Steubenville: A teenage girl who says she was raped by two Ohio high school football players has testified that she could not recall what happened the night of the alleged attack. The 16-year-old West Virginia girl took the stand on Saturday, on the fourth day of the nonjury trial of 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond.
The case has riveted the small city of Steubenville and drawn national attention amid allegations that more students should have been charged and led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of pride in a community that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry.
The girl said she remembers drinking at a party last August, leaving the party and then throwing up later. The next thing she remembers is waking up naked in a strange house, she said. She said she realised she was assaulted when she later read text messages among friends and saw a photo of herself and a video made that night.
Mays and Richmond are charged with digitally penetrating the accuser, first in a car and then in the basement of a house, while out partying August 12. Mays also is charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. The two
maintain their innocence.
Earlier on Saturday, defence attorneys went after the character and credibility of the alleged victim, calling witnesses to the stand to accommodate their schedule, although the prosecution had not yet rested. Two former friends of the girl testified for the defence that the accuser had a history of drinking heavily and was known to lie about things.
On the stand, West Virginia high school student Kelsey Weaver said the accuser told her what happened two days after the alleged attack then, sometime afterward, told Weaver she couldn't remember what happened. Earlier, Weaver testified that the accuser was flirting at the party with Richmond. Both Weaver and schoolmate Gianna Anile testified they were angry at the accuser because she was drinking heavily at the party and because of her behaviour, which they said included rolling around on the floor. They said they tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop drinking.
Anile said she also tried to get her friend to stay at the party rather than leave with others, including the two defendants.