The two Steubenville, Ohio football players accused of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl during an alcohol-fueled night last summer were found guilty today by Special Judge Thomas Lipps, who announced his ruling in court by saying that both defendants “are hereby adjudicated delinquents beyond a reasonable doubt on all three counts as charged.”
The verdict, which was read in juvenile court, is the equivalent to a guilty verdict in adult court. As the judge read the verdict, defendants Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond began to sob, their attorneys wiped away the tears and members of their families began to cry. The case attracted national attention because police and prosecutors in the small Ohio town were reluctant at first to carge the teenagers because they feared the case would damage the reputation of the high school football team.
“I came in early this morning and closely examined all of the evidence and re-read all the text messages. Many of the things that we learned during this trial, that our children were saying and doing, were profane, were ugly,” said Lipps, who then listened to pleas for leniency from Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, their lawyers and family members.
The judge then issued his ruling on sentencing, sending Mays, who was also found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor, to a minimum of two years in a juvenile correctional facility. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year, but like Mays could be in detention until he is 21.
For more on the story, check out [HuffPost]