TODAY   |  January 06, 2013

Ohio town at center of controversial rape case

Hundreds of protesters in Steubenville, Ohio, demanded justice for a girl, 16, allegedly raped by two local high school football stars in August. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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>>> a story that's rocking a small town in ohio , two high school football players accused of raping a fellow teenager. their friends were apparently joking about the whole thing on video and online. we get the story from ran allen in steubenville , ohio .

>> shame on you, shame on you.

>> reporter: hundreds of protesters converged on steubenville demanding justice for a 16-year-old girl allegedly raped by two local high school football stars last august. the two young men, both also 16, are scheduled to stand trial next month. that doesn't satisfy the crowd. that now includes activists associated with anonymous internet face group known for hacking into government websites.

>> there was more than two kids involved. the kids that have money in this town have not been arrested.

>> reporter: outrage is growing because of tweets, video pictures hosted on social media from the night in question, apparently showing other party-goers and football players making fun of the female accuser. this picture is believed to show the girl unconscious, being carried by her alleged attackers. there are demands for more arrests and charges of a cover-up to protect the town's beloved football team . the big red , a perennial state powerhouse, the reason for tremendous pride in a community hit by economic decline.

>> you can hide no longer.

>> reporter: some activists have warned they will release private information about people who they think should be arrested. local police say they have no evidence to press charges against anyone else. prosecutors brought in from out of town because everyone here is so connected and devoted to high school football now say the investigation continues.

>> it is well along but it is not concluded and it is active and ongoing.

>> reporter: the two defendants have entered pleas of not guilty. a lawyer claims all the information released on social media makes it impossible for the two defendants to get a fair trial .

>> there is an atmosphere of fear. there is an atmosphere of coercion here.

>> there is no signs the demands for justice on the internet, on the streets will soon end. for "today," ran allen, nbc news, steubenville , ohio .