In part of his statement, Richmond's lawyer, Walter Madison, praised his client's courage in the face of the unimaginable hardship (or "hardness," as Madison put it) of being a 16-year-old convicted rapist:
The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma'Lik and his extended family. At sixteen years old, Ma'Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life.
There was no mention of the 16-year-old Richmond was sent to jail for raping, nor any hardships she may have faced when, in an "unfortunate set of circumstances," Richmond and his football teammate Trent Mays sexually assaulted her. Richmond and Mays' victim's lawyer, Bob Fitzsimmons, noted this in his statement:
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. 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.
Richmond was sentenced to one year in a juvenile facility -- the minimum he could have received. He began serving his time on April 1. How nice for him that he got out early.
Madison has appealed the verdict, arguing that Richmond's brain wasn't "fully developed" enough to know that what he was doing was wrong, and therefore he should not have to register as a sex offender.
In November, a grand jury indicted four adults -- including Steubenville High School's superintendent Michael McVey -- for their role in the case (they plead not guilty last month). It's not over yet.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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