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January 4th, 2013
08:55 AM ET

Attorney for alleged Steubenville rapist: 'Anyone's right to a fair trial is being hijacked'

An alleged rape case from last August involving two high school football players accused of sexually assaulting an underage teenage girl from Steubenville High School in Ohio is drawing national attention this morning.

The chilling images, videos and social media messages related to the case have attracted the attention of bloggers and even Anonymous, a group of of activist hackers. The group has released information about the town and the football team and posted a picture purporting to show the alleged victim dressed in a T-shirt and blue shorts, her body limp, being held hand and foot by two males who appear to be teenagers.

On Starting Point this morning, Walter Madison, the attorney for one of the accused rapists Ma’lik Richmond, confirms that his client is in the picture and responds Brooke Baldwin's question about the girl appearing "seemingly unconscious."

"The photo is out of context and that young lady is not unconscious," Richmond says. "That young lady is capable of walking and her friends are individuals who indicated that information to the police."

Madison also discusses the now viral video posted by Anonymous that shows one teenager making joke after joke about the girl's condition, asserting that his client was not present in the video and had "nothing to do with it."

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. ScottyGS

    HOW about the FBI getting involved and treating this as a FEDERAL crime? Doesn't kidnapping (a federal crime) come into it if she was transported from one location to another while unconscious, for the purposes of rape? THAT takes it out of the jurisdiction of these local yokels who prefer to keep rapes perpetrated by their football and other sports 'heroes' shoved under the rug and out in the open where this poor kid can get SOME measure of justice?

    This is sickening and disgusting to the MAX! What kind of atmosphere do these High-schoolers live in, where they even THINK it's okay to do this to another human being? Obviously their parents/coaches/schools have a lot to do with their thinking of themselves as being above the law!

    January 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. anon_fire

    there was nothing fair about what those jocks did to that girl. turn around is fair play.

    January 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jim Terwiliger

    How can you have a fair trial when the judges and DA's office are corrupt?

    January 7, 2013 at 8:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. YouWish

    Actually a fair trial is still completely possible; this is basically just the discovery of evidence. Problem is our justice system is used to the process of discovery being tainted by politically and economically corrupted court officials (ie. Judges and Attorneys).

    January 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike

    His fair trial may have been compromised when they tweeted the rape. Not too bright.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jaosn bellingham

    Please stop focusing on irrelevant matters such as rape in India and concentrate on the Steubenville rapes.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ScottyGS

      Sorry, Mr. Bellingham, but rape is rape is rape–no matter WHERE in the World it occurs. Calling it irrelevant in other Countries (therefore thinking of it as not worthy of our attention and focus), only serves to perpetrate the continued idea of the status of women and girls Worldwide as 'less' important than males and their abuse of less import.

      We are a nation of immigrants. When people from those Countries come to America with those same misogynistic attitudes it diminishes us and throws our laws into chaos. Women are fully aware of this, at least those are who have survived rape. Perhaps you should hear from them before sounding off about something you couldn't possibly understand unless you yourself are a rape survivor?

      January 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. sharondietrich

    An UNCONSCIOUS OR HELPLESS VICTIM is not capable of CONSENT. This is the law. It is illegal. This is a misinterpretation on consent that just doesn't make sense. The events that led up to this did not give anyone consent to assault this teenage girl. At what point did she sign a permission slip to be violated and abused like this? I don't know why this attorney is even trying to argue that she was capable of walking. The picture shows two football players carrying her -- is she walking and talking? NO. The video of a witness's laughter calling her "dead" does not bode well for this ill-concieved defense either! THIS IS A CRIME. The only ones to blame are those that planned and participated. Plus, the adults that allowed it, did not intervene, and covered it up. A picture is worth a thousand words. This girl was kidnapped and transported for rape by a few athletes on the team who went and bragged about it. The victim deserves justice.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rabid Goon

    This lawyer is an idiot

    January 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LeahDaisyD

    That girl is limp as a rag doll. Look at the way her left foot is held – for starters. And, the "friends" that say she was conscious – might those be the same friends alleged to have lured her into this??? ALL of those involved in this in ANY way need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law AS ADULTS – this is not a juvenile crime. If you ride along with your friend while s/he conducts armed robbery, take pix & vid, spread around social media BRAGGING & GIGGLING abt. it – do you seriously believe that competent law enforcement / prosecutors would give you a free pass??? Atty is right abt, one thing, for our judicial system to work properly, everybody needs to be involved – now we are.

    January 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. az

    digital film has given people access to evidence unlike ever before..... that isn't hijacking, its exposure.

    January 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Worst lawyer ever

    How did you graduate law school if all you do is avoid the topic?

    Red herrings all over the place

    January 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Steph

    What is wrong with those boys?! For one, what they did is sort of astonishing. Granted the information may not all be reliable, but it is clear that SOMETHING happened and that these boys did not care how awful it was. But for two, how can they be so incredibly stupid to think they could post and share and tweet all of their antics, share videos with their friends, and not get found out? To me that is truly unbelievable. And the video of the one boy laughing about possibly going to jail for his actions, I hope they hang him out to dry with the rest of them. Sociopaths, clearly!!

    January 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. lmbroke

    A whole lot of people are getting off scot free here. Only the two black kids are guilty and all the white boys just stood around and watched? Sounds to me as if the white boys gave up the two black kids as scapegoats. And I am not excusing the black teens just suggesting it was far more than the two. The first party was at the home of a "volunteer coach", volunteer or paid the school is involved. Coach, principal,and superintendent all should already be on their way out the door. I would suggest to the attorney of Ma'lik that another tact would be to widen the scope. These two young men should fully involve the others, they already have dumped you. They may think they will be taken care of by the protective town, but they are black and have already been sacrificed by town white folks.

    January 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. WhatComesAround

    Yes, we have a justice system that has rules of evidence and guilt is determined in court–but when the accused "boys" are malicious enough to share social media they deserve to be held accountable–these were shared over recognized means of communication with no evidence of tampering, just an effort to hide them once they were discovered. Shame on parents and adults who know these "boys" and chose not to make them assume responsibility for their actions–their lives will be ruined until they take ownership. I hope there is an honorable attorney left in Ohio calling on the STATE AG or US AG to get involved AND another attorney stepping up to build a huge civil case against these perpetrators, school officials and coaches involved, parents of these "boys" and everyone else so she can have a chance to try to piece her life back together with the professional help she'll need to restore her confidence that evil is not everywhere. Lastly, stick a penis or object in a another person without consent and you doing adult harm that DESERVES adult punishment and sexual predator labeling.

    January 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Exploitationist

    Jail time boys....

    January 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Katie Martin

    Ask Mr Madison about his family connection with the police chief! How can this be fair?

    January 4, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply

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