The NAACP is condeming comments made by a former president of the group's Steubenville, Ohio, chapter, in which he blamed the 16-year-old victim in the rape case that recently made headlines across the nation. In an interview with the International Business Times last week, Royal Mayo said that the teenager was a willing participant in the incident involving football players Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, adding, "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.'"
Mays and Richmond were found "delinquent," the juvenile court equivalent of guilty, on March 17 in the Aug. 11, 2012, incident.
In the wake of Mayo's controversial comments, the NAACP issued a statement on Thursday: "The NAACP abhors the remarks attributed to Royal Mayo regarding the rape victim in the Steubenville. The remarks are Mayo's own, and do not reflect the position of the NAACP and its membership."
The NAACP added, "Rape is a despicable crime of violence. The NAACP understands that comments that blame victims for the actions of their attackers contribute to and perpetuate a culture of acquaintance to rape. The NAACP advocates strongly for a society where victims of rape and sexual assault come forward and seek legal redress without further retribution from the community, media or society at large."
Mayo has denied making the controversial statements to IBTimes in an interview with Sara Yingling for WTRF.
In response to those claims, IBTimes is releasing a portion of the audio interview with Mayo and his statements about the victim.
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