The eyes of the nation will be on what happens in a tiny courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, this week. Two high school football players have been convicted in an Ohio rape case that drew worldwide attention on social media. The case was thrust into the national spotlight earlier this winter by a chilling video in which participants laugh and joke about their sexual assault of an unconscious 16-year-old who was allegedly raped by members of the football team at a high school party in Steuberville, Ohio. Since then, it has focused on the justice system, the media and the public in general, as well as the victims "families and friends.
The nude photos of the girl that circulated on the night were fueled by a former Steuberville High School football player named Michael Nodianos. Responding to a story about the events, he tweeted: 'These people deserve to be peed on,' which was later retweeted by several people, including Mays.
The week before, he had read about the alleged cover-up - by the Steuberville High School football team and its coach. His lawyers say he was persuaded to come to the party, which was attended by several female friends, to be peed on by Nodianos and his girlfriend's boyfriend, a former school football player.
The teenager also testified that Mays later tried to force the girl to perform a sex act on him in the basement of the house. In fact, prosecutors say, he used his penis to penetrate her - a crime that constitutes rape - and that she was too drunk to consent. Both Richmond and Mayes were convicted of rape in a juvenile court in 2013, and the teenager was also convicted of possessing nude photos of a minor. Richmond, a former football player and football coach at Steuberville High School, was convicted in juvenile court of raping a minor. Mayes, the son of the former football team coach, was also convicted of sexually assaulting his mother and two other counts of assault and assault.
He was found guilty of attempted murder and the judge set a minimum sentence of one year after finding he had penetrated the girl while she was unconscious. Nathaniel Richmond had no criminal record when his son went to court, but he was jailed when Ma'lik was a child. He was detained at the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority, which is part of the city's public housing system. Richmond is embroiled in several cases, including a wrongful death lawsuit he filed claiming the speed camera program he supports is illegal and unconstitutional. The Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas ruled in March 2006 that his program, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Ohio Attorney General's Office and other government agencies, was both illegal and unconstitutional and subject to the Fourth Amendment.
The Steubenville case has contributed to a growing awareness that rape is a serious issue in the US and many other parts of the world. The case had a significant impact on the national debate over rape and sexual assault, but those who focused on it died a year after the verdict. It got a lot of attention because people all over the country were allowed to get involved and then become more engaged.
Ohio, like most states, has a rape prevention law that limits the amount of information about an alleged victim's past that can be examined in court. The news quickly spread, prompting hackers, activists, and women's rights groups to cover up the case and question why people who knew about the allegations were not charged under Ohio law, which requires them to report crimes they know.
In the early 2010s, feminists and mainstream media reported on female students - athletes accused of sexual assault. In 2009, a student at St Mary's College was killed after she was allegedly assaulted by a footballer. The crime and the resulting trials caused considerable controversy and sparked a national debate about rape and rape culture. As Ohio State University's football team, the Big Red, prepared for the season late last summer, two "Big Red" football players were accused of participating in a "gang rape" of a friend who documented the alleged crime with cell phone pictures and videos.
The victim testified in court that she had no idea the rape had taken place for six hours until she vomited in the street. Lawyers for Trent and Ma'lik insisted their clients were not guilty, claiming that Ma'lik was sober enough that night to consent. ABC News has learned that one of the girls who picked up the alleged victim told police: "Trent and I were just lying on the couch together as if nothing had happened. The victim's vagina was allegedly pierced with her fingers, which under Ohio law constitutes rape, although it was not a consensual act.