The Steubenville rape case has finally reached a verdict. Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond have both been found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl.
The Steubenville High School students will be sentenced a minimum of a year in jail but many of the people in the community are hoping for more.
Mays will be serving an additional sentence for illegal use of a minority in nudity-oriented material after he serves his sentence for rape.
The controversy of the case surrounded the many text messages, social media posts, photos, and videos of the night in question that surfaced before the trial.
The boys’ actions in court were much different than the hypermasculine persona they portrayed via their online social networks. When the verdict was read they immediately broke down in tears.
The 17-year-old and 16-year-old students were charged with “digitally penetrating” the young girl from West Virginia multiple times – once in the backseat of a car and again in the basement of a home.
In addition to serving jail time, they will not be allowed to get in contact with the victim of the rape until they are 21.
The victim couldn’t remember much of the night in question but, it was a text message and a photo the next day that tipped her off to the fact that she had been the victim of a sexual assault.
“It was really scary,” she said. “I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything.”
While the boys tried to blame the incident on her being drunk, the Virginia girl claims she was drugged because she hadn’t had enough alcohol to make her go completely unconscious in her opinion.
The courts did take into consideration that the under aged girl had been drinking and since she couldn’t remember anything there was a possibility that she did come up to the athletes and the sex was consensual… until another controversial photo caught their attention.
In the photo, the two boys are seen holding the girl in the air by her arms and legs as if she were nothing more than a rag doll.
“They treated her like a toy,” said Marianne Hemmeter, the special prosecutor.
Others who took the stand accused her of being extremely drunk and that she had no right to accuse the men of rape because of that.
Regardless of how drunk she was, nobody had the right to rape her multiple times. If she had a lot to drink then she was asking to be drunk, not asking to be raped.
Either way, the case has left the entire community shocked, disappointed and a bit confused at how this could happen.
Attorney General Mike DeWine is just hoping that they will be able to move past this and trust that the court made the right decision.
“This community desperately needs to have this behind them but this community also desperately needs to know justice was done and that no stone was left unturned,” he said Sunday.
Judge Thomas Lipps made the ruling without a jury in juvenile trial court where the boys were deemed delinquents.