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Both football players accused of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, have been found guilty.
Steubenville High School students Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, have both been sentenced to at least a year in juvenile jail. Mays was also sentenced to an additional year in jail on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, which is to be served after his rape sentence is completed.
The case had originally come to light after morning-after text messages, social media posts, and online photos and video were discovered.
The two teens broke down in tears after the verdict was read, and later apologized to the victim and to their community. Richmond’s father, Nathaniel, had also asked that the victim’s family “forgive Malik and Trent for the pain they put you through.”
Mays and Richmond had been charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car on Aug. 11, and then in the basement of a house. The boys and the victim had gone to several alcohol-fueled parties.
The trial began only a week before, with prosecutors determining to the show the girl was so drunk that she couldn’t have been a willing participant that night, while the defense tried to indicate that the girl, though drunk, knew what she was doing.
The Steubenville case became a nationwide issue after allegations that the teenagers had been given special treatment due to their being on the football team. Steubenville is a small town that prides itself on it’s good local high school football team.