Rape Trial: Day One Wraps Up

STEUBENVILLE – Sperm found at an alleged crime scene in the Steubenville rape case matches the DNA of one of the defendants but the defense will be arguing the sex was consensual.

Six witnesses, four young people who were at parties in August and two cops, were called Wednesday during the opening day of the trial before visiting Juvenile Judge Tom Lipps.

Trent Mays, 17, of Bloomingdale and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville have been charged with rape in connection with an incident that allegedly happened Aug. 11-12. Mays also faces a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for allegedly having a picture of the 16-year-old victim in an outgoing text message on his cell phone. Attorneys for both defendants have denied the charges.

Attorney Marianne Hemmeter of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office told Lipps in opening statements that Mays and Richmond took advantage of the victim who was drunk. She said the defendants digitally penetrated the victim and Mays sent a naked picture of the victim from his cell phone.

Hemmeter said the victim, who lives in Weirton, was impaired and couldn’t resist.

Attorney Walter Madison, representing Richmond, didn’t make an opening statement but did focus his questioning of witnesses on the whether the victim was in a sober enough condition to make decisions.

Attorney Brian Duncan, representing Mays, said the prosecution won’t be able to prove its case.

The trial is set to resume at 9 a.m. Thursday and is expected to last into the evening. The trial may not conclude until Saturday.