Transcript for 2 Football Stars Allegedly Rape Drunk Girl
Right now we begin with the sexual assault trial tearing apart steubenville. Two high school athletes are charged with assaulting a drunk girl and elizabeth vargas sat down with one for an exclusive interview. It is deeply dividing this small ohio town where high school football is king. In a town of 18,000 people, the big red football stadium seats 10,000. So when two of the most promising players were charged with rape and other players were accused of posting photos and tweets about it on the internet, the story exploded sparking wild rumors and innuendo and attracting activist groups from around the country. A case that turned a small town in ohio upside down. Two high school football stars charged with sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl over the course of a night last august. The question is whether the girl was too drunk to consent. Social media reports of the event took on a life of their own. Accusations went flying dividing a town. All: We want justice. Reporter: With some convinced the police were slowing down the investigation to protect the beloved teen. My job is to stay focused on the evidence and not try this case in the social media. The only thing that we want to do is determine what the facts are, what the truth is. Reporter: A cell phone photo that circulated from that note The accused malik carrying the alleged victim by her arms and legs. She appears unconscious. While witnesses disagree over whether she was unable to walk, malik who spoke to us in an abc exclusive says she was awake and a willing participant in the photo. So you just grabbed her and that was a fun picture that you took? Well, after that I didn't think it was fun, but at first during that moment -- in the moment. It was a joke picture. Yes, ma'am. So you weren't carrying her out. No. The boys' attorney also try to make the case that the alleged victim was not incompass tailed but alert enough to remember the passcode on her phone later that night. The photo is what it is. The photo doesn't suggest that a person substantially is impaired but suggests a person -- you don't think that looks like substantial impairment. We don't care what it looks like. We know that after the photo was taken she exhibited the ability to make decisions. We have witnesses that will state that they're going to testify that photograph was, in fact, staged. Reporter: Ma league richmond maintains innocence saying he did not assault anyone. My friend texted me and he said that she is saying that you guys raped her. Reporter: What did you think when you read that? And I just texted him like what are you talking about? You're playing with me. We asked the alleged victim and attorney to comment on the photo and said the photograph contradicts the claim that she was being carried as part of a joke and went on to say "just because an argument is made doesn't make it true." Elizabeth, attorneys for the other defendant filed a motion to dismiss this week. Why is that so critical? Because they are trying to subpoena the alleged victim's best friends who have given incriminating statements to the police saying that she had made a plan to meet up with one of the accused rapists later on in the evening and therefore had given prior concept and that she might have even had a history of doing this kind of thing before but they can't subpoena these girls because they're across state lines. This count is right on the border of west virginia and ohio. The judge here has so much power. Huge legal -- you're talking about two sets of judge. A west virginia judge saying i am not going to force these west virginia kids to go to ohio to testify in the ohio case. Why? Because the judge said this is a juvenile proceeding. It's not a typical criminal case. And as a result, I don't think that the rules that apply in criminal cases about forcing people to testify necessarily apply in a juvenile case. Well, it's an important n that a single juvenile judge will hear this starting this week. With all the emotion and rumor and innuendo in the town all the groups inside the town that came to protest and all the attention on the internet to have a single sober juvenile court judge -- that's good news for the defendant, I think, in this case. Particularly a judge not from this specific area. Yeah, he's been brought in. You can see more of her interview on "20/20" this friday -- next friday. Next friday at 10:00, 9:00 central.
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