Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Have you talked to your sons? ALSO--Look at the way the MEDIA chose to highlight the AA boy VS the white boy!

Posted by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM
  • 65 Replies

I think I posted about this situation in the group last year when it happened but I will share again.

My son and his friend were in camp together last year. Each were new 13 year olds. A 12 year old girl liked them both. Throughout the course of the camp she went up to them and said "I would like to get you both in a 3 way" (something to that effect)

They were in shock---a little confused---and just walked away from her.

What if they hadn't? What if they said okay?

Well my son is about to enter High School and I researched each HS. There was an incident in one of the HS where there were rape charges brought up. I was concerned so after reading all the newspaper articles I went to the school to ask the person with the REAL story----the building security guard. Just in case you don't know---most times the building security guards and the Janitors have the REAL story. They don't have any stake in whether your child attends or not and so they are less likely to 'sugar coat" the incident. In the case it turns out that the girl had suggested to the boys that she would do it for $ and when she was caught ---she said she was forced to do it.


I have a son and a daughter so I want to be certain that I see all sides of a thing.

Steubenville High School football players found guilty of raping 16-year-old girl


Ma'lik Richmond, center, reacts as the verdict for his and Trent Mays' rape trial is delivered. (Reuters)

Inside a small Steubenville, Ohio, courtroom filled with sobbing and exhausting emotion, Judge Thomas Lipps found Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond guilty Sunday of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl. Lipps sentenced both defendants to a minimum of one year in a youth correctional institute with the determination for a longer sentence coming from child-service experts.

Mays received an additional year for transmission of nude photos, to be served after his rape sentence is completed. Mays and Richmond also will have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

"It provides a great incentive to do well," said Lipps, who could have ordered Mays and Richmond to remain behind bars until they turned 21.

Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, both wept, at times uncontrollably, as the verdict was announced. Mays buried his head in a handkerchief as defense attorneys rubbed his back. He later hugged his parents goodbye.

Richmond was able to stand and approach the victim's family and deliver a tearful apology before breaking down into the arms of court manager Fred Adballa Jr.

"I'm sorry," Richmond said through gasps and cries, "for putting you guys through this. I'm sorry."

[Related: Steubenville rape trial divides Ohio town]

Later, Richmond's biological father, Nathaniel, also addressed the court and the victim's family, placing some of the blame for his son's actions on his own life troubles and being an absentee father.

"Everyone knows I wasn't there for my son," Nathaniel Richmond said. "I feel responsible for his actions. I feel highly responsible for his actions."

The five-day trial of Mays and Richmond for the August 2012 rape of the West Virginia girl, who had come across the Ohio River for a night of partying, engulfed this old mill town in the eastern part of the state. Both boys are members of the high-profile and historically successful Big Red football team at Steubenville High School, which serves as a point of pride for the city dealing with economic hardship after the collapse of the steel industry.

Trent Mays, left, gets a hug from his father after Trent was found guilty of rape. (AP)Put in the spotlight was the local football team, which, critics said, allowed players to brazenly operate seemingly above the law for years. Social-media accounts, self-made videos, photos and classless text messages exposed an entire world that seemed like a Hollywood script of a high school team out of control.

It also exposed a teenage culture of weak ethics, rampant alcohol abuse and poor family structures that wound up dooming Mays and Richmond, both of whom had promising futures and no criminal past.

After the verdict, Nathaniel Richmond approached the defense table and held his son for a prolonged period. According to defense attorney Walter Madison – who was overcome with tears for what he said was the first time in his legal career – the elder Richmond told his son he loved him.

"I knew he realized he loved him, but he never told him [before]," Madison said. "So it took this."

It took this for a lot of things to come to light.


Rape, experts say, is a crime of power and control more than sex. Underlying all of that is arrogance, and in Steubenville it was taken to the extreme.

Throughout this trial, the two defendants and a parade of friends who wound up mostly testifying against the defendants, expressed little understanding of rape – let alone common decency or respect for women. Despite the conviction, the defendants likely don't view themselves as rapists, at least not the classic sense of a man hiding in the shadows.

[Related: Opening day of Steubenville rape trial focuses on key photo of girl]

"It wasn't violent," explained teammate Evan Westlake when asked why he didn't stop the two defendants as they abused a non-moving girl that Westlake knew to be highly intoxicated. "I always pictured it as forcing yourself on someone."

That was part of the arrogance.

Arrogance from the defendants. Arrogance from the friends. Arrogance within the culture.

Arrogance based on the fact that this night, witnesses testified over and over, wasn't strikingly different than any other night in the life of a Big Red football player.

