STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Two Ohio high school football players who were found guilty of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl have been sentenced to at least one year in juvenile jail.
Steubenville High School students Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond were found guilty Sunday of attacking the girl after an alcohol-fueled party last August. The case roiled the small city and stirred reaction from activists online.
The judge sentenced them both to at least one year in juvenile jail and said both can be held until they're 21. Mays, who's 17, was sentenced to an additional year in jail on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, to be served after his rape sentence is completed.
Both Mays and the 16-year-old Richmond have been ordered to avoid contact with the victim until they're 21.
Meanwhile, Ohio's attorney general says he'll convene a grand jury to investigate whether other people should be charged in a rape of a teenage girl beyond two boys who were found guilty.
Attorney General Mike DeWine said Sunday "this community desperately needs to have this behind them but this community also desperately needs to know justice was done and that no stone was left unturned."
Both defendants broke down in tears after the verdict was read. As Richmond's lawyer addressed the judge, he paused for a moment to comfort his client, whose sobs could be heard throughout the courtroom.
Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after an alcohol-fueled party on Aug. 11, and then in the basement of a house. Mays was also found guilty on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
The case roiled the community amid allegations that more students should have been charged and led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of a pride in a community of 18,000 that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry. Their arms linked, protesters stood outside the courthouse Sunday morning awaiting the verdict, some wearing masks.
The trial opened last week as a contest between prosecutors determined to show the girl was so drunk she couldn't have been a willing participant that night, and defense attorneys soliciting testimony from witnesses that would indicate that the girl, though drunk, knew what she was doing.
The teenage girl testified Saturday that she could not recall what happened the night of the attack but remembered waking up naked in a strange house after drinking at a party. The girl said she recalled drinking, leaving the party holding hands with Mays and throwing up later. When she woke up, she said she discovered her phone, earrings, shoes, and underwear were missing, she testified.
"It was really scary," she said. "I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything."