Authorities launch site as Steubenville case goes viral wire reports

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Authorities investigating rape accusations against two high school football players in eastern Ohio have launched a website intended to sort fact from fiction as interest in the case balloons.

City and police officials in Steubenville, home to the celebrated high school football team the Big Red, announced the site Saturday.

Public interest has increased with circulation online this week of an unverified video that purportedly shows a young man who has not been arrested joking about the accuser.

The 16-year-old boys are set to go to trial Feb. 13 in juvenile court in Steubenville on charges they kidnapped and raped a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in August. Their attorneys have denied the charges in court.

The video apparently was released by hackers associating themselves with the online activist group Anonymous; the "hacktivists" allege more people were involved and should be held accountable -- and that public officials, authorities and the community are covering up details of the alleged rape to protect the nationally recognized football team.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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