On August 22, 2012, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, two 16-year-olds from Steubenville, Ohio, were taken into custody for drugging and raping a 16-year-old girl. The case has gained the Internet’s attention when Anonymous hacked the boys computers and uploaded pictures and a video of them laughing and making jokes about raping the girl.
Warning: This video contains graphic content.
Thank you also to Alexandra Goddard, who screen capped the tweets from Cody Saltsman (the boy who uploaded the Instagram photo above) and uploaded them to her blog.
Both of the teens have stuck to the story that the sex was consensual. Their attorney, Walter Madison, is arguing that because the girl (who has chosen to remain anonymous) made the conscious choice to drink before and during the party as well as leaving with the boys, she had all the will power to consent or deny to sex.
However, party-goers stated that she was unable to walk, talk and was vomiting on herself, so I highly doubt that she was capable on consenting to being drugged, having sex with multiple partners and then being urinated on.
“There’s an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices,” Madison [attorney] said. “She didn’t affirmatively say no.”
There is also evidence that members of the football team that Mays and Richmond were a part of helped spread pictures of the victim after rape around the student body and helped cover up the rape when the police caught wind of it. Also, these group of teens were nicknamed, ‘The Rape Crew.‘
The judge who was previously assigned to the case had to be replaced after it was uncovered that he had close ties with the football team.
UPDATE: The two football players, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond have been found guilty of rape. Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after four days of evidence and testimony against the two minors.
Both Mays and Richmond were tried as juveniles and have been sentenced to one year in a juvenile facility but both may be held until the age of 21. Mays received an additional year, after being found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor.
The victim was not in the courtroom when the sentence was read, but her mother was and made a statement:
“Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us,” the victim’s mother said after court was adjourned. “You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code.”
Depending on the boys behavior and rehabilitation progress, the Department of Youth Services will be the ruling body on whether or not their detention will last longer. Both boys are being credited for time served during the course of the trial, and have been ordered to stay away from the victim until they are 21.
Both players broke down and apologized to the court and families involved.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said more charges in the case could be forthcoming. He plans on convening a grand jury on April 15th to determine whether or not more indictments will be filed.