The guy is a scumbag objectifying sexual predator and possibly did rape her but the whole point of "innocent until proven guilty" means that I'm obliged to believe him until proven otherwise. In my mind it is better that some bad guys get away, to get caught another day, than to ruin the lives of innocent people.
If I'm obliged to believe that he's innocent then logically I have to consider that her claim might not be provable. That obviously doesn't mean she has to be lying but it doesn't mean I should flat out believe her either. At least until I hear about convincing evidence otherwise.
Hell, it's the same reason I'm against the death penalty. I don't have an issue with, given current technological limits, killing murderers who can't be rehabilitated.
I do have an issue with the fact that we can't be certain that said murderer isn't actually innocent because time and evidence have proven that sometimes we fuck up and get it wrong and put innocent people to death.
That seems to be pretty much what the jury and prosecution were saying here when they found him guilty of "lesser" crimes that will still probably see his life ruined (sex offender registration, prison time, being a convicted felon.)
It seems to me they basically said, "Well, we can't find him guilty of rape but if I any adult exhibited this behavior then we'd obviously call him a sexual predator and we can use the same laws we would for that."
Now, I could see an argument that teenagers shouldn't be held to the same standards as adults because hormones, brain development, and a lack of experience make them into irrational sexual predators but, personally, I don't buy that.
These kids were systematically luring younger people to have sex with them as part of a competition. At some level they had to know that was wrong.
You don't use people like that and you don't facilitate others to use people like that.
I think everyone proven to be involved in that scheme needs mandatory therapy.
In a perfect world we would wipe the event from the victim's mind and wipe the guy's mind of his behavior and rehabilitate him so that he wouldn't be an objectifying sexual predator and could continue on to be a contributing member of society.
We can't do that though so I don't really know what the right answer is. It seems to me like everyone loses: the victim, the scumbag, and society.