The boys drank. They drove around. They went to each other's houses until 2, 3, 4 in the morning. They exploited permissive parents who let the party continue. They, according to so many locals, knew there were bars that would serve them, liquor stores that would supply them and adults who would look the other way. They were football players being football players.

They slept wherever and whenever they crashed, preferably with some girl. Any girl.

They were allowed the freedoms of young adults, yet lacked the maturity to handle that freedom.

"The entitlement we heard during testimony, it didn't seem like any empathy or support for the victim," said Katie Hanna, statewide director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. "To see these things happen and to say, 'I don't recall; I didn't think it was a bad thing; I just thought this was OK.' It suggests that this was commonplace behavior."

[Related: Focus of Steubenville trial shifts to teens' text messages]

Two protesters hug after hearing the verdict in the trial of Mays and Richmond. (Reuters)It's not that these kids were pure evil. Far from it. Most were headed to college or the military. They appeared presentable. Richmond, who came from a troubled family background, had seemingly turned the corner. As a sophomore about to be a starter on the varsity, his future was bright.

"Everything he was working to get away from, he was headed in [the right] direction," said Madison, his attorney.

In some actions, this was obvious. In others, it clearly was not. It was that way for everyone, charged or not.

At one point of the night of the incident, Westlake, who was sober, determined that his friend Mark Cole was too drunk to make a 10-minute drive home. At first, Cole refused to turn over his keys, claiming he could operate his Volkswagen Jetta just fine. Westlake was undeterred, though, eventually "tricking" Cole by waiting for him to relax and then forcibly seizing the keys.

Yet maybe a half-hour later, Westlake walked in on the girl, sprawled out naked in the middle of a basement floor. To her side was Mays, exposed and slapping his penis on the girl's hip. Behind her was Richmond, who, Westlake said, was violating her with two fingers.

Westlake said goodbye to the guys and kept walking. A good friend with his eye on the safety of others just minutes before was suddenly unaware or unsure of what to do – or simply uncaring enough to do anything at all.

"Something has gotten in there that said, 'OK, we need to prevent drinking and driving,' " Hanna said. "We need to take it to that level with preventing sexual assault."


Earlier in the night, the girl sat in the middle of the street in front of one of the player's homes, leaning over slightly and puking. She was a mess, in need of significant help. One of the boys – no one recalls who exactly – took her shirt off so she wouldn't stain it, but then left her sitting there in just shorts and a bra.

Soon, a group of the teenagers were laughing at the girl and her sorry state. One kid, Patrick Pizzoferrato, pulled out $3 and said he'd give it to anyone who urinated on her.

"I made it as a joke," Pizzoferrato testified. "… I don't think anyone thought I was serious when I said that."

It stands to reason that Pizzoferrato was being truthful. No one took him up on it. After a night of partying, surrounded by friends, never assuming that whatever he said would wind up in the center of a closely followed criminal proceeding, Pizzoferrato was making a crude and immature joke. He's a high school kid. They aren't known for tact.

Yet along with the joke came nothing else. No one thought to get the girl real help, to call her friends, to take her home, to assure she was safe and watched. She was just another drunk chick to be mocked, scooped up and used.

[Related: Did conviction in Steubenville trial come at a cost?]

Within minutes, Mays was fondling her in the backseat of a crowded car while his buddy Cole filmed the act on his cell phone.

Arrogance? Arrogance is looking at a girl in desperate need of help, looking at a friend who was committing an obvious felony and deciding what the moment called for was an impromptu porn shoot.


It also was this colossal arrogance that doomed the defendants and everyone involved. The hubris of their high school good life causing a downfall that will be felt – even by those who escaped prosecution – for a lifetime.

Mays, 17, was also found guilty of transmission of nude photos of the 16-year-old girl. (AP)The girl testified she woke up with no recollection of what happened. It wasn't until she began hearing the chatter on social media and eventually saw a picture of herself just after the incident that she believed she'd been attacked.

Had nothing been said, shot or sent, this would've been just another night, like sadly so many anywhere in America with a confused girl wondering what really happened.

Instead, this group of teens, so full of an overabundance of self worth, filmed and documented the crime, perhaps never assuming anyone would see it for what it was.

They basically told the victim about it. Their friends essentially took real-time crime-scene photos for the cops. Of course, this was only possible because Mays and Richmond were more than comfortable committing the crime right in front of witnesses in the first place.

