Breaking news the verdict that has ricocheted toward American town so proud of its high school football team. But tonight so divided this evening -- judges convicted two high school football players... See More
Breaking news the verdict that has ricocheted toward American town so proud of its high school football team. But tonight so divided this evening -- judges convicted two high school football players of sexually assaulting a sixteen year old girl who'd been drinking. An image of the players in the girl -- around town through social media ol' boys breaking down after the verdict one of them choking back tears as he said he was soaring in court. Tonight here at ABC news exclusive the only interview with one of the players before the verdict and the national follow up with social media playing a huge role this case. ABC's Alex -- takes us inside the courtroom. Seconds after hearing they were convicted seventeen year old Trent -- in sixteen year old Malik Richmond burst into tears. Console but his mother Richmond turn to the family of the sixteen year old girl he inmates were convicted of sexually assaulting and begged for forgiveness. The -- Good things -- in the prosecutors had argued the victim was too drunk to consent in an exclusive interview with ABC news Elizabeth Vargas -- Richmond if he was ready for the verdict it doesn't matter. -- what kinds of things were what was the most hurtful things people were saying about you. Don't you should -- He should hang him in the case ignited a national firestorm and social media when this picture of -- and Richmond carrying the victim was shared -- mind. Dozens of text messages were used as evidence including this tax -- -- -- to the victim after the alleged assault. Mays writes so you guys aren't making -- go to court or anything right or pressing charges. To which she replies in part so the only reason you're even apologizing is to see if I'm pressing charges. A key evidence in this case was a photograph. That was sent out on social media text messages that were sent. By the defendants those tax and images compounding the victims' pain while giving prosecutors more evidence added we have to be very careful. Not to suggest that the problem with social media. Social media. He's in many ways what led to the results here with the trial behind them this small town now. Looking forward -- social media can be a very dangerous thing if people don't. Understand the consequences and that widespread. Effects of social media. Now the way the charges break down mates faces a minimum of two years at a juvenile detention center and -- faces at least a year but depending on their behavior. They could both be held up until age 21 at Richmond's attorney says that they do plan to appeal.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.