After the guilty verdict was announced in the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case on Sunday, the media rushed to take the side of the two convicted rapists, 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond (pictured), instead of the 16-year-old victim.
Numerous media outlets, listed below, emphasized the teens' good grades and bright football futures, while describing the female gang rape victim as "drunk."
CNN host Candy Crowley and reporter Poppy Harlow repeatedly stated how the “promising” lives of the rapists had been ruined. In response, a Change.org petition has been launched demanding an apology from CNN.
ABC News ran a positive profile of Richmond entitled: 'Steubenville Rape Case: Script Goes Awry for Accused Teen.' The profile (video below) offered numerous excuses for Richmond’s behavior, including that “he was in a celebratory mood” the night of the gang rape. ABC News described the teen rapist's trial as "every parent’s nightmare and a cautionary tale for teenagers living in today’s digital world."
NBC News (video below) lamented that “both boys had promising football careers, Mays the quarterback, Richmond the receiver, on the beloved high school team and dreams of college. In court their lawyers and parents plead with the judge not to impose a harsh sentence.”
The Associated Press identified the victim as a “drunken 16-year-old girl” and described the defendants as “two members of the high school football team that is the pride of Steubenville.”
Yahoo News described the courtroom as “filled with sobbing and exhausting emotion” and called the victim “an intoxicated 16-year-old girl."