Huffpost Crime

Royal Mayo, Steubenville's Former NAACP President, Says 'Alleged Victim' May Not Have Been Raped

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A former president of the local Steubenville NAACP seemed to blame the Steubenville rape victim for what happened to her when two members of the high school football team sexually assaulted her.

In an interview with the International Business Times, Royal Mayo said the girl came to the party with alcohol and intentionally left with one of her attackers, Trent Mays.

"They’re alleging she got raped; she’s acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent," Mayo said. "Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, ‘I know what I’m doing; I’m going with Trent.’”

Mayo also referred to the woman as an "alleged victim" even though, earlier this month, Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were found delinquent -- the equivalent to guilty in juvenile court.

"She said her mother brought her to the party, at 3 o'clock, with a bottle of vodka,” Mayo said. “Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where’d you get it? You came to the party with your mother.”

Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams rebukes Mayo's claims.

"Apparently in Mayo’s mind, if you leave a party with a boy, you’ve signed off for whatever he may then do to you, even if you’re unconscious," Williams wrote and added, "Got vodka in your house? Asking for it."

Mayo's claims are also contradicted by three other boys who recorded the assault. They were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony, in which they said the victim was so drunk she didn't seem to know what was happening to her, according to the Associated Press.

The victim also said she could not recall the assault.

"They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me," she testified. "I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video."

UPDATE: The NAACP sent this in response to Mayo's comments:

"The NAACP abhors the remarks attributed to Royal Mayo regarding the rape victim in the Steubenville. The remarks are Mayo’s own, and do not reflect the position of the NAACP and its membership. Rape is a despicable crime of violence. The NAACP understands that comments that blame victims for the actions of their attackers contribute to and perpetuate a culture of acquiescence to rape. The NAACP advocates strongly for a society where victims of rape and sexual assault can come forward and seek legal redress without further retribution from the community, media or society at large.”

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