Two teens found guilty in Ohio rape case

OHIO TEENSBy Chelsea J. Carter, Poppy Harlow and Brian Vitagliano, CNN

Steubenville, Ohio (CNN) — A judge found two Steubenville star high school football players guilty Sunday of raping an allegedly drunk 16-year-old girl.

Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after reviewing evidence presented over four days of testimony in the case against 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond, who were tried as juveniles.

Mays and Richmond were tried before Lipps, a visiting judge, without a jury. The trial moved quickly — and through the weekend — to accommodate the judge’s schedule.

They face the possibility of being jailed until they are 21.

The ruling brings an end to a trial that has gained national attention for its lurid text messages, cell phone pictures and videos, and social media posts surrounding the alleged sexual abuse of the girl.

Mays and Richmond had been accused of raping the girl during a series of end-of-summer parties in August 2012.

According to prosecutors, Richmond and Mays each penetrated the alleged victim’s vagina with their fingers, an act that constitutes rape under Ohio law if it is not consensual.

Attorneys for the two boys had said they were not guilty.

CNN’s policy is not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault. CNN is not naming the minors who are testifying but is identifying Mays and Richmond, whose names have been used by court officials, their attorneys and in multiple media accounts.

At the heart of the case was the question of whether the alleged victim was too drunk on the night of August 11 and the early morning of August 12 to understand what was happening to her and to consent.

7 comments

  • Cynthia Maley

    I do not feel these boys should have to register as a SEX OFFENDER ..I do feel what they did was wrong.. But where is the girls accountability or the parents of these teens. They may have violated her but this was not a brutal attack.. As a registered offender these boys lives are over. My heart goes out to ALL involved in this.. may this be a lesson to PARENTS.. You by not being a parent cost your CHILDREN or YOUNG ADULTS the rest of their lives.. My son is 16 He knows that drinking and Parties are not expectable at his age. I pray he will have the courage to make the right decisions when faced with making them on his own!

    • nickel

      Are you for serious? The Girl's accountability? People like you are why we have such a huge rape culture in our society. I was going to give you props for raising your son well, but you lost that when you said the girl deserves some of the blame. SHAME ON YOU!

      • Cynthia Maley

        No, I did not say she deserves blame.. I said her accountability.. she chose to go to parties she chose to drink.. she by no means chose to violated in any way She deserved justice.. and she got it ! My question is was she charged for UNDERAGED Drinking?? Where were her friends??.. Who got them the alcohol..These boys deserve to be prosecuted and are not above the law.. The PARENTS of all.. the victim and the assailants, are also at fault because for whatever reason they had decided that they are TOO Busy or Just not interested in what their young people were doing. This is a sad day for all the young people but where are the adults. I by no means support Rape of anyone. I was molested at a VERY young age.. I did not do anything to put me in the situation. A 10 year old can not. My parents trusted the wrong person. I was the victim of a sick person… This is why I say WE AS PARENTS need to be there for them. TEACH and Empower them to make the right choices!

        • nickel

          When you say "where is the girl's accountability?" Yeah, you're saying she's at fault. You even said she's at fault again in this rebuttal! So what if she was drinking? Something like this could have happened had she been out bowling, and jumped on the way to her car. No means no, and if you can't say no that sure as hell means no also. With your mind set, you want all girls to sit back with their mouths shut and not have fun. And what the hell do you mean it wasn't a brutal attack? Is it only brutal if she's gagged, bound and tortured? If you had a daughter, and not a son, you'd be singing a whole other song. Also – those boys should absolutely be registered as sexual offenders. They raped her. Doesn't matter how old you are. If you rape someone, you are a rapist.

  • jane

    good job cynthia! i agree the parents of children (yes, these are all still CHILDREN) are accountable as well. If more parents would be responsible for their offspring we would see a change in many ways. Parents are too concerned about their child being popular, left out, or the parents are just too self involved. Plus there is a "gang" mentality among children in daycare and school these days…basically because they are raising themselves…that is why so many involved did nothing to step in. Thank you for speaking out. Both parties in this situation are at fault.

  • Darly

    It is a shame that these two boys (and that is what they are) have ruined their lives. What they did in an alcoholic haze was horrendous. I agree with Cynthia, the girl should also be held accountable for her actions in that she used poor judgment, as well. She is not totally blameless in all this. She chose to drink, no one poured the alcohol down her throat. I think the elephant in the room, at least from my point of view, is………..who provided the alcohol. There had to be an adult or adults involved or the beverage served would have been Coke or Pepsi. The bottom line is that the parents of all involved are to be blamed. Apparently no one thought it necessary to chaperone the party, or to ensure that their children were going to a chaperoned event. Shame on them!

  • Sammie

    I do believe if the young men did violated the young lady they should be held accountable. My question is who supplied the liquor to teenagers? Is this person going to also be held accountable for their actions? I

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