by Syeda Khan, Staff Writer
Two star high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio were found guilty in an Ohio rape case that gained a lot of worldwide attention. Two teen boys, Trent Mays who is 17 years old and Ma’lik Richmond who is 16 years old, were convicted for raping a drunk 16 year old female. According to CNN.com, this trial brought a lot of media attention through vivid text messages, cell phone pictures, videos, and a number of social media posts surrounding the sexual abuse of the female. The victim’s mother read a statement after the judge’s ruling saying, “Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach, or a parent. It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but lack of any moral code.” The victim’s mother also mentioned that her daughter would always remember this and move on, stating that she has pity for both young men.
Trent Mays has been sentenced to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correctional facility while Ma’lik Richmond has been sentenced to a minimum of one year. Both of the young men are now required to be registered as sex offenders and undergo treatment while they are in the juvenile detention center. They are also ordered to stay away from the victim until they are 21 years of age. During the courtroom hearing, Ma’lik Richmond broke down into tears saying, “I’m sorry to put you guys through this.” Trent Mays apologized to the family as well. According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, more charges in the case might be forthcoming. The Attorney General also added that there were 16 people who refused to talk to investigators, and he also called this case a terrible tragedy especially since the victim was also victimized through social media.
This whole rape case started back in a series of end-of-year parties in August 2012. According to prosecutors, both of the boys penetrated the girl’s private areas, an act which is considered rape in the state of Ohio, unless it is consensual. The victim, who is not identified, testified saying she remembered little about the night of the party because she was drunk. The only thing she remembered was drinking on the night of the party and holding Trent’s hand; the next minute she wakes up to find herself naked on a couch in a unfamiliar house. She also added that she was too embarrassed to ask anyone what happened the night of the party because she didn’t remember anything.
Both young men get what they deserve. However, there should be more charges pressed against others who put this rape act up on social media websites, and the parents who were responsible for throwing this party along with providing alcohol to minors. It is very sad to see a young girl who is drunk get taken advantage of; it is heartbreaking to see the carelessness of people who did not try to stop the young boys of taking advantage of her, but rather decide to take pictures and post this all over the Internet. Some may claim that the girl is equally at fault for under-age drinking, but regardless of her mental state at the time, rape can never be justified. This serves as a lesson for us all: be aware of your surroundings when you’re going out; you never know what might happen to you and since social media is now so popular these days, you never know what somebody might post about you all over the internet. This is a very sad case, and more people should get what they deserve because if this is all over the Internet, then clearly it shows more than two boys were involved in this act as well.