COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys for a high school football player facing rape accusations in Ohio are asking a judge to dismiss the case against him because they say the "unavailability of material witnesses" denies him his right to a fair trial.
A West Virginia judge last week rejected requests that three juveniles be called to testify at the eastern Ohio trial of two high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl. The girl is from West Virginia.
The juveniles' testimony was expected to bolster the players' defense against the charges.
Attorneys representing defendant Trent Mays argue in a motion to dismiss the case that one of the witnesses was a friend of the girl's and can testify to the alleged victim's alcohol intake and relationship with Mays.
"Additionally, the witness will testify that she spoke to the alleged victim immediately following the alleged incident, and will provide information about the victim's words, conduct, and state of mind," Mays' attorneys wrote in their motion obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond go on trial Wednesday in Jefferson County juvenile court in Steubenville on charges they attacked the girl after an alcohol-fueled party last August. Their attorneys have denied the charges.
Mays' attorneys Brian Duncan and Adam Lee Neeman argue that the multiple out-of-state witnesses are "essential to presenting a complete defense."
They say the witnesses have participated in videotaped or documented interviews with Steubenville police and have offered statements that would support their client's position that he did not rape the girl.
A second witness allegedly received a nude photograph of the girl from Mays, the attorneys wrote in their motion. Another witness saw Mays and the girl the following morning and "can provide essential information regarding the interaction between the Defendant and the alleged victim, the alleged victim's appearance, and statements made by the alleged victim," according to the motion.
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