Two high school football players, Trent Mays,17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were convicted Sunday in an Ohio rape case. Mays and Richmond were accused of raping a girl during a summer party in August 2012. The case was tried before Judge Thomas Lipps, a visiting judge, without a jury. The issue at trial was whether the victim was too drunk to understand what was happening to her and to give her consent. After reviewing the evidence presented over four days of testimony, Judge Lipps announced his decision finding the teens guilty. Defendant Mays was also found guilty of disseminating a nude photo.
The victim was not in the courtroom when the ruling was read, but her mother gave a statement after the judge’s ruling.
“Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent, It is a God given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion, but a lack of any moral code.”
Mays was sentenced to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correctional facility. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year. Both teens could be held in detention until age 21. Both Mays and Richmond were ordered to stay away from the victim until age 21, and will be required to register as sex offenders.
While breaking down into tears, Ma’lik Richmond apologized saying, “I had no intention to do anything like that. I’m sorry to put you guys through this.” Mays also apologized saying, “No pictures should have been sent out, let alone been taken.”
More charges are likely to come in the case. Sixteen people refused to talk during the investigation of the case. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he wants to convene a grand jury on April 15th to make sure that no stone has been left unturned. DeWine called this case a tragedy made even worse because the victim was revictimized through social media.
Aaron Watson is an car accident attorney at Levin Papantonio. Mr. Watson has served as president for the Black Law Students Association at Stetson, interned with the United States Department of Justice, and volunteered with the Florida Attorney General’s office. He was selected for the Stallworth Trial Team Award by faculty, named to Who’s Who Among American Universities & Colleges, and was inducted into The National Order of Barristers. Mr. Watson currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice. He also serves on the board of directors for the Florida Justice Association.