Two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl were found delinquent by a judge -- the juvenile court equivalent of guilty – Sunday morning.
Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond could be heard sobbing after Judge Tom Lipps announced the decision in the non-jury, juvenile court case, Reuters reported.
Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile rehabilitation facility and a maximum of until he turns 21 on a juvenile charge of rape; Mays, who was also found delinquent on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, was sentenced to a minimum of two years and a "consecutive" sentence that could last until he turns 24.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said a grand jury would convene around April 15 to "bring finality" to the case and that "additional charges could be filed" after 16 students at the post-football game parties last August had refused to talk to his prosecutors, the Atlantic reported.
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Mays and Richmond both personally apologized to the victim, who was in court, the Atlantic reported. "I would truly like to apologize to [girl's name], her family, and the community," Mays said. "No pictures should have been sent around, let alone taken."
Richmond stood up and walked across the courtroom to where the victim was sitting. "I would like to apologize to you [girl's name]. I had no intention to do anything like that," he said, before breaking down crying.
"I anticipate numerous witnesses will be called,” DeWine said outside the courthouse. “The grand jury, quite frankly, could meet for a number of days. … Indictments could be returned and additional charges could be filed." He mentioned failure to report a felony, tampering with evidence, and "others" as possible charges.
The verdict ended a four-day trial that included tearful testimony from the accuser, who said she was "embarrassed and scared" after hearing about the night she was allegedly sexually assualted while intoxicated, ABC reported.
"I honestly did not know what to think because I didn't remember anything," she testified. The teen pieced together the night's events from Twitter, Instagram photos, a YouTube video, text messages and witnesses.
Prosecutors accused Mays and Richmond of penetrating the girl at a drunken party in Steubenville on the night of Aug. 11, 2012, as other teenagers watched. Mays was also accused of later sending text messages that included photographs of the girl with her clothing removed and charged with distributing nude images of a minor.