Cyberbullying follows allegations of rape in Torrington

Allegations of rape, cyberbullying in Torrington
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Allegations of rape, cyberbullying in Torrington

Media from across the country have focused their attention on the town of Torrington after rape allegations against two high school athletes were followed by vicious online comments directed toward the 13-year-old victims.

Just days after two high school football stars were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, the town of Torrington has been reeling from news of trouble among students at its high school. Two 18-year-old Torrington High School football players are charged in incidents of statutory rape involving two 13-year-old girls. There are few other details available, but as in Steubenville, the case has gained national attention because in both towns, schoolkids posted mean-spirited comments about the alleged victims on social media.

The posts were first reported by the Torrington Register Citizen, where Matt DeRienzo is an editor.

“The real troubling thing that made it a much more important and bigger story was the widespread bullying of these kids," Rienzo says.

Public posts on Twitter called the alleged victims names such as “whore” and “snitch.” Others blamed the girls for quote “hanging out with 18-year-old guys.” Torrington school officials have not commented on the case, citing confidentiality of the students involved. But in an e-mail to WNPR, School Superintendent Cheryl Kloczko says the district responded immediately to reports received and acted within the laws of the state of CT and Board of Education.