Steubenville Rape Trial Update: Judge Finds Defendants Guilty - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Steubenville Rape Trial Update: Judge Finds Defendants Guilty on All Charges

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Judge Thomas Lipps found Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, delinquent on all charges Judge Thomas Lipps found Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, delinquent on all charges
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WTRF.com UPDATE:

Judge Thomas Lipps found both defendants in the Steubenville rape case delinquent on all three charges on Sunday. This is similar to a guilty verdict in an adult court. The verdict came in at about 10:10 a.m.

Following his ruling, Lipps provided each defendant the opportunity to speak and both apologized to the victim, the family and the court.

Regarding charges of rape, both defendants are to be committed to the Department of Youth Services for minimum of 1 year. Trent Mays received two years to be served consecutively. Ma'Lik Richmond will serve one year, according to Judge Lipps. He said both can be held until they are 21. Mays, who's 17, was sentenced to an additional year in jail on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, to be served after his rape sentence is completed.     

Both Mays and 16-year-old Richmond have been ordered to avoid contact with the victim until they're 21.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine came before the media and the public to discuss the trial and the entire investigation of the case. DeWine spoke to the victim and to her family. He also mentioned the role social media played in the case.

DeWine said  "this community desperately needs to have this behind them but this community also desperately needs to know justice was done and that no stone was left unturned."

Activist groups have questioned why people who knew about the rape weren't charged under state law requiring people to report crimes.

Stay with 7News and WTRF.com for updates.

 


ORIGINAL STORY:

Judge Thomas Lipps announced he will give his verdict at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Lipps said Saturday he would announce his decision after reviewing evidence presented over four days in the case against the two defendants.     

Defense attorneys argued the state did not prove their clients raped the West Virginia girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer.     

Prosecutors said the evidence, including text messages and photographs, is overwhelming. The girl testified she was drinking that night and couldn't remember what happened. She said she woke up naked in a strange house after leaving the party.     

If found delinquent, the two could be held in juvenile jail until they turn 21.

Saturday morning's first witness, an "ex-best friend" of the alleged victim, testified to the court that the alleged victim seemed drunk at the party. The witness said she was periodically "checking on her."

A professional witness was called to the stand Saturday afternoon to discuss the effects of alcohol in hopes of better understanding the alleged incident. 

Dr. Kim Fromme was called out of turn for the defense to accommodate her schedule. 7News legal analyst Diana Crutchfield says this is not uncommon. Fromme is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

The victim took the stand about 3:45 p.m. She testified she recalled the events of Aug. 11 and discussed the parties she attended that evening.

She said she talked to a lot people at the party and had a mixed drink then a red Smirnoff ice drink in a red solo cup with ice. The witness said she could tell she was getting drunk and not really feeling like herself, not presenting herself like she would normally. The memory of the party she said was leaving and her friends were behind her. She said she thought "a lot of people were leaving at that time."

Follow WTRF's live stream of the trial here. Follow WTRF's Laurie Conway, live at the trial, here.

Read Saturday's story here.