The Steubenville Rape Case: The Story You Haven't Heard

Share
Copy

The video quickly went viral and appeared to be proof to online activist groups and even the National Organization for Women that other athletes either witnessed or knew of the alleged assault and were never charged with a crime.

Such sentiments have fueled much speculation of a cover up in Steubenville. Nodianos, who until this winter was attending Ohio State University on an academic scholarship, told police he only saw the alleged victim in passing that night as she left the second location. The details he talked about in the video came from viewing one photo of the alleged victim and talking to the other boys who were with her that night, he said.

His lawyer has since issued an apology on his behalf for the shameful comments he made on the video posted on YouTube.

Prosecutors have not commented on the specifics of the case but at the probable cause hearing in October, prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter said, "She was a toy to them that night and the bottom line is we don't have to prove that she said no. All we have to prove is when she's being penetrated that she was unresponsive and not in a position to consent and they knew it."

Attorneys for Trent and Ma'lik insist that their clients are not guilty of any crime, claiming that she was sober enough throughout the night to consent.

"What we believe we will be able to support is that she voluntarily proceeded throughout the night with our client," Trent's attorney, Brian Duncan, told ABC News. "There is no indication that she was somehow so intoxicated that she could not have consented to any of the contact that occurred."

Ma'lik's attorney, Walter Madison, is equally confident in his client's innocence. He questions the prosecution's dependence on testimony from the three teenage witnesses.

"They all have immunity and have been granted deals not to be prosecuted for their involvement," he said. "When you give a child an option to have a seat at the trial table or tell us what we need to know and in exchange we won't prosecute you, they're probably going to tell you what you want to hear."

Attorney General DeWine denied that any deals have been made and won't rule out future charges for those witnesses.

The alleged victim is slated to take the stand, but because she says she has little memory of the night in question, her testimony is not expected to clarify the events of Aug. 11-12. Defense attorneys say the intense scrutiny the case has garnered is creating another challenge for them.

"We have found it very difficult to find people willing to talk to us," Duncan, Trent's attorney, said. "People have either not returned calls or they have lawyers that are involved. We have material subpoenas that have been issued."

A West Virginia judge Friday refused to enforce those subpoenas for three juveniles who reside just outside of Ohio. The judge cited a lack of legal precedence for compelling an underage witness to testify in a juvenile proceeding out of state.

When the trial commences Wednesday, there will be no jury involved. Instead, a juvenile judge will decide the fates of Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, who face incarceration in a detention center until their 21st birthdays and the almost-certain demise of their dreams of playing football.

See the full story on ABC's "20/20" Friday, March 22, at 10 p.m.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...