steubenville rape Steubenville Rape Trial Verdict Expected News

STEUBENVILLE – “I made it as a joke,” Pizzoferrato testified. ” (MARCH 17, 2013) …item 2.. Steubenville rape case: — victim had been urinated upon (SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013, 5:29 PM) …

steubenville rape

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"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.
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…..item 1)…. Steubenville High School football players found guilty of raping 16-year-old girl …

… Yahoo! Sports … sports.yahoo.com/news
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img code photo … Ma’lik Richmond, center,

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

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12 hours ago – current time is 1:32AM March 18, 2013 …

DAN WETZEL
YAHOO! EXPERT

sports.yahoo.com/news/highschool–steubenville-high-schoo…

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.
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img code photo … Trent Mays, left

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Trent Mays, left, gets a hug from his father after Trent was found guilty of rape. (AP)

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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]
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img code photo … Two protesters

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Two protesters hug after hearing the verdict in the trial of Mays and Richmond. (Reuters)

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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 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.
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img code photo … Mays, 17

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Mays, 17, was also found guilty of transmission of nude photos of the 16-year-old girl. (AP)

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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.
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img code photo … BIG RED – Steubenville’s football program

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Steubenville’s football program has long been a source of pride in the community. (Reuters)

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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.

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…..item 2)…. Steubenville rape case: Trent Mays & Ma’Lik Richmond guilty in rape of 16-year-old, Ohio judge rules …

… New York Daily News … www.nydailynews.com/sports

The 17-year-old Mays and 16-year-old Richmond were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in a car and then in a house. They could be held in a juvenile jail until they turn 21.

BY CHRISTIAN RED AND TERI THOMPSON / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
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img code photo … Defense attorney Walter Madison

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Defense attorney Walter Madison comforts Ma’lik Richmond after judge rules that the 16-year-old and Trent Mays, 17, were guilty in the rape of a 16-year-old girl

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PUBLISHED: SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013, 10:35 AM
UPDATED: SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013, 5:29 PM

www.nydailynews.com/sports/steubenville-high-school-footb…

Minutes after Special Judge Thomas Lipps pronounced two teenage Steubenville, Ohio football players guilty of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl during a series of alcohol-fueled parties last summer, the boys embraced each other tightly, breaking into sobs as it became clear that the next phase of their lives would include incarceration and the possibility of being categorized as registered sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Lipps announced his ruling in juvenile court in Steubenville Sunday by saying that both 17-year-old Steubenville High School quarterback Trent Mays and 16-year-old wide receiver Ma’Lik Richmond, both stars on the football team, “are hereby adjudicated delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt on all three counts as charged.” The verdict is the equivalent of a guilty verdict in adult court, said Lipps.

Mays and Richmond were at the center of a case that attracted national attention for the way social media spurred the prosecution and sparked outrage over the episode, including lurid images of the victim posted on the Internet.

After the judge announced the verdict, Richmond turned to his lawyer, Walter Madison, and said, "My life is over."

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine also announced Sunday that he will ask the Jefferson County Common Pleas Court to convene a grand jury, to determine if “any other individuals committed any crimes.”

“A grand jury is an investigative tool that is uniquely suited to ensure fairness and to complete this investigation. And this community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth,” said DeWine in a statement. "Rape is not a recreational activity. We, as a society, have an obligation do more to educate our young people about rape. They need to know it is a horrible crime of violence. And it is simply not ok.”

Lipps heard the juvenile case – which included four days of graphic testimony and which underscored the impact of social media sites like Twitter in criminal legal cases – without a jury and issued his verdict as many in the old Ohio factory town near the West Virginia border were heading to church.

“I came in early this morning and I closely examined all the evidence and I re-read all the text messages that were admitted in this case. Many of the things that we learned during this trial, that our children were saying and doing, were profane, were ugly, with alcohol consumption shown as a particular danger to our teenage youth,” said Lipps.

The judge then listened to pleas for leniency for the defendants before sentencing Mays, who was also found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor, to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correctional facility. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year. Lipps said that the Ohio Department of Youth services will rule on whether Mays and Richmond will be detained longer, adding it will depend on their behavior and their progress in rehabilitation. Both could remain incarcerated until they are 21.
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img code photo … Ma’lik Richmond

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Ma’lik Richmond in tears after verdict.

POOL / REUTERS

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Mays and Richmond will be credited for the time they had served before the trial. Their status as registered sex offenders will be determined by the court after their sentences are served, the judge said.

RELATED: GIRL TELLS OF ACCUSER’S BEHAVIOR IN OHIO RAPE CASE

The two boys gave statements to the court following the verdict. “I would truly like to apologize to (the victim), her family, my family and the community,” said Mays,who addressed the victim by name. “No pictures (of the victim) should have been sent around, let alone be taken.”

Richmond, meanwhile, rose from his seat and walked across the courtroom to address the victim and her family members, who were present in the courtroom. “I would like to apologize. I had no intention to do anything like that. I’m sorry to put you guys through this,” Richmond said before sobbing uncontrollably. He was unable to finish his final remarks and had to be assisted back to his seat.

The fathers of both boys also addressed the court, with Richmond’s father, Nathaniel, saying, “I apologize to the world, not only my community, for the bad light that has been shined upon Steubenville and everybody else. I feel responsible for (Ma’Lik’s) actions. I’m gonna bear his pain with him. I’m sure Trent and Ma’Lik will learn a valuable lesson from this and become productive citizens in this world one day.”

The victim’s mother also gave a statement following the verdict.

“It did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in, or what sport you’ve played," the victim’s mother said. "Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code."

