(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) — Two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl have been found delinquent by a judge — the juvenile court equivalent of guilty.
The teens could serve prison time until they turn 21.
The verdict comes after a four-day trial that included tearful testimony from the accuser who said she was “embarrassed and scared” after hearing about the night she was allegedly sexually assaulted while intoxicated.
“I honestly did not know what to think because I didn’t remember anything,” she testified. The teen pieced together the night’s events from Twitter, Instagram photos, a YouTube video, text messages and witnesses.
Prosecutors accused Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, of using their fingers to vaginally penetrate the girl at an alcohol-fueled party in Steubenville on the night of Aug. 11, 2012, as other teenagers watched. Mays was also accused of later sending text messages that included photographs of the girl with her clothing removed and charged with distributing nude images of a minor.
Brian Duncan, a lawyer representing Mays, told ABC News’ “20/20” that what occurred that night was consensual.
“Trent Mays did not rape the young lady in question,” Duncan said.
Richmond, in an exclusive interview recently with “20/20” anchor Elizabeth Vargas, said, “I didn’t rape anybody. I didn’t witness a rape going on.
“And if I would have thought that somebody was being raped or anything like that,” he added, “I would have stopped it.”
The case drew further attention when some outside the small Rust Belt town accused local officials of willfully protecting the football players, seen as hometown heroes.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Karen Banes, FamilyShare
David Shortell, CNN Newswire