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News & Politics News & Politics

Guilty! Steubenville rape case

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM
  • 94 Replies
2 moms liked this


Two members of the high school football team that is the pride of Steubenville were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that bitterly divided the Rust Belt city and led to accusations of a cover-up to protect the community's athletes.

Steubenville High School students Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond were sentenced to at least a year in juvenile jail, capping a case that came to light via a barrage of morning-after text messages, social media posts and online photos and video. Mays was sentenced to an additional year in jail on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, to be served after his rape sentence is completed.

The two teens broke down in tears after the verdict was read and later apologized to the victim and to the community. Both were emotional as they spoke, and Richmond struggled at times to talk through his sobs.

Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after an alcohol-fueled party on Aug. 11, and then in the basement of a house. They were ordered to avoid contact with the victim until they're 21.

The case roiled the community amid allegations that more students should have been charged and led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of a pride in a community of 18,000 that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry. Their arms linked, protesters stood outside the courthouse Sunday morning awaiting the verdict, some wearing masks.

The trial opened last week as a contest between prosecutors determined to show the girl was so drunk she couldn't have been a willing participant that night, and defense attorneys soliciting testimony from witnesses that would indicate that the girl, though drunk, knew what she was doing.

The teenage girl testified Saturday that she could not recall what happened the night of the attack but remembered waking up naked in a strange house after drinking at a party. The girl said she recalled drinking, leaving the party holding hands with Mays and throwing up later. When she woke up, she said she discovered her phone, earrings, shoes, and underwear were missing, she testified.

"It was really scary," she said. "I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything."

The girl said she believed she was assaulted when she later read text messages among friends and saw a photo of herself taken that night, along with a video that made fun of her and the alleged attack. She said she suspected she had been drugged because she couldn't explain being as intoxicated as defense witnesses have said she was.

"They treated her like a toy," said special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter.

Evidence introduced at the trial included graphic text messages sent by numerous students after the night of the party, including by the accuser, containing provocative descriptions of sex acts and obscene language. Lawyers noted during the trial how texts have seemed to replace talking on the phone for contemporary teens. A computer forensic expert called by the state documented tens of thousands of texts found on 17 phones seized during the investigation.

The girl herself recalled being in a car later with Mays and Richmond and asking them what happened.

"They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me," she testified. "I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video."

In questioning her account, defense attorneys went after her character and credibility. Two former friends of the girl testified that the accuser had a history of drinking heavily and was known to lie.

"The reality is, she drank, she has a reputation for telling lies," said lawyer Walter Madison, representing Richmond.

The two girls testified they were angry at the accuser because she was drinking heavily at the party and rolling around on the floor. They said they tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop drinking.

The accuser said that she does not remember being photographed as she was carried by Mays and Richmond, an image that stirred up outrage, first locally, then globally, as it spread online. Others have testified the photo was a joke and the girl was conscious when it was taken.

The photograph led to allegations that three other boys, two of them members of Steubenville's celebrated Big Red team, saw something happening that night and didn't try to stop it but instead recorded it.

The three boys weren't charged, fueling months of online accusations of a cover-up to protect the team, which law enforcement authorities have vehemently denied.

Instead, the teens were granted immunity to testify, and their accounts helped incriminate the defendants. They said the girl was so drunk she didn't seem to know what was happening to her and confirmed she was digitally penetrated in a car and later on a basement floor.

Ohio's attorney general planned to announce later Sunday whether additional charges will be brought against others in the case.

Mays and Richmond were determined to be delinquent, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, Judge Thomas Lipps ruled in the juvenile court trial without a jury.

They can be held until they're 21, and the length of their sentence beyond the minimum one year will be determined by juvenile authorities.

The Associated Press normally doesn't identify minors charged in juvenile court, but Mays and Richmond have been widely identified in news coverage, and their names have been used in open court. The AP also does not generally identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.

by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 At least it's something.

29again
by Gold Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 3:41 PM

This is sick.

ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM
1 mom liked this
For what?


Quoting 29again:

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 


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29again
by Gold Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 6:39 PM

State law in OH says that those under the age of 21 who drink are guilty of being delinquent.  She is 16 and has admitted being so drunk that night that she can't remember what happened. 

