Society

Judge to Rule Whether Convicted Teen Rapist Ma’Lik Richmond Serves Sentence in Sex Offender Treatment Facility

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A judge will decide later this week whether teenage rapist and former high school football star Ma’Lik Richmond must stay in juvenile prison or serve his sentence in a cushier treatment facility for juvenile sex offenders.

A grand jury convenes today in Ohio to investigate new aspects of the case in which Richmond and football teammate Trent Mays were found delinquent for raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl at a party in Steubenville, Ohio. Mays was also found delinquent for sending a nude picture of the victim in a text message.

The case made national headlines after a computer hacker affiliated with the online activist group “Anonymous” posted a video showing another student-athlete laughing and joking about the rape victim.

Judge Thomas Lipps, allowed Mays to serve his two-year sentence in a privately-operated facility called Paint Creek Lighthouse Youth Center, which Lipps characterized as having a “superior” program for underage sex criminals.

Richmond’s lawyer, Walter Madison, filed motions asking the judge to remove Mays sex-offender classification. The lawyer argued that the classification violates the constitution’s ban on double jeopardy. He also argued that it discriminates, because the law allows judges to decide whether to classify 15-year-olds as sex offenders but it requires them to label 16-year olds that way.

Richmond was 15 at the time of the rape which happened a year ago today. Mays was 16.
Lipps denied the motions, saying that appellate courts had upheld the constitutionality of juvenile sex offender classifications.

Madison asked the judge to close Richmond’s Friday classification hearing to the public. The lawyer argued that further publicity would be cruel and unusual punishment for Richmond. Lipps  denied that motion as well.

Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine convened the Grand Jury to decide whether other students who knew about the rape but didn’t report it should also be charged.

SOURCES: Herald-Star Online, Times-Leader Online, Atlantic Wire

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