She was swept up by the gravity of the situation,” Mr. Shamansky said. “And as she immediately told the police, she was filming in order to preserve, not to embarrass or to shame or to titillate anybody.”
Lonina pled not guilty and was released on bond. Gates also pled not guilty and remains in jail.