Trent Mays And Ma’lik Richmond, Steubenville High School Football Players, Found Guilty In Rape Case
Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond were convicted on Sunday of raping an intoxicated 16-year old girl.
Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, played football for Steubenville High School, a powerhouse in the Ohio Rust Belt region. They were accused and found guilty of raping the girl during a series of parties that occurred on a night in August of 2012. Richmond was sentenced to one year in a juvenile correctional facility, while Mays was sentenced to a minimum of two years, as he was charged with both rape and disseminating a nude photo of a minor, according to CNN.
Both Mays and Richmond could end up in prison until the age of 21. When their current sentences are up, the Department of Youth Services will determine whether the two boys should be detained for a longer period of time. Judge Thomas Lipps stated that the decision would be based upon their respective behavior and rehabilitation during their imprisonment.
Once they are released from the correction facility, they will be forced to register as juvenile sex offenders and will be required to undergo treatment during their incarceration. Neither will be permitted to be near their victim until they are 21.
Lipps, who presided without a jury over the case, came to his guilty verdict after observing evidence throughout four days of witness testimony. Witnesses provided varied testimonies, with former friends of both the victim and convicted rapists speaking out against them. Sixteen people refused to speak with investigators, leading Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to seek a grand jury that could eventually lead to more charges being leveled at both Mays and Richmond, according to ABC News.
Mays and Richmond’s attorneys had attempted to prove to the judge that they were not guilty throughout the trial. The prosecutors, however, maintained that each of them had penetrated the victim with his fingers, which constitutes as rape under Ohio law when it is not consensual. They alleged that her level of drunkenness on the night in question, made her incapable of consent.
The victim, who testified on Saturday, stated that she did not remember much from the night. Following the party where Mays and Richmond took advantage of her, she was re-victimized through social media, and via the distribution of photos of her in compromising situations. It is uncertain whether or not she and her family will be pursuing a civil case.