Steubenville Rape Case: Royal Mayo, town's former NAACP President, reportedly says "alleged victim" may have consented

Trent Mays (left) and Ma'lik Richmond in juvenile court on March 13, 2013 in Steubenville, Ohio. Mays and Richmond were found to be delinquent of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl in August 2012.
Pool,AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
(CBS) STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - The former president of Steubenville's NAACP stirred controversy Thursday when he told a newspaper that he believes the "alleged victim" of a high profile rape case might have consented to sex with the high school football players convicted of assaulting her.

PICTURES: Steubenville Rape Trial

In an interview with the International Business Times, Royal Mayo says the teen girl, whom he refers to as the "alleged victim," may have consented the sex acts and intended to get drunk.

"They're alleging she got raped; she's acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent. Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, 'I know what I'm doing; I'm going with Trent,'" Mayo told the newspaper. 

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, were charged with penetrating the West Virginia 16-year-old with their fingers, first in the back seat of a moving car after a mostly underage drinking party on Aug. 11, 2012, and then in the basement of a house.

Mays and Richmond were found to be delinquent earlier this month in juvenile court, which is the equivalent of being found guilty, and sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison for the rapes. Mays was ordered to serve an additional year for photographing the underage girl naked.

They can be held until they turn 21.

According to the interview, Mayo questions the Steubenville police department's investigation of the case and says he has doubts concerning Richmond's conviction. Mayo, who reportedly knows Richmond personally, says he believes there is enough evidence to question and convict other teens, but that authorities are letting them off because they are "well-connected."

In the wake of Mayo's comments, the NAACP released a statement condemning his remarks.

"The NAACP abhors the remarks attributed to Royal Mayo regarding the rape victim in Steubenville. The remarks are Mayo's own, and do not reflect the position of the NAACP and its membership. Mr. Mayo is not the president of the Steubenville NAACP and is not a spokesman for the NAACP..."

The article originally identified Mayo as the current president of the Steubenville chapter of the NAACP, but has since been corrected. He is currently a member of the group's Ohio executive committee but does not speak on behalf of the NAACP.

Complete coverage of the Steubenville Rape Case on Crimesider

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