Steubenville Rape Trial: Two Football Players Guilty in Assault on Girl

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Two Steubenville (Oh.) High School football players accused of raping an allegedly drunk 16-year-old girl were found guilty by an Ohio judge on Sunday.

Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after reviewing evidence against Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, who were tried as juveniles.

The victim was not in the courtroom when the ruling was read.

Mays and Richmond were tried before Lipps, a visiting judge, without a jury. Mays was also found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor.

"Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us," the victim's mother said after court.

"You displayed not only a lack of compassion, but a lack of any moral code."

The woman said her daughter will persevere and move on, adding that she has pity for Mays and Richmond, who will both face tough sentences.

Mays was sentenced to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correctional facility. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year. Both could stay there until age 21.

The Department of Youth services will rule whether the two boys will be detained longer, Lipps said, adding it will depend on their behavior and rehabilitation.

Mays and Richmond will be credited for time served before the trial.

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.

A scandalous YouTube video in which Steubenvlle students joked about the rape of the girl (above) also gained national attention last summer.

According to prosecutors, each of them penetrated the victim's vagina with his 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.

At the heart of the case was the question of whether the victim was too drunk to understand what was happening to her and to consent to the acts.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said more charges in the case could be forthcoming. He intends to call a grand jury to hear more evidence.

"We cannot bring finality to this case without convening a grand jury," he said, noting that there were 16 people who had refused to talk to investigators.

He said the accuser was also re-victimized through social media.

During closing statements on Saturday, attorneys for the two boys argued the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their clients raped the girl.

They also said that an avalanche of cell pictures and videos and social media posts, as well as national media coverage ahead of the trial, tainted testimony.

The judge evidently disagreed.

The girl testified Saturday that she remembered drinking at a big party that night and then holding Mays' hand as she left with him, Richmond and others.

The next thing she remembers, she told the court, is waking up naked on a couch in an unfamiliar house, unable to find her clothes or belongings.

The girl told the court she had a flashback memory of throwing up in a street somewhere sometime after she left the first party.

The victim was the 28th and final witness in a trial that has shone an unwelcome spotlight on Steubenville H.S. and its "Big Red" football program.

Critics have accused community leaders and players themselves of trying to paper over rampant misconduct by members of the highly regarded team.

The case has attracted the attention of bloggers and even the hacking group Anonymous, but the lead prosecutor dismissed all of the hype, saying:

"This case is about a 16-year-old girl who was taken advantage of, toyed with and humiliated. And it's time people who did this to her are held responsible."

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