On Tuesday, two residents of Saugus, Mass. were found guilty of sexual assault, supported by Snapchat documentation.
The Boston Globe reports that the jury, made up of seven women and five men, deliberated for about a day before concluding that they found Rashad Deihim, 21, and Kailyn Bonia, 20, guilty. The pair are being charged with intent to rape, indecent assault and battery, and kidnapping.
The victim was attacked behind an elementary school in the woods in September of 2014. Now 18 years old, she doesn’t remember much about the event. Prosecutors claim that when police found her that night, she was “literally within hours of dying” because of the alcohol and drugs in her body—When she was found, she had to be given two doees of Narcan, a drug used to counteract opiates, Carrie Kimball Monahan, director of communications at the Essex District Attorney’s Office, told CNNMoney.
The victim may not have been found if not for the Snapchat videos being sent to her friend, 18-year-old Sydnee Enos. As Enos received the videos, she had the presence of mind to take screenshots—Proof of the victim being unwillingly forced into sexual acts, such as one video showing her naked in the woods with her hand out, saying “Stop,” according to the Globe.
In her testimony, Enos shared that she asked Timothy Cyckowski, the one sending her the videos, where he was. Her parents then gave that information to police so that they could find the victim.
“She saved my daughter’s life,” the victim’s mother told the Globe, referring to Enos.
Ari Ezra Waldman, an associate law professor at New York Law School, talked to CNNMoney about the disturbing big picture when it comes to people filming crimes for social media. “It is beyond baffling why someone would share something like this on Snapchat or any other social media platform. It suggests…that some people value the lives of women so little that they feel comfortable bragging about their violence against them.”
When so many sexual assault cases are thrown out of court due to lack of evidence, it’s heartening that one victim was able to get justice with the help of Snapchat.