Two Ohio high school football players have been found guilty of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that roiled a small city and stirred reaction from activists online.
Judge Thomas Lipps ruled Sunday in juvenile court that Steubenville High School students Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond are guilty of attacking the girl after an alcohol-fueled party last August.
The 17-year-old Mays and 16-year-old Richmond were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in a car and then in a house.
Judge Tom Lipps ordered Richmond held in a juvenile detention facility for at least one year and Mays at least two years. The juvenile system could hold them until age 21. Both were required to register as juvenile sex offenders.
My first reaction to the guilty verdict was this:
Can't wait for the first wave of GOP folks to explain to us that we're too hard on these boys for convincting them of rape.Turns out I was right. The verdict prompted this awful reaction from, of all people, CNN's Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley, two women defending Mays and Richmond, not more than an hour and some change later. Harlow had this to say:
— Zandar (@ZandarVTS) March 17, 2013
"Incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their lives fell apart...when that sentence came down, [Ma'lik] collapsed in the arms of his attorney...He said to him, 'My life is over. No one is going to want me now.' Very serious crime here, both found guilty of raping the sixteen-year-old girl at a series of parties back in August."
This is what the permanent Beltway "Both sides share the blame" mentality brings us. We have to pity and feel sorrow for these young boys for their "youthful mistake", a "mistake" called "being convicted of rape and sexual assault" because they raped and sexually assaulted a girl.
Ohio AG Mike DeWine, to his credit, isn't letting this one go. More charges are pending.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, saying that "this community needs assurance that no stone has been left unturned in our search for the truth," announced at a press briefing at Jefferson County Juvenile Court "that we cannot bring finality to this matter without the convening of a grand jury," which he said would convene on or around April 15. "I anticipate numerous witnesses will be called. The grand jury, quite frankly, could meet for a number of days," DeWine said, adding that "indictments could be returned and additional charges could be filed." He mentioned failure to report a felony, tampering with evidence, and "others" as possible charges. He added that the boys who received immunity were likely to retain that right.
As it should be. The message here is really, really simple. Don't rape people. If somehow you're more worried about the two convicted sex offenders than the girl they hurt, then you are part of the problem of Steubenville. It's people like that who enable this behavior and give it a pass when it happens. There are thousands of cases like this that go unreported, and the fact that we have a country "divided" on this issue at all is the reason why they will remain so.
Rape. Is. Wrong. There are no qualifiers that make sexual assault okay or justified. None. Deal with that.