Convicted Steubenville Rapist Released Early, 'Wants Most To Be A High School Teenager' Again

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Ma’Lik Richmond, one of two Ohio football players convicted of raping a 16-year-old at a party in 2012, was released from juvenile detention after serving less than one year.

Richmond, 17, was released from Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Detention Facility on Sunday. His lawyer, Walter Madison, said Richmond did his time and is ready to go back to his normal, teenage life.

Convicted in March 2013 for the August 2012 rape, he was sentenced to at least one year in jail. Richmond began serving his sentence on April 1.

He was given Ohio’s second-toughest classification for sexual offense and will have to register as a sex offender every six months for 20 years after release.

However, because he was not an adult at the time of the assault, his name won’t appear on public website listing sex offenders.

Once he attends rehabilitation he can request that the classification be dropped altogether, Newser reported.

"The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma'Lik and his extended family,” Madison said in a statement. “At sixteen years old, Ma'Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child.”

“While away, Ma'Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways. He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family. At this point, Ma'Lik wants most to be a high school teenager,” the statement said.

Richmond's statement focuses solely on himself and makes no mention of remorse - a fact that shocked the family of his victim.

The victim’s attorney, Robert Fitzsimmons, released a statement on behalf of the victim and her family late Sunday night.

"Although everyone hopes convicted criminals are rehabilitated, it is disheartening that this convicted rapist's press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family - whom he and his co-defendant scarred for life,” the statement read. “One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologize for all the pain he caused rather than make statements about himself. Rape is about victims, not defendants. Obviously, the people writing his press release have yet to learn this important lesson."

Sources: Newser, CBS News, WTRF