One of the aspects of criminal defense that can be a real challenge to deal with is what happens outside the courtroom. The reality is that there is a court of public opinion which can reach its own judgment before a criminal case is even tried. This can lead to numerous personal difficulties for the accused, and can even affect how a trial moves forward, beginning with jury selection.

Two high school boys in Steubenville, Ohio, are up against this reality right now as they face rape charges. Both have been accused of raping a girl at a series of back-to-school parties back in August. One of them has also been charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. In addition to rape, they were both also originally charged with kidnapping, though that charge was dismissed in October.