Steubenville rape trial: Defendants are guilty (UPDATED)
The two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl have been found guilty by a judge after a four-day emotionally-charged trial. Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, have been sentence to a minimum of one year in a juvenile detention center for the rape with a maximum stay until they are 21. Since Mays was also found guilty of distributing naked pictures of a minor, he'll spend an additional year at the center.
The verdict came the day after the victim took the stand to talk about the horrific events of last August that scandalized the nation. In all honesty, after all the disturbing evidence presented in the juvenile court, I can't imagine any verdict other than a guilty one. And while some may think the teens just made a horrible mistake, I believe the punishment wasn't harsh enough.
Read more ¿Qué más?: Steubenville, Ohio rape case: A timeline
Saturday's testimony by the West Virginia victim was heartbreaking, to put it mildly. The teen said she'd never been so scared as when she woke up naked in a strange house the day after she was sexually assaulted by Mays and Richmond. She testified her cell phone, earrings, shoes and underwear were gone. When she inquired what had happened, she was told by one of the defendants that she was being a "hassle" and they took care of her.
But nothing could've been further from the truth as the victim later found out by piecing together the horrific events of her night partying using social media, including a YouTube video and a barrage of text messages.
According to the prosecution, Mays and Richmond digitally penetrated the intoxicated girl first in the back of a car, and then in the basement of a house. The victim said she believed she was drugged because she couldn't remember the majority of what happened to her that night.
Throughout the intense trial, Mays and Richmond maintained their innocence, and were visibly shaken by the guilty verdict as they broke down in tears after it was read. Mays said he was sorry for taking and sending pictures, but didn't apologize for taking advantage of the victim. Richmond, on the other hand, admitted he had "ruined her life" and apologized both to her and her family.
Image via ABCNews.com