Steubenville Rape Case: Witness Says He Took Photos of Alleged Victim

A witness takes the stand — reluctantly — as a high-profile rape trial involving two Ohio high school football players continues.

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Keith Srakocic / AP

Judge Thomas Lipps presides over the beginning the trial of juvenile trial of 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond and 17-year-old Trent Mays.

A teenaged witness testified that he took photos and videos of a 16-year-old girl at the center of a high-profile rape trial involving two star football players at a small town Ohio high school.

Judge Thomas Lipps, after motions by prosecutors, gave the 17-year-old immunity from prosecution when he took the stand in Jefferson County Juvenile Court to testify in the trial of Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond on Friday. The boy, a teammate of the two defendants, immediately invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and was reluctant to testify at all, but he was compelled by prosecutors to give his testimony.

(MORE: Steubenville Teen Rape Case: Witness Pleads Fifth as Trial Continues)

The two athletes are accused of sexually assaulting the girl during a night of raucous partying on Aug. 11, in Steubenville, an Ohio Valley industrial town of about 18,500 people. Prosecutors say the girl was assaulted first in a car by one defendant and at least once later in the basement of a home by another. The alleged victim appeared intoxicated and says she does not remember the events of the evening. Pictures and videos surfaced after the incident showing her in compromised positions and, in at least two images, naked.

The witness told the court that he was in the car with Mays and Richmond, and that he sat in the backseat of a car with one of the defendants with the alleged victim between them. A probable cause document from October suggests that Mays was in the backseat of the car. The witness said he took a photo of the defendant inappropriately touching the girl. He testified that he later saw the same defendant initiate sexual contact with the girl in the home’s basement, but when she did not respond he stopped.

He said that he recorded a portion of the incident, but deleted it later because he felt it was “stupid and wrong.” He also testified that not only was the girl so intoxicated that she began to vomit, but that he was also very drunk, having downed between eight and ten beers within a two-hour period. He said that a photo of the girl being carried by the defendants that was widely distributed via Twitter was meant as a joke.

(MORE: Steubenville Authorities Launch Website to Dispel Controversy Around High School Rape Case)

Friday marked the third day of testimony in the case, in which prosecutors allege that Mays and Richmond assaulted the girl, who lives in nearby Weirton, W. Va., while she was too drunk to give any consent to a sexual act. Mays is also charged with distributing child pornography for allegedly texting nude photos of the girl.

More students were also expected to be called to the witness stand on Friday to give testimony. It is unclear what their relation is to the defendants.

On Thursday, the court heard testimony from police officials about what they saw on cell phones that allegedly recorded the assault. Officers with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department testified on the contents of three cellphones that were confiscated from Mays  and Richmond. Both are being tried as juveniles by Judge Thomas Lipps, rather than a jury.

The Steubenville rape case became national news late last year after a crime blogger and Steubenville High alum accused local authorities of dragging their feet on the case due to ties with the Steubenville High football team and its coaches. The New York Times picked up the story in a lengthy December piece, attracting the attention of activists including a group of hackers known as Knight Sec, an offshoot of Anonymous, which organized protests and even hacked into the email account of a local Steubenville High football booster.

The two defendants maintain their innocence, insisting that the girl was aware at all times of what was going on and was a willing participant.


Humanity is acting a plum fool I tell ya excuse after excuse, just terrible. How many times o_0 same story, new characters - disgusting. Not to mention this weak ass sentence. Can you say slap on the wrist -_-


I hope the mothers of Richmond and Mays have refills left on the Valium.  Must be a shock to find out that the way you raised them doesn't quite meet society's standards. Hey, they played football -- they have special rights!  The reason the boys who watched the rape in progress didn't join in was that they knew the girl didn't know what was going on.  Those other boys didn't want to end up like Mays and Richmond.

tialive 1 Like


 Mothers?  So even when a dude is found guilty, it's still a woman's fault.  Got it.  


@tialive @JohnHurd  yes, didn't you know that all the poor dudebros are the products of  virgin birth and grow up untouched by any male influence in our society? It is always the women's and girls' fault ! Especially them crazie on valium! 

brownsugar2142ad 3 Like

The question is are they going to continue to investigate the "Rape Crew" cus I seriously doubt that Mays and Malik were the only ones involved in attacking this girl  since she was dragged around to 3 different parties and that most escaped prosecution because they deleted some of the evidence that could have incriminated them.  Another website had given a report that pictures of two other girls who were drunk and naked, face down on the same carpet that the victim was pictured in, naked and drunk or drugged as well, was found on a friend of the accused cell phone and may have been on a different day/party.  This seem to indicate that its not the first time this has happened and that there may be other rape victims who don't remember what happened.  The victim said that she didn't remember hardly anything after  being picked up for the first party.  So I'm thinking that they slipped some date rape drug in her drink from the first drink so she would be so out of it that she can't respond or defend herself from any attack and they could get away with whatever with her and they did that night,finger stabbing her, being raped multiple times in different placed by possibly more than the two that carried her around and sodomizing her in the vehicle, doing or trying to have her perform oral sex on them and whatever else they did that didn't get on film.  I don't think she was the only victim of rape, I think they may have been doing this for a while, drugging the girls so they don't remember a thing at different parties, why else would they have the audacity to call themselves, this group of boys, the 'rape crew'?


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