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Community Rallies For Steubenville Youth

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (KDKA) – More people gathered Saturday to rally after the alleged rape of a teenage girl by members of the Steubenville High School football team.

Community members and parents met to rally generically for the Steubenville youth.

"I'm tired of them having to fight alone," one mom said.

Some Steubenville city council members were in attendance, as was the school superintendent and Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

Rally participants didn't focus specifically on the events disputed in the alleged rape case or point blame, but rather, gave impassioned speeches about the necessity of the community coming together and supporting its children.

"We're just trying to find some healing through this tragedy and make our kids safe again," Jill Watkins, whose son is a senior and on the football team at Steubenville High School, said.

"It was so good to see the community come together as a united force, in support – not against anything – in support of our young people," Pastor Vaughn Foster said.

However, the rally held the weekend prior, on the steps of the Jefferson County courthouse, did not have the same tone.

Protestors calling for more action against the football players who allegedly raped the teenage girl in mid-August chanted "we want justice" and booed Abdalla when he spoke to the crowed.

"I'm not going to stand here and try to convince you that I'm not the bad guy," Abdalla said last week at the demonstration.

Additionally, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Abdalla's family has received death threats from anonymous Facebook users and Police Chief Bill McCafferty has also received many threatening emails.

The trial for the two football players accused in the alleged rape case is set for Feb. 13.


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