- Odd News
Shocking images have been found on a cellphone showing two more girls, facedown and partially naked on the floor of the same basement where the Ohio rape of a 16-year-old girl allegedly took place, it can be revealed today.
The photographs were stored on a cellphone belonging to a teammate and friend of the Steubenville case accused, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays – and raise the chilling possibility of two more, as yet unknown, victims.
The images were not taken on the night under investigation and it is not clear whether their subjects were conscious or aware of being photographed.
Sickening: A Big Red footballer was told by a judge that he only escaped charges because he deleted incriminating photos of the alleged assault... but others didn't and shared them on social networking sites
Dieties: Protesters have complained the footballers and their entourage are treated like gods while any potential victims are tarnished
The friend, a fellow wrestler and footballer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was present on the night in August when the girl was allegedly raped by the two.
He provided eyewitness testimony at the probable cause hearing last October at which the rape charges were upheld.
MailOnline has seen the 300-page transcript of the hearing in which the full horror of that night in Steubenville is revealed.
The existence of these earlier photographs, retrieved by forensic analysts, emerged only under cross-examination and the witness repeatedly denied all knowledge of them in spite of their presence on his phone.
In a tense courtroom exchange Walter Madison, Richmond’s attorney questioned the witness: ‘There is a photograph here of a woman on the same carpet as the carpet in xxxx’s basement. Do you recall that photo on your phone?’
The witness replied ‘No sir.’ Asked about a second picture the witness claimed, 'I have never seen those pictures in my life.'
Laughing boy: Former Steubenville student and baseball star Michael Nodianos was filmed grinning as the assault allegedly took place - note the rifle on the floor in right-hand picture
Not laughing now: Nodianos has apologised for his 'shameful' tweets about the night
The pictures show two girls, both face down and in a state of undress on the carpet. They are strikingly similar to an image taken in August and produced as evidence at the hearing. It shows the 16-year-old at the centre of the current investigation stripped naked and lying face down, on that same basement floor, identifiable by its distinctive carpet.
Her arms are tucked underneath her and, according to eyewitness accounts, she was silent, motionless and unconscious as the accused carried out sexual acts on her and some of those present recorded it on their cellphones.
Two of the three teammates who gave testimony in the probable cause hearing admitted to having taken photographs and in one instant filming the alleged assaults. Both deleted the evidence from their cellphones before police seized them.
In all police seized fifteen cell-phones and two iPods over a period of several days.
According to Judge Thomas Lipps, the only reason neither of the youths who admitted recording events in this way are facing criminal charges is ‘because we cannot find the photos you took.’
“Do you understand how lucky you are?’ he added.
Banger!!! Rape suspect Trent Mays tweeted his excitement at the party
Heart of the town: The team had won on the day of the party and all the players and its supporters were in high spirits
His comments and the discovery of these further pictures are sure to add fuel to the anger of protesters who took to the Steubenville streets in their thousands at a rally organized by hacking group Anonymous.
They voiced frustration that only two have been charged in this case and to claim that rapes have gone unreported for fear of retribution in a small town with a culture where footballers and their clique are deified and victims tarnished and blamed.
It is a case that has divided the economically deprived Ohio town and scandalized America.
In the hours after the alleged attack images were circulated among footballers who were present at the series of back-to-back High School parties that led to the alleged rape.
Boys who knew – even dated – the alleged victim tweeted and crowed with callous disregard for the fact that they were discussing an horrific ordeal suffered by the 16-year-old girl who goes to a religious school nearby.
One had ‘cheered and offered money’ to people to urinate on her as she lay in the street.
Among the most shocking elements was YouTube footage showing former Steubenville High student and baseball star, Michael Nodianos, laughing as he referred to her as ‘dead’ and ‘so raped.’
Nodianos also tweeted, ‘Song of the night is definitely, “Rape Me,” by Nirvana’ and ‘some people deserve to be peed on.’
