One of the two teenagers convicted in the rape of a high school girl that shamed the town of Steubenville, Ohio has been released from juvenile detention, WTRF 7 reports.
Ma’lik Richmond, 17, was recently released after being found guilty in March of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl at a summer party in 2012 along with his friend, Trent Mays. Richmond was sentenced to a year of juvenile detention with credit for time he’d already served, while Mays got two years.
The rape of the then-16-year-old girl — whose degradation was captured online —
cast a negative shadow over Steubenville and became an example of how social media can make teen rape more traumatic than ever.
In a statement to the media, Richmond’s lawyer emphasised the trauma his client suffered after becoming a national pariah while failing to mention that teenager’s victim. From that statement:
The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’lik and his extended family. At sixteen years old, Ma’lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life, as with each other obstacle, Ma’lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; He is braced for the balance of his life.
Bob Fitzsimmons, a lawyer for the victim in that case released his own statement condemning Richmond’s representatives for focusing so much on the rapist rather than his victim.
“Although everyone hopes convicted criminals are rehabilitated, it is disheartening that this convicted rapist’s press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family — whom he and his co-defendant scarred for life,” Fitzsimmons said in a statement quoted by WTOV 9. “One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologise for all the pain he caused rather than make statements about himself. Rape is about victims, not defendants.”
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