The verdict came back delinquent for two high school football players on Sunday in the infamous Steubenville, Ohio rape case. The ruling is the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty verdict.
Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping a drunk 16-year-old girl last summer. This story managed to gain world-wide attention over the past seven months.
After the four days of testimony, chock full of evidence which utilized social media, Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision for the two football players.
In addition to their charges as juveniles, Mays was also found guilty of ‘disseminating a nude photo of a minor’, according to CNN.
The entire trial was able to gain media attention due to its ‘lurid text messages, cell phone pictures and videos, and social media posts,’ which all exposed and publicized the sexual abuse of the girl.
Although the victim herself chose not to be in the courtroom when the ruling was declared, her mother gave a statement after the verdict was read:
“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 stated. “You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code.”
The vicitim’s attorney, Bob Fitzsimmons, stated that her client was doing okay.
“I think she’s really happy that this is over and, remember, she is a 16-year-old girl still and she’s a high school student,” he said. “She just wants to get back with her normal life, as does the family. It is a big relief to her at this point.”
Although the verdict has been declared, the vicitim’s attorney wouldn’t confirm whether or not the family would be filing for a civil trial.
As for the boys’ sentencing, Mays was given two years minimum in a juvenile correctional facility, and Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year. However, both boys could be in detention until they’re 21.
In addition to their sentencing, both boys will be required to register as sex offenders and have to participate in treatment while undergoing detention.
Richmond’s father commented on his son yesterday morning to CNN.
“I told Ma’lik to put all his trust in God. God will see him through this,” Nate Richmond said. “I told him that I love him, basically. And to be strong.”
Ma’lik Richmond spoke in court on the incident before the verdict was read.
“I had no intention to do anything like that,” he said. “And I’m sorry to put you guys through this.”
Although the verdict was already read for the boys’ futures, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said there could be even more charges pending, especially for the bystanders who did not come to the girl’s defense or report the incident.
DeWine stated that, “This community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth.”