Victim’s Mother: This Does Not Define Her
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — The mother of a 16-year-old victim at the center of a rape trial with an international audience read a statement on Sunday, shortly after the verdict and sentencing of two high school football players.
Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping the girl during a series of back-to-school parties last August.
Mays was also found guilty of disseminating a nude photo of a minor.
Text messages, cell phone pictures and videos, and social media posts were circulated about the sexual abuse of the girl.
Judge Thomas Lipps gave Mays a minimum of two years and Richmond a minimum of one year behind bars.
Fox 8 News is withholding the mother’s name to protect the identity of the victim.
The mother’s statement, in its entirety, is as follows:
“It did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in, or what sport you’ve played. 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. Your decisions that night affected countless lives, including those most dear to you. You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on. This does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow and move on. I have pity for you both. I hope you fear the Lord, repent for your actions, and pray hard for forgiveness.”
The victim was not in the courtroom when the ruling was read.
She testified on Saturday, saying she did not remember much of the night of Aug. 11 and early morning of Aug. 12.
Prosecutors told the judge there is no question the girl was “substantially impaired.”
(CNN contributed to this report.)