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Steubenville Rape Trial Begins

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (KDKA) - The trial for two high school football players accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in August is now underway.

A judge from outside of the Steubenville, Ohio area is hearing the case. It is a non-jury trial, which is being held in a juvenile courtroom.

The judge spent most of the morning with the attorneys to discuss what evidence will be allowed to be introduced during the trial.

It's a haunting image that's been seen nationally and internationally – a teenage girl being carried by her wrists and ankles.

Prosecutors say the suspects in the photo degraded, humiliated and raped the teenage girl.

"Where these boys not only confessed to the sex acts … But they also bragged about their knowledge of how impaired she was," said Marianne Hemmeter, the special prosecutor.

However, the defense says it just didn't happen. They say the alleged victim was a willing participant.

"Trent Mays did not rape the young lady in question," Brian Duncan, the defense attorney said. "The testimony to be listed, as well as the evidence, or lack thereof, will in fact support our position."

Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, two high school football players, are accused in the alleged sexual assault of a reportedly drunk and nearly unconscious 16-year-old girl.

One witness, a 17-year-old girl, who declined to be videotaped, described the alleged victim as stumbling and vomiting after drinking vanilla vodka.

But another witness testified that the 16-year-old knew what was going on.

The prosecution argues otherwise.

"Somebody who was too impaired to say, 'no,'" said Hemmeter. "Somebody who was too impaired to say, 'stop.'"


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