Steubenville Ohio school footballers guilty of rape

Trent Mays (l) and Ma'lik Richmond in court, 15 March 2013 Some locals said members of the football team thought they were above the law

Related Stories

Two high school football players in the US state of Ohio have been found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl.

Trent Mays, 16, and Ma'lik Richmond, 17, attacked the girl after a drunken party in the town of Steubenville. Both wept as the verdict was read out.

The case came to light via text messages, online videos and social media posts made the morning after, attracting nationwide attention.

The two were sentenced to at least a year in juvenile detention.

Mays was sentenced to another year for taking pictures of the naked victim, and the judge said both might stay in detention until they reach 21.

The case was thrust into the national spotlight after attention by bloggers and the hacker activist group Anonymous.

Some claimed that the community - including local police - had sought to cover up the crime to protect the accused, who were members of a celebrated high school American football team.

Protesters in masks outside the court Online activists brought the case to national attention amid allegations of a cover-up

The case focused attention on teenage alcohol abuse and highlighted the increasing use of social media as evidence in court, the BBC's Matt Wells in Washington says.

Last August, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond left a party with a 16-year-old girl and sexually abused her, first in a car and then at a friend's house.

The victim was so drunk she had no memory of the attack, but prosecutors said she had been "treated like a toy".

There was no physical evidence, but details of the evening emerged from text messages, tweets and humiliating photos posted on the internet by the attackers and other party-goers.

The case caused a bitter divide in Steubenville, a small and economically depressed former steel town that had immense pride in its high school football team, known as the "Big Red".

Some of the witnesses were friends of the accused who gave evidence against them in return for immunity from prosecution.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a writer accused of blasphemy must run


  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it to have three plane crashes in eight days?


  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views

Programmes

  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.