Quoting ashellbell:

For what?


Quoting 29again:

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 



NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Mar. 17, 2013 at 6:50 PM
2 moms liked this

Good friggin' grief.

You don't think she has been "punished" enough?

Just curious.....

That said, I sure as hell hope they have some sort of good Samaritan law they can use to now prosecute the over a dozen witnesses who refused to cooperate for this trial now.

Quoting 29again:

State law in OH says that those under the age of 21 who drink are guilty of being delinquent.  She is 16 and has admitted being so drunk that night that she can't remember what happened. 

Quoting ashellbell:

For what?


Quoting 29again:

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 




Neon Washable Paint

ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 6:57 PM
1 mom liked this
The girl was raped and you want to after a minor in possession? That's nonsense.


Quoting 29again:

State law in OH says that those under the age of 21 who drink are guilty of being delinquent.  She is 16 and has admitted being so drunk that night that she can't remember what happened. 

Quoting ashellbell:

For what?





Quoting 29again:

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 





Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
29again
by Gold Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Obviously you don't see it like I do.  Yes, those boys were in the wrong, and should NOT have done what they did.  But at the same time, SHE is JUST as responsible for what happened as THEY are.  Why is everyone so willing to give her a free pass on this?  "oh, hasn't she been punished enough??"  That's all she gets for this?  I'm not saying that we should blame the victim, or anything like that.  But the fact is she was wrong, too.  The boys are being held accountable for their actions, why is she not being held to the same standard?

What happened was horrible and atrocious, and should NOT have happened.  I see a group of teens who were just out of control, and I don't believe in punishing only a certain few.  Do you think they would be convicted of rape if she had not been falling down drunk (literally, and at age 16?!?!?!) ?

As far as Good Samaritan laws, I don't know what OH has.  I did read where the girls friends TRIED to stop her. 

Quoting NWP:

Good friggin' grief.

You don't think she has been "punished" enough?

Just curious.....

That said, I sure as hell hope they have some sort of good Samaritan law they can use to now prosecute the over a dozen witnesses who refused to cooperate for this trial now.

Quoting 29again:

State law in OH says that those under the age of 21 who drink are guilty of being delinquent.  She is 16 and has admitted being so drunk that night that she can't remember what happened. 

Quoting ashellbell:

For what?


Quoting 29again:

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 





ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 7:31 PM
2 moms liked this
You just did blame the victim. She is not just as responsible as those boys for what what happened. Wow. Just wow. You think like a rapist. That's effing scary.


Quoting 29again:

Obviously you don't see it like I do.  Yes, those boys were in the wrong, and should NOT have done what they did.  But at the same time, SHE is JUST as responsible for what happened as THEY are.  Why is everyone so willing to give her a free pass on this?  "oh, hasn't she been punished enough??"  That's all she gets for this?  I'm not saying that we should blame the victim, or anything like that.  But the fact is she was wrong, too.  The boys are being held accountable for their actions, why is she not being held to the same standard?

What happened was horrible and atrocious, and should NOT have happened.  I see a group of teens who were just out of control, and I don't believe in punishing only a certain few.  Do you think they would be convicted of rape if she had not been falling down drunk (literally, and at age 16?!?!?!) ?

As far as Good Samaritan laws, I don't know what OH has.  I did read where the girls friends TRIED to stop her. 

Quoting NWP:

Good friggin' grief.

You don't think she has been "punished" enough?

Just curious.....

That said, I sure as hell hope they have some sort of good Samaritan law they can use to now prosecute the over a dozen witnesses who refused to cooperate for this trial now.

Quoting 29again:

State law in OH says that those under the age of 21 who drink are guilty of being delinquent.  She is 16 and has admitted being so drunk that night that she can't remember what happened. 

Quoting ashellbell:

For what?





Quoting 29again:

I want to know when they are going to go after the girl.  She needs to be charged as well. 







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ashellbell
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 7:34 PM
4 moms liked this
29again and people that think like him are the reason these boys didn't think they raped anyone. That's fucking terrifying.
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