Ohio University student Vance Blanc (above) took a picture of a public sex act last Saturday at the school’s Homecoming and posted it to Twitter:
After the girl in the picture reported she was a victim of sexual assault, Vance deleted the picture, but he added that he “Had to delete that pic tho… it was fun while it lasted.”
His apparent lack of remorse prompted the Daily Mail, which outed his name, to paint him as a “heartless” bro who “failed to prevent” a rape.
While Vance’s reaction in the wake of the incident was callous and juvenile, it’s quite possible that, at the time he took the photo, the 19-year-old assumed he was witnessing consensual sex.
The controversy hinges on a now-deleted Instagram video, taken by someone else, which according to Buzzfeed, police have seen.
While the video has since been pulled down, one Buzzfeed commenter said the girl was not unconscious:
Here’s a different view of the victim in the alleged assault, still incapacitated on the ground the next morning:
— Gunnar Stahl (@hundizzel) October 13, 2013
The Ohio U police chief acknowledged that social media evidence can be valuable, and in this case could keep a rapist from going free, but condemned the witnesses’ behavior:
What is more disturbing are the social implications of what it means for someone to have been standing there watching this thing happen, videotaping it with their phone instead of getting involved and trying to help the victim.
It remains unclear whether Vance or the Instagram videographer, Kal_Vizuals, had any idea they might be witnessing a sexual assault.
According to this record of scholarships at Blanc’s high school, he was the 2013 recipient of three monetary awards: the Gateway Scholarship, the Gateway Trustee Award, and the Joseph “Murph” Irwin Scholarship.
According to this obituary, Joseph “Murph” Irwin, a standout volleyball athlete at Blanc’s high school, died of a ruptured aorta in 2009 at age 19, while a freshman at Duquesne University.