During the past week, prosecutors laid out their case, arguing that both Mays and Richmond used their hands to penetrate the 16-year-old girl. Mays was hit with the child pornography charge because he took photos of the victim that were later posted on social media.

Defense attorneys for the two male teens claimed that the sexual contact was consensual.
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img code photo … Trent Mays (l.)

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Trent Mays (l.) was also in tears after the verdict.

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The case roiled the nation because of the horrific nature of the allegations – there was testimony that the victim had been urinated upon and one video that went viral featured an intoxicated male, Steubenville native Michael Nodianos, referring to the victim as "the dead girl" and saying that "she is so raped" – and for the manner in which the alleged crimes unfolded via Twitter and on YouTube.

It also shined a spotlight on a tiny Midwest steel town caught in an economic decline, where the “Big Red” football program is revered by locals. Steubenville officials have rejected accusations that police and prosecutors have attempted to protect the football program. Officials created a website to counter what they call a disinformation campaign waged against the small city, refuting claims, for example, that the police department is full of ex-Big Red football players.

Last Aug. 11, and during the early hours of Aug. 12, the girl attended a series of parties around Steubenville, accompanying Mays and Richmond. She became more intoxicated as the night wore on, according to witness testimony, and vomited several times. In one lurid photo that was posted on YouTube, the partially-clothed victim is seen being carried by her wrists and ankles.

RELATED: TEAMMATE OF STEUBENVILLE FOOTBALL PLAYERS TESTIFIES HE TAPED SEX ACT

Special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter told the court that the girl was “somebody who was too impaired to say no, somebody who was too impaired to say stop.”

Mark Cole, a teammate of Mays and Richmond who was granted immunity by prosecutors, testified
Friday that he videotaped Mays penetrating the victim with his finger during a car ride that night, but deleted the video the next morning. Another witness said Richmond penetrated the victim while she was in the basement of a home where another party was held.

Part of the mountain of evidence included tens of thousands of text messages that were analyzed by officials. Some of the texts were read in court, including those between the victim and one of her friends, in which she wrote, “OMG, please tell me this isn’t true.” In that same exchange with the male friend, the victim wrote that she had not given consent.

Alleged Victim: OMG please tell me this isn’t true
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img code photo … Judge Thomas Lipps

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Judge Thomas Lipps announced Sunday that both accused teens were guilty in the rape case that has gained nationwide attention.

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Male Friend: Let me find out

Alleged Victim: OMG

Male Friend: You ok?

Alleged Victim: Not at all

Male Friend: You’ll be alright. Did you do anything with them? Promise, I won’t be mad.

RELATED: STEUBENVILLE DEFENDANT ADMITTED SEX ACT IN TEXT: PROSECUTORS

Alleged Victim: I swear. I don’t remember doing anything. I remember hearing (the defendant’s) voice. I told them ‘no.’

"This case isn’t about YouTube videos," Hemmeter said in her closing arguments Saturday.

"This case isn’t about social media. … It is about a 16-year-old girl who was taken advantage, toyed with and humiliated. And it’s for [the defendants] to pay for what they did."

The victim also took the stand Saturday and said she was “embarrassed and scared, and I did not know what to think because I could not remember anything.” She said that over the next two days after that night, she pieced together what had happened with the help of friends who showed her a video posted on YouTube and a picture that had circulated of her in the basement lying naked.
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img code photo … Protests over the Steubenville rape case

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Protests over the Steubenville rape case included rallies and an online campaign attacking authorities in the Ohio community for not doing enough in the case.

THOMAS ONDREY / ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Hemmeter led the testimony of the girl, who testified for two hours about how she discovered what happened that night and how Mays begged her in text messages not to press charges for fear that he would be kicked off the football team.

“He was just, like, freaking out,” the girl testified Saturday. “He kept asking, ‘Are you going to tell the police?’ He was trying to get me not to tell anyone.”

In one text, Mays admitted taking the picture of her naked in the basement, with his semen on top of her, but said that he did not know how the photograph had made its way onto social media.

He told her in one text message, “I’ll just never do anything nice for you again.”

He claimed the semen was the result of consensual sex.

Later, he texted that he was "about to get kicked off my football team.”

In earlier testimony Saturday, two former friends of the girl told the court in testimony for the defense that she had a reputation as a liar. An expert defense witness also said the girl may have had enough alcohol to have a memory lapse, implying she could have consented to having sex but did not remember doing so.

While the defendants grappled with the verdict in the courtroom, Nathaniel Richmond spoke to the judge about the role alcohol had played in the incident and asked the victim and her family for forgiveness.

“Throughout my life, I’ve been through a lot of struggles," Nathaniel Richmond said. "I’m an ex-alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in 12 years. I thank God for that, because when I drunk alcohol, it caused a lot of my problems. It destroyed my life. I understand alcohol played a big role in the decisions they made as kids.

I’m sorry for what y’all had to go through. I hope somewhere in your hearts, that you can forgive Trent and Ma’Lik for the pain they have caused your daughter and put you through. I know that God can fix this, will give you that strength to forgive these two young men."

On mobile device? Click here to view video

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video – 1:09 minutes …

2 Ohio HS Football Players Found Guilty of Rape

AP March 17, 2013

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio

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.steubenville rape

Threats against Steubenville rape victim "not uncommon," say experts
AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Lisa DeJong. (CBS) – On the very day the boys who raped her were found guilty, the victim in the notorious Steubenville rape case became the apparent victim of yet another crime: menacing. PICTURES: Steubenville Rape Trial … steubenville rape
Read more on CBS News

Steubenville Rape Trial Verdict Expected


Juvenile court judge to rule in the case of a young girl’s alleged sexual assault. steubenville rape

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