More Trouble in Steubenville

She looks pretty drunk to me (Anonymous)

The plot thickens in the Steubenville, Ohio trial of two high school football players accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated classmate at an end-of-summer party last August.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, are defending themselves in court against charges that they took advantage of a girl who was clearly too drunk to make responsible decisions, or any decisions at all, for that matter. They denied these allegations, of course, but some recent evidence makes their claim even harder to believe.

According to the latest reports, authorities have discovered a string of text messages, social media posts and cell phone pictures that could be quite damning. Prosecutors feel this evidence details the sexual abuse, which included violating the girl’s vagina with their fingers, an act that classifies as rape in Ohio.

The text messages shared in court recently include direct texts between Mays and the alleged victim. In one particular message, she asked him what happened the night of the party.

“And don’t lie about anything,” the young woman wrote. “I need to know the truth. People keep asking. I don’t know what to say.”

Mays response to the alleged victim was that “nothing happened.” However, he also claimed that she performed a sex act on him. I won’t spell it out, but I can tell you it rhymes with band blob.

Know what I mean?

Of course, Mays confused things since some text messages make the same claim—that the alleged victim performed a sex act on him—while others indicate that he had sex with her. There were even some message exchanges that seemed to substantiate the defense’s claim that their clients are innocent. Consider the following, for instance.

Unknown friend: Did U do it?

Mays: No, lol. She could barely move.

Ma’lik Richmond, one of the players accused of sexual assault (courtesy of ABC News)

Here’s yet another text that might imply innocence:

Unknown friend: How dead is she?

Mays: Not at all. She’s looking for her phone.

In another rather graphic message, Mays even addresses the allegations of rape: “I’m pissed all I got was a hand job, though. I should have raped her since everyone thinks I did.”

That’s actually not a very smart message to write while you stand accused of rape, but I guess I should remember that this kid is only 17 years old. He obviously doesn’t think about consequences because if he did, he probably wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with!

In addition to all the messages introduced into evidence by the prosecution—as well as a nude picture of an underaged girl who may be the alleged victim—some recent testimony from eyewitnesses who were at the fateful party also hurt the defense’s case.

Several students who were in attendance remember seeing the alleged victim, and they all attested to how drunk she was. Some described her as “stumbling and slurring her words,” while others even mentioned drinking with her and watching her condition deteriorate.

When asked whether the victim seemed like she could make good decisions or knew what she was doing, one witness—a college freshman who considers himself to be friends with Mays—said she didn’t since he “saw how drunk she was at the party.”

The defendants in court (courtesy of the Associated Press)

Of course, he was also close friends with the victim, so there’s at least a chance that his testimony was designed for revenge rather than truth-seeking. He did swear an oath on the Bible, though, so I like to think what he said was accurate.

As you can see, there are no easy answers in this case and predicting the final verdict would obviously be very difficult. We should know as early as Sunday what the decision is, though, so please stay tuned to your local news stations for details.

I know the people of Steubenville will be glad once this is all said and done. Given all their economic woes, all this negative national attention seems to be the last thing they need.

UPDATE: On Friday, a teenager testified that he saw one of the defendants engage in sexual activity with the alleged victim during a car ride. He also claimed to have witnessed first-hand Trent Mays inserting his fingers into the girl’s vagina on the same car ride, and even shot a video of it, which he later deleted. Yikes!

Posted on March 16, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Such a tragic story. It breaks my heart.

  2. As much as it saddens me to read this I thank you for bringing it to light. That took courage
    ! This story ought to be read in every high school and college health class across the country.

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