Sat. 2:09pm: Sheriff speaks out about Anonymous

STEUBENVILLE – A visibly angry Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Friday night his department and other agencies are now investigating an unofficial Anonymous member who has claimed credit for last week’s protest rally and a second rally scheduled to be held at noon today in Steubenville.

“Anonymous can say whatever they want to say about me. But when you attack innocent people and young children, I am coming after you,” Abdalla declared during a Friday evening news conference in his office.

The fracas has been sparked by a purported rape of a teenage girl last August by two 16-year-old males.

In response to the incident, an unverified video lasting more than 12 minutes, that shows a young man joking about the alleged rape victim, also 16. The video apparently was released by the online hacker group Anonymous who allege more people were involved and should be held accountable.

“We have a good idea who this Anonymous person is. I know where he lives. I know his mother’s name, his father’s name and his brother’s name. This is not the real Anonymous. Enough is enough. You had your fun. People will believe what they want to believe. But I credit the Steubenville Police Department for the job they did. They had the investigation into this incident wrapped up in four or five days after the rape was reported to them in August,” continued Abdalla.

The city was holding a news conference this morning to discuss the focus on the city regarding the rape investigation.

Abdalla said his office is working with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and other agencies to investigate the Anonymous group that has organized the protest rallies in Steubenville.

Earlier this week Anonymous released a statement alleging local officials had participated in a cover-up of the sexual attack.

The 16-year-old boys are set for trial Feb. 13 in juvenile court in Steubenville. Special prosecutors and a visiting judge are handling the case because local authorities knew people involved with the football team in the small city.