Mays, in particular, essentially confessed to the crime via hundreds of text messages over the next few days – ranging from profound bravado in the immediate aftermath, to matter-of-fact statements the next day, to a panicked attempted cover-up and witness control as reality began to set in.

Mays all but wrote out the prosecution's closing arguments.

Yes, this was extreme arrogance. The arrogance to not just joke and brag like the teenage boys they were, but to commit those jokes to text messages, to snap a photo of the girl being carried out like she was a casualty coming off a battle field. Even guys who weren't there sat around a basement laughing about how "the dead girl" was "so raped."

[Related: Victim testifies during fourth day of Steubenville rape trial]

The arrogance to assume everyone else would think like them, to take outlandish jokes told in private and put them on YouTube for everyone to see. It's one thing to say something stupid. It's another to promote it to the world.

Only, they later found out – harshly – that the rest of the world didn't find it such a laughing matter.


Steubenville has a long and colorful history of organized crime, an Appalachian river town full of gambling, booze and bootlegging, of corrupt politicians and crooked union bosses thriving through the decades.

The Big Red players were disorganized crime. No secrets. No code words. No shame. They neither grasped the depth of the crime nor the unrelenting pressure of true authority – not their compliant parents or ball coach, but a legal system that didn't care a whit about Steubenville High football.

Steubenville's football program has long been a source of pride in the community. (Reuters)For all the rumors and speculation around town of cover-ups and favoritism being played, the authorities did their job. There is zero indication the Steubenville police did anything but aggressively and swiftly investigate the charges.

When understandable conflicts of interest – only 18,000 people live in the city and everyone knows everyone – arose in the local prosecutors office, the case was handed over to the state's attorney general out of Columbus. A judge was brought in from across the state, near Cincinnati. And it was Judge Lipps, not anyone around Steubenville, who granted immunity to the witnesses.

Meanwhile, attorney general Mike DeWine called on Sunday for a grand jury to continue an investigation into the case.

"This community desperately needs to have this behind them," DeWine said. "But this community also desperately needs to know justice was done and that no stone was left unturned."

It's still hard to say if Mays and Richmond ever grasped the trouble they were in until Sunday.

Mays knew enough to grow concerned. The girl was never sure whether to press charges, but once her parents found out, there would be no doubt. They culled social media for clues and walked into the Steubenville Police Department with a flash drive of evidence.

Just prior to that, Mays became panicked and texted the girl.

"I'm about to get kicked off my football team," Mays wrote.

"The more you bring up football, the more pissed I get," the girl wrote back. "Because that's like all you care about."

Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were soon arrested after that text exchange. Legendary coach Reno Saccoccia couldn't help them now. The power of Big Red, their families' good names, their otherwise clean pasts and strong futures, meant nothing.

A culture of arrogance created a group mindset of debauchery and disrespect, of misplaced manhood and lost morality.

Drunk on their own small-town greatness, they operated unaware of common decency until they went too far, wrote too much, bragged too many times and, finally, on a cold Sunday morning, were hauled out of a small third-floor courtroom as a couple of common criminals.

Their ride to the Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility was waiting for them out back, two floors down, out in the real world.




http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/304209_10150825901365230_520415229_21054590_61191322_n.jpg

Some people recognize the light but they can't handle the glare.

by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Dana267
by Group Mod on Mar. 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I made sure my son read this article. The young girl was white and showed up to the party intoxicated. Nope she didn't deserve to be raped BUT WTF?????


Tish_Hughes
by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM
3 moms liked this
They wanna cry now but was laughing like it was funny when it happened. 1 year is not enough, their asses should be out in prision. Commit adult crimes, do adult time. Little devilish ass bastards.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
poppyseed77
by Pure Awesomeness on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I agree, I did note that a lot of the pics had the black boy smiling during the trial while the other boy was serious..... *sigh*.  Honestly I was just happy it wasn't 2 black boys or one black boy.  That being said.  i do think the punishment is appropriate and if those boys were raised right they wouldn't have treated her like that, drunk or no, slut or no

CafeMom Tickers
joschmidt
by Too Legit Schmidt on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM
3 moms liked this
I'm glad they were caught. I don't care if she showed up drunk and naked, they knew what they were doing was wrong. They just didn't believe they would get caught or in trouble for it. Her parents should have been aware of what she was doing (getting drunk and going out to party), she should have had more sense too. But it doesn't excuse what they did or the fact that none of these witnesses had the decency to step in. Or even report it after the fact, with all the videos, pictures, social media conversations, and text messages.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Bunsmommy
by Ruby Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:19 PM
6 moms liked this

Sexual assault is sexual assault period! All parties involved in the incident acted foolishly and unfortunately these two young men will suffer these consequences for life. I mean damn did the case of Genarlow Wilson teach us nothing? 

