The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

March 17, 2013

Ohio teens guilty of rape, face year-plus in jail

(Continued)

STEUBENVILLE —

"They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me," she testified. "I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video."

In questioning her account, defense attorneys went after her character and credibility. Two former friends of the girl testified that the accuser had a history of drinking heavily and was known to lie.

"The reality is, she drank, she has a reputation for telling lies," said lawyer Walter Madison, representing Richmond.

The two girls testified they were angry at the accuser because she was drinking heavily at the party and rolling around on the floor. They said they tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop drinking.

Nathaniel Richmond urged during the sentencing that parents speak to their children about "the dangers of alcohol and how it can lead to bad decisions that will affect the rest of your life." He said he himself was an alcoholic.

The accuser said that she does not remember being photographed as she was carried by Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond, an image that stirred up outrage, first locally, then globally, as it spread online. Others have testified the photo was a joke and the girl was conscious when it was taken.

After the trial, the accuser's mother rebuked the boys for "lack of any moral code."

"You were your own accuser, through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on," she said.

The photograph led to allegations that three other boys, two of them members of Steubenville High's celebrated Big Red team, saw something happening that night and didn't try to stop it but instead recorded it themselves.

The three boys weren't charged, fueling months of online accusations of a cover-up to protect the team, which law enforcement authorities have vehemently denied.

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