Under Microscope, Steubenville Rape Trial Kicks Off
No electronic devices allowed in courtroom after weeks of online furor
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2013 9:50 AM CDT
Judge Thomas Lipps is said to be well qualified for the trial of two high school football players accused of rape. The trial starts today.   (HeraldStarOnline)

(Newser) – There will be no electronic devices allowed in the Steubenville courtroom where the trial begins today for the two high school football players accused of raping a 16-year-old girl last summer—ironic considering how the accused and the entire town have been on trial via all matter of social media since the case first came to light via Twitter and an Instagram photo, reports the New York Times. The close-knit Ohio town of 18,000 has struggled under the sudden and harsh spotlight, along with many people who were not charged with the crime. "It's making a mockery of the whole town," said one woman, who, like many, did not want to be identified.

The accuser has said she will voluntarily testify at the trial, and a judge in neighboring West Virginia ruled in favor of a defense motion last night, compelling two more teens from there to take the stand, reports NBC News. "The family wants this matter over so they can move on with their lives and their daughter's healing," said a lawyer for the girl's family. If convicted, quarterback Trent Mays and wide receiver Ma'Lik Richmond could be sent to jail until each is 21. "I thought these guys were innocent until proven guilty, but they're not," says Richmond's grandmother. "These people online have made them guilty? Why have they ruined them?"

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Mar 15, 2013 12:59 AM CDT
Where is CPS? CPS should have been notified. It appears that the unfit mother of the alcoholic 16-year old girl should be fully investigated, or supervised for her repeated lack of supervison of her repeatedly drunk, alcoholic minor child late at night or very early in the morning, or the drunk, alcoholic, out-of-control teen should be temporarily removed from her mother's custody and care. This simulated Juvenile Rape trial filed against the little boys is an unconstitutional closed-court juvenile-criminal bench trial on its face. The boys' constitutional and civil rights are being violated and the boys should have been tried separately, if at all. Ms. Prosecutor is falsely acting under the color of State law where no State law exists or ever existed and she should be fired, and the boys should sue for false arrests, malicious prosecutions and constitutional rights violations, when this simulated closed-court juvenile criminal case is finally determined by a single juvenile-court judge. What ever happened to probable cause, open-court hearings and a jury trial? Good luck to the boys, the granny and their families.
Mar 13, 2013 2:06 PM CDT
steubenville's culture is on trial that's what's irking it's residents
Mar 13, 2013 11:50 AM CDT
While there is plenty of evidence in this case, I caution you to remember the Duke lacrosse team fiasco. Those men were crucified in the media, and by that idiot Niphong, and there was plenty of "evidence" back then to "prove" they were guilty. I'm not saying these kids are guilty or innocent, just that there are always two sides to a story, one side which usually only comes out in court after months or years of media crucufixion.