I followed the case on Good Morning America and I must be honest they went hard on both of the idiots and the little freak between them. In watching the coverage of it I never felt Malik was being demonized more so than his Caucasian counter part. Actually, last week one of them commented on how sincere he sounded as he discussed that if he had felt as if the girl was being raped he would not have been involved. 

I must admit though, I think it's a pretty jacked up thing where young ladies can entice these boys and then decide to scream rape! There was another case going on as this one was where two college students had a consensual tryst, a month later he started dating someone else, then she wanted to start sending messages to people talking about "I think I was raped". He was acquitted, I figured he would be based on the evidence; and unfortunately I knew after seeing the infamous pic of them carrying her drunk passed out body to the bedroom and the video that followed that they would be found guilty. Conversations need to be had on both sides of the table and certain things need to be understood by both our sons and daughters. 

Dana267
by Group Mod on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:19 PM
3 moms liked this

I am in between as I have a daughter and a son.

I do believe that what they did was wrong----the girl arrived at a party full of football players already intoxicated. She was sitting in the middle of a road puking and went inside a house full of boys.

The girl was crying out for something-----I say we call HER parents out for not taking care of her AS WELL.


Quoting Tish_Hughes:

They wanna cry now but was laughing like it was funny when it happened. 1 year is not enough, their asses should be out in prision. Commit adult crimes, do adult time. Little devilish ass bastards.


http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/304209_10150825901365230_520415229_21054590_61191322_n.jpg

Some people recognize the light but they can't handle the glare.

joschmidt
by Too Legit Schmidt on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:21 PM
1 mom liked this
Oh and my son will be 11 in a few months. We've already began talking with him about personal space, about what is and isn't okay. About the consequences for inappropriate/wrong behavior, about not being afraid to stand up and be heard when someone is doing something they should. So far he is the kind of kid, when he sees something happening he will step in and if its a situation that he feels he can't handle, he gets an adult, someone in authority. I hope and pray that as he gets older, he sticks to his guns and his moral compass grows with him.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
poppyseed77
by Pure Awesomeness on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:23 PM
2 moms liked this

I agree, the  whole town is messed up.  But her being drunk and looking for attention in all the wrong places does not give them the go ahead to sexually assult her, carry her around like a rag doll and urinate on her.  She does have issues.  Hopefull all involved have learned a valuable lesson.

Quoting Dana267:

I am in between as I have a daughter and a son.

I do believe that what they did was wrong----the girl arrived at a party full of football players already intoxicated. She was sitting in the middle of a road puking and went inside a house full of boys.

The girl was crying out for something-----I say we call HER parents out for not taking care of her AS WELL.


Quoting Tish_Hughes:

They wanna cry now but was laughing like it was funny when it happened. 1 year is not enough, their asses should be out in prision. Commit adult crimes, do adult time. Little devilish ass bastards.



CafeMom Tickers
Dana267
by Group Mod on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM
3 moms liked this

You are right about the boys BUT also--if the girl had been raised right she should have known that THERE IS NO REASON EVER TO BE SO INTOXICATED THAT YOU PASS OUT.

Quoting poppyseed77:

I agree, I did note that a lot of the pics had the black boy smiling during the trial while the other boy was serious..... *sigh*.  Honestly I was just happy it wasn't 2 black boys or one black boy.  That being said.  i do think the punishment is appropriate and if those boys were raised right they wouldn't have treated her like that, drunk or no, slut or no


http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/304209_10150825901365230_520415229_21054590_61191322_n.jpg

Some people recognize the light but they can't handle the glare.

Dana267
by Group Mod on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:29 PM
3 moms liked this

I guess I'm alone on this----but I think there are SEVERAL people at fault and that contributed to the event:


the individual boys who did it

the boys present

the GIRL

the offender's parents

the victim's parents

the community of the Football players

the MEDIA


Quoting joschmidt:

I'm glad they were caught. I don't care if she showed up drunk and naked, they knew what they were doing was wrong. They just didn't believe they would get caught or in trouble for it. Her parents should have been aware of what she was doing (getting drunk and going out to party), she should have had more sense too. But it doesn't excuse what they did or the fact that none of these witnesses had the decency to step in. Or even report it after the fact, with all the videos, pictures, social media conversations, and text messages.


http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/304209_10150825901365230_520415229_21054590_61191322_n.jpg

Some people recognize the light but they can't handle the glare.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)