One of the two high school football players convicted of raping of a 16-year-old Steubenville, Ohio, girl in August, 2012 has been released from a juvenile detention center.
Ma'Lik Richmond was released on Sunday from the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Detention Facility less than a year after he was found delinquent in court, WTRF reports. (In the language of the juvenile court system, delinquent is the equivalent of guilty.)
The case of Richmond and fellow student-athlete Trent Mays, who was also found delinquent, brought national media attention to the Rust Belt town. Part of the outrage arose from photos and videos shared on social media that showed the 16-year-old victim inebriated at a post-football game party on the night she was assaulted.
Richmond and Mays were 16 and 17, respectively, at the time of the verdict.
Richmond's attorney released a statement talking about the "hardness" that his client endured while locked up, but makes no mention of the crime he committed.
It reads, in part:
"The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma'Lik and his extended family. At sixteen years old, Ma'Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life. As with each other obstacle, Ma'Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; he is braced for the balance of his life. While away, Ma'Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways. He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family. At this point, Ma'Lik wants most to be a high school teenager."
In response, the victim's attorney criticized Richmond's lawyer for showing no consideration to the girl.
"Although everyone hopes convicted criminals are rehabilitated, it is disheartening that this convicted rapist’s press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family - whom he and his co-defendant scarred for life. One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologize for all the pain he caused rather than make statements about himself. Rape is about victims, not defendants. Obviously, the people writing his press release have yet to learn this important lesson."
Now that he has been released, Richmond must register as a sex offender every six months for the next 20 years, Time reported.