Accuser testifies in Ohio rape trial; verdict coming Sunday
Published: March 17, 2013 12:56AM
Updated: March 17, 2013 12:01PM
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Trent Mays, 17, enters court for the fourth day of his and co-defendent defendant 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond 's trial on rape charges in juvenile court on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Steubenville, Ohio. Mays and Richmond are accused of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in August, 2012. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, Pool)

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio • A 16-year-old girl who prosecutors say was raped by two high school football stars here in August after a night of drinking took the witness stand Saturday, telling a judge she has no memory of a six-hour period during which each football player is said to have abused her.

The trial abruptly ended Saturday night after the girl’s testimony, and Tom Lipps, the juvenile court judge who is hearing the case, said he would issue a verdict at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The case has shaken Steubenville and drawn national attention for how it played out in text messages and social media.

The girl’s testimony capped four days of evidence presented by the prosecution, who have charged the football players — Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16 — and accused them of penetrating her with their fingers. According to Ohio law, the definition of rape includes digital penetration.

The case deeply divided the town, whose powerhouse Steubenville High School football team has been a source of pride amid gloomy economic conditions.

Mays and Richmond were rising stars in the football program, and some Steubenville residents have complained about a culture that protects the team. Others say the girl, her supporters and the news media have blown the episode out of proportion. Lawyers for the two boys, who could be sent to juvenile jail until they are 21 if they are found guilty, have denied the charges and said that any sex was consensual.

The girl testified Saturday that after leaving a party around midnight on Aug. 11 with the two football players, she woke up the next morning in the basement living room of another house. She was naked, she recalled, with no idea how she had got there or where she was, and Mays, Richmond and another boy surrounded her.

“I was embarrassed and scared, and I did not know what to think because I could not remember anything,” the girl testified. She said that over the next two days she pieced together what had happened to her with the help of friends who showed her a video posted on YouTube and a picture of her in the basement lying naked.

The girl described receiving a series of text messages in the two days after the assault from an increasingly frantic Mays, who was worried about his football career and that she would press charges.