STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (Reuters) - The judge deciding the fate of two high school football players in Ohio accused of raping a drunk classmate last summer will hear more testimony on Thursday from prosecution witnesses - and more sharp questioning from defense attorneys - as the trial enters its second day.
Prosecutors are expected to call three members of Stuebenville’s storied “Big Red” football team who already testified against their two teammates in a preliminary hearing after receiving assurances they would not be charged for their actions that night.
On Wednesday, both sides presented brief opening statements in the non-jury trial before the prosecution began to present its evidence. The case went viral on social media when photos and a video of the alcohol-fueled party were posted.
Steubenville quarterback Trent Mays, 17, and wide receiver Ma‘lik Richmond, 16, are accused of raping the girl as she lay naked on the basement floor, too drunk to move or speak. The girl told police she did not remember what happened, but reported the incident the next day.
It is Reuters policy not to name rape victims.
On the first day of the trial in Jefferson County Court, prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter told the judge the girl was too drunk to make a decision about her welfare and promised to present evidence of the alleged rape culled from social media pictures and online postings.
“You will have to piece it together much in the way (the victim) had to piece it together,” she told the court.
Lawyers for the boys say the sex was consensual and that the victim had told friends in advance that she wanted to have sex with the players.
If convicted, Mays and Richmond could have to stay at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21 and then have to register as sex offenders.
Writing by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Peter Cooney