Steubenville, Ohio high school rape trial resumes Saturday

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 16, 2013 12:05 AM
Steubenville, Ohio high school rape trial resumes Saturday

By Drew Singer

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (Reuters) - The trial of two high school football players in eastern Ohio accused of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl at a party last summer will continue on Saturday as the high-profile case enters its fourth day of testimony.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, are charged with sexually assaulting the victim in the early morning of August 12, 2012.

The case drew national attention to the Ohio steel town of Steubenville, on the West Virginia border 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, after a photo and video from the party that appeared to document the assault were posted online.

On Friday, Mark Cole, a teammate granted immunity for his testimony, said he recorded a video of Mays performing the act on the girl during a car ride between houses in Steubenville the night of the party, but deleted it the next morning.

"It was one of those moments when you realize you did something wrong or stupid," Cole said during testimony. He said he drank eight to 10 beers that night and his memory of the evening was foggy.

Evan Westlake, who was also granted immunity, testified he saw Richmond commit a sex act on the girl on the basement floor of a house the same night last August.

Mays and Richmond are accused of raping the girl when she was too drunk to move or speak. She told police she did not remember what happened and reported the incident the next day after hearing details from friends. The boys have denied raping her and say any sex that occurred was consensual.

Defense attorneys have questioned whether the witnesses in the case remembered details from the party or were repeating rumors that circulated afterward through their social groups or from investigators looking into the rape allegations.

The juvenile charges against Mays and Redmond are being heard by visiting Judge Tom Lipps. If convicted, they could be required to stay at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21 and then register as sex offenders.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher)