Only days after a sexual assault verdict against two high school football players in Ohio, a small town in Connecticut finds itself split by a situation with many similarities.
In Steubenville, Ohio, the players were accused of raping an underage victim, and convicted March 18.
In Connecticut, Torrington High School football players Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, both 18, stand accused of the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.
Details are scarce in Torrington because the cases against the two are sealed. What is known is that both Gonzalez and Toribio are charged with three identical felonies, including second-degree sexual assault of a 13-year-old victim in Torrington. In both Connecticut cases, the investigation began Feb. 10, 2013, but police won't confirm both cases are connected.
And, as in the Ohio case, it's the accusers who are under attack via social media.
Dozens of athletes and Torrington High School students, male and female, have taunted the alleged victim, calling her a "whore,' criticizing her for "snitching' and "ruining the lives' of the football players. Even supporters of the accuser have been victims of bullying.
"Even if it was all his fault, what was a 13 year old girl doing hanging around 18 year old guys..' said a Twitter user with the handle, "@LoryyRamirez.'
That message was reposted 11 times and received six "favorites" by those who read it.
"If it takes two then why is only one in trouble? Ha,' said another post that was reposted 21 times and received 13 "favorites.'
Toribio's attorney, Charles F. Brower, declined to comment on the case. Gonzalez' attorney, Pat Brown, could not immediately be reached.
Gonzalez's case was continued until April 2, Toribio's until April 23. Gonzalez is being held at New Haven Correction Center. Toribio is out on $50,000 professional surety bond.
According to public discussion in court Tuesday, Toribio is being electronically monitored and is being individually tutored.
Before the sex assault charges against Gonzalez, the team's Most Valuable Player, was charged in a March 2012 alleged felony robbery. He's accused of jumping three juveniles, 14-years-old, in search of money. Three other teens are alleged co-conspirators.
School districts are required, via Connecticut state mandate, to address cyber-bullying that takes place off of school grounds.
According to the Connecticut Commission on Children, Public Act 11-232, school districts are required to take "Comprehensive steps to prevent bullying, humiliation or assault.' Districts must take action if there are repeated online incidents that affect the school environment, or the student's ability to attend school. The act was put into place in July 2011.
"What's important too is that school is a place for learning,' Torrington Schools Superintendent Cheryl Kloczko said. "Many times what happens is the Twitter, and the emails, and the Facebook, a lot of that goes on outside of school that we don't even have knowledge of, and then it gets dragged into school and that's a challenge,' Kloczko said.
"Families could help us with more careful use of technology by their children, maybe it wouldn't come into school,' she added.