The two football players indicted in the case of the Steubenville rape case, Trent Mays, 16, and Ma’lik Richmond, 17, have been found guilty. The verdict saw both former star players of a much beloved local school football team weeping in court.
The verdict comes after four tense days of tense testimony which had defense lawyers argue the unnamed minor who had been subjected to sexual relations had implicitly complied to the events of the evening. Plaintiff lawyers argued on the other hand the 16 year old minor had been so incapacitated that she could not have possibly been aware of the actions that she had been subjected to.
The ruling which came today courtesy of Judge Thomas Lipps who found both defendants guilty of attacking the girl after an alcohol fueled party last August.
With the ruling the judge sentenced both defendants to one year each at juvenile detention centers, where they can be held there until they turn 21; both have them have been ordered to avoid contact with the 16-year-old girl from West Virginia until she turns 21.
Reflected prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter:
‘This isn’t a case about anything other than a very, very vulnerable girl. This case isn’t about a Youtube video. It isn’t about social media. It isn’t about Big Red [the local football team of which both defendants are members].’
‘This is about a 16-year-old girl who was taken advantage of and treated like a toy and it’s time that the people who did that to her are held accountable. The things that made her an imperfect witness, she couldn’t remember, made her the perfect victim.’
Offered the young woman yesterday afternoon after breaking down in tears after a naked photo of her being carried by her ankles and wrists by the players:
“I was scared and embarrassed and it freaked me out. I woke up with no clothes on and I didn’t know what had happened at all. I was on a couch. My clothes were off. My hair was a mess and it felt weird.”
‘They were all surrounding me, just talking, Trent, Ma’lik…’
She went on: ‘I asked where my clothes were and they put them on a table next to me. I kind of covered myself with a blanket and got dressed.’
‘They told me I was a hassle but they had looked after me and put me to bed.’
The case to date has riveted the nation after it came to national attention after hacker group anonymous brought it to the national fore. The incident has once again raised questions as to the prevalent misogynistic attitudes towards women in society and the impunity that many men feel with respect to their regard and treatment of women often the complicit blessing of peers. Then again perhaps a casual regard of society’s constant objectification and trivial sexualization of women may help explain the ambivalent regard that so many men have towards women and even to some degree how some women play into those stereotypes…
The defendants at the center of the case have always maintained their innocence.