Ohio school rape trial closing, verdict Sunday

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm •  Published: March 16, 2013
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Earlier Saturday, defense attorneys went after the accuser's character, calling two former friends of hers to the stand. They testified that the girl had a history of drinking heavily and was known to lie about things.

West Virginia high school student Kelsey Weaver said the accuser told her what happened two days after the alleged attack then, sometime afterward, told Weaver she couldn't remember what happened.

"So two different versions?" asked Mays' attorney Adam Nemann.

"Yes," Weaver replied.

Earlier, Weaver testified that the accuser was flirting at the party with Richmond.

Both Weaver and schoolmate Gianna Anile testified they were angry at the accuser because she was drinking heavily at the party and rolling around on the floor. They said they tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop drinking.

Anile said she also tried to get her friend to stay at the party rather than leave with others, including the two defendants.

"When I told her not to leave, I was trying to, like, pull her back into the party. She was trying to shrug me off," Anile testified. "She kind of hit me."

The day after the party, when Anile and another friend picked up the accuser from the house where she'd stayed, the accuser said she had no memory of the night before, Anile testified.

"'We didn't have sex, I swear,'" Anile said, describing the accuser's comment.

The accuser said in her later testimony that she does not remember making that statement, nor being photographed as she was carried by Mays and Richmond, an image that stirred up the community as it spread on social media sites. Others have testified the photo was a joke and the girl was conscious when it was taken.

Testimony Friday from three teenage boys granted immunity incriminated the defendants.

Mark Cole, Evan Westlake and Anthony Craig said the West Virginia girl was drunk and didn't seem to know what was happening to her that night. They said she was digitally penetrated in a car and later on a basement floor.

Cole testified that he took a video of Mays and the girl in the car, then deleted it later that morning. He testified he saw Mays unsuccessfully try to have the girl perform oral sex on him in the basement of Cole's house.

Westlake testified he saw Richmond's encounter with the girl in the basement, as did Craig. Westlake also confirmed that he filmed the 12-minute YouTube video, later passed around widely online, in which another student joked about the attack.

Craig testified that he saw Richmond's hand in the "crotch region" of the girl, a less descriptive version than he gave last fall in another hearing.

If convicted, Mays and Richmond could be held in a juvenile jail until they turn 21.

The Associated Press normally doesn't identify minors charged in juvenile court, but Mays and Richmond have been widely identified in news coverage, and their names have been used in open court. The AP also does not generally identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.

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