AirTalk for March 18, 2013

Steubenville teens sentenced to one-year minimum for rape

APTOPIX Football Players Rape Charges

Keith Srakocic/AP

Defense attorney Walter Madison, right, holds his client, 16-year-old Ma'Lik Richmond, second from right, while defense attorney Adam Nemann, left, sits with his client Trent Mays, foreground, 17, as Judge Thomas Lipps pronounces them both delinquent on rape and other charges after their trial in juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio, Sunday, March 17, 2013. Mays and Richmond were accused of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in August 2012.

In an emotionally charged Ohio courtroom yesterday, two high school students were convicted of raping a drunk and apparently unconscious girl at a party last summer. Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, were sentenced as juveniles to a minimum of one-year for sexually assaulting an unidentified 16-year old.

The case drew international attention, particularly because of the extent of social media involved. The morning after the assault, the perprators and friends shared rapid-fire text messages, photos and video about the rape. The viral media caught the attention of the "hacktivists" that accused Steubenville town leaders of protecting assailants because they were popular football players. Yesterday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a widespread probe of the case - with the possibility of more charges.

As for Mays and Richmond, the length of their sentence beyond the minimum one year will be determined by juvenile authorities; they can be held until they're 21, according to Associate Press reporting.

What is your reaction to the sentence? What should come of the AG's probe - particularly for those who knew about the crime? How common are crimes such as this? The victim apparently had no knowledge of rape, having blacked out from drinking.  What trauma would she have experienced unconsciously without such memories and in the absence of photos to alert her?

Guest:
Rachel Dissell, Cleveland’s "The Plain Dealer" reporter who covered the case; Dissell specializes in youth, crime and corruption for "The Plain Dealer"


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