Nodianos has since apologized for his words, saying he is ‘ashamed and embarrassed.’ Others who posted offensive tweets in response to a picture of the victim being carried by her arms and ankles have similarly retracted their words, seeking to dismiss them as merely ‘stupid.’
But the transcript seen by MailOnline chronicling the details of that night suggests something far more sinister and corrosive – a male gang mentality in which their teenage victim was, in the words of her attorney, ‘a toy to them that night.’
The Big Red teammates and their friends and supporter were in a party mood that day.
Mays tweeted ‘Huge party!!! Banger!!!’ as they embarked on their night of revelry. They had just won a game and a group, including the accused, were eating at a friend’s house when, according to witness statements, they started trying to get a group together to party.
Under fire: Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla has struggled to cope with the national outcry and criticism over the handling of the case
They texted the alleged victim and encouraged her to come before heading to the first of the night’s party houses.
Mays and Richmond left along with two players, who subsequently testified at the hearing, and the alleged victim. By then, she was, one witness said: ‘Very loud… Her friends tried to get her to stay with them but she said she wanted to come with us.’
None of those quizzed by police recalled seeing her drink after that first party though each recalled her appearing increasingly, and ultimately catastrophically, intoxicated.
When she was drinking earlier in the night she was drinking from a cup and no-one said they could see what she was drinking.
Too much time had elapsed between the alleged assault and its report for a toxicology test to be run to establish whether or not she had been drugged.
Two days had elapsed before the crime was reported and any investigation started. It might all have gone unrecorded had it not been for the fact that the alleged victim’s mother was sent an text containing an image of her daughter from that night.
Accused: Court papers disclose that the girl was allegedly sexually assaulted after she vomited and stumbled into a car with suspects Ma'lik Richmond, Trent Mays and two others
That shocking discovery and the postings on social network sites is what prompted the 16-year-old’s parents to take her to hospital and to the police.
By then she had showered, washing away any hope of physical evidence.
She has no recollection of that night after leaving the first party.
By the time she had reached the second party, a five-minute car-ride away, she was ‘very drunk... she wasn’t fully capable of walking on her own. She was like stumbling as she was walking. Trent and Ma’lik helped her.’
She vomited in the street on leaving that party before getting into a car with Richmond, Mays and two other guys. The first alleged assault took place in the back of that car.
While Mays sat in the middle the alleged victim sat behind the driver. On the drive to the second house Mays allegedly digitally penetrated her and exposed her breasts. One of the witnesses admitted to filming it but subsequently deleted the footage.
‘She was kind of talking,’ he said. ‘But I couldn’t make out the words that she was saying.’
By the time thefinal house of the night was reached, ‘She wasn’t really saying anything. ‘
An image circulated of the 16-year-old slumped between two males, one holding her ankles, the other holding her wrists was posted on Instagram at 1.04am. In it she is clothed.
But by the time she was being carried into the final basement in a similar fashion according to one eye witness her shirt was off. She was sick one further time and, the transcript records: ‘Was sitting on the floor… then she fell to her side..’
Fury: The case has scandalized America and prompted huge protests in the small town
Another witness who arrived at the house shortly after described going down to the basement to find the alleged victim, ‘completely naked... laying on her stomach.’
He claims to have witnessed Richmond raping her while Mays apparently tried to wake her ‘by shrugging her shoulders.’ ‘But she didn’t respond.’
The witness’s reaction, like that of others around him, was to take pictures.
Nobody intervened. Nobody sought to cover her or help her or take her home.
Quite how or when the alleged victim got home is not recorded and she has no memory of the night beyond the first party. An eye witness recalls seeing Mays asleep on the couch next to the unconscious girl in the early hours but by morning he was on the floor.
Mays and Richmond go to trial on 13 February. Ma'lik Richmond is charged with rape. Trent Mays is charged with rape and disseminating photographs of a nude minor.
The only reason there are not more of Steubenville’s revered Big Red athletes joining them in the dock is because they had the presence of mind, and the time, to hit ‘delete.’