Steubenville rape trial fallout: Did punishment fit crime?
Teens sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison
- Duration 8:46
- Date Mar 18, 2013
Teens sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison
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-- -- -- back in session on the docket today fallout from the trial that divided it a working class town in Ohio and some.
Of the country as we watch this case play out.
Too high school football players found guilty of rape being a sixteen year old girl at a party this past August.
Prosecutors say the victim was so drunk she could barely walk she -- vomit all over herself let alone give consent to sexual acts.
The crime only came to light after naked pictures of the underage victim were posted online -- circulated.
Including by the two defendants.
And over the weekend the judge and -- in juvenile court sentenced a leak Richmond.
21 year juvenile detention while Trent -- the other defendant.
Got twice that two years.
-- -- -- -- -- Okay occasions that.
And -- -- -- -- A lot of things.
Emotional moment in court joining me now to discuss whether the punishment fits the crime least we'll.
Fox News legal analyst.
And mark -- -- she's a former prosecutor now defense attorney and I think any of us are surprised by the verdict given the evidence that was put on by the prosecutor which was very.
Very compelling those text messages that those -- sent.
And it were -- around by the team.
Really sealed their fate.
And -- and the pictures of the girl being carried around like she was.
Passed out or near it.
Could not help their case and and when we saw in the league Richmond the defendant who broke down in tears -- he was walking over.
-- to the victim's mother to the victim's family.
He was the one that into the judge showed more obedience to the more leniency to lease this defended Trent -- right here's a wonder that two years your thoughts on the punishment.
I don't think it was -- -- Megan I really don't I mean they were child tried in juvenile court so there's nowhere they can be and in prisoner juvenile detention until.
They're -- until after 21 years -- that was his Max he should've gone to the Max what he faced two boys -- these two young men did was so horrific.
The act itself make it and then the joking the -- the putting her picture up there on the Internet for -- for the rest of her life.
-- so wrong one -- two years is simply not enough.
I -- I don't wanna get graphic mark but that the rape that occurred in this case was.
Manuel aren't let's leave it at that and and it happened twice and both defendants are accused of having committed it.
Is there a difference I mean do you get punished.
For that type of sex act than you do for a ending it in that you can refer to brief -- -- sex act.
For that type of rape then.
You know the more traditional form if you well.
I can't speak for every judge around the country I can tell you personally I don't think there's a difference.
And Lisa I agree this was a horrible horrific crime and they deserve to be punished.
In that I'm not suggesting though while it was on the lighter side that this is an unfair sentence.
These defendants did move this case to juvenile court prosecutors after knowing the facts about their lives and about the facts of this crime.
They chose not to put this in adult court -- the maximum they were gonna get would be maybe four to five years and a juvenile facility.
Those who get the Max typically are defendants who are not remorseful and these kids -- Those who have prior records these kids had not had any contact with the system whatsoever.
And ultimately I think of those factors and others forgiveness from the parents of the victim.
Also helped get I think what is a fair yet on the light end of the -- the parents -- the mother of the victim a sixteen year old girl who was raped.
Has forgiven one of the defendants my understanding it is -- -- the African American defendant who walked over to her broke down in tears and not the other that's what the reports are.
She had a statement in court as well let's listen to that in part.
It did not matter what school you went to the -- that is what sports you play.
Human compassion not pop my teacher her -- is I didn't get instilled in all of us.
You didn't like not only a lack of compassion but I like that anymore.
-- decisions that might -- -- countless lives including the atmosphere here.
You were here and future isn't immediately -- to public criminal but this does not find my daughter is.
She will persevere grow and I pity for you.
I couldn't hear them and repent for your actions and pray hard for it for -- game.
This act does not define my daughter -- for her for saying that -- but.
Right she she there there was some remorse shown up you know at some point a trial.
I mean when they're found guilty they're being sentenced but the prosecution's closing argument -- is all about how they would they were not remorseful.
Exactly make and that's exactly sure -- remorseful at the time they're getting sentenced because they want the the one to two years of a six months or whatever something left in the -- years of market if he's right that the most they could not.
Of course revolves more slip up but because they want to get off make -- and bless some other bless her heart for being so kind and so so forget it.
Right at at being judgments and that situation would not have been so forgiving because it's not just the act itself it's what they did after the app just putting out there poking fun of this -- An -- -- it would no moral code primark.
There is more I -- these kids also -- did not tell you that they're gonna be registered sex offenders for the rest of their life.
And understand something I'm not making an excuses they knew right from wrong.
But juveniles are -- different that's why we have a juvenile court.
Physically their frontal lobes of their brain have not fully been -- that's the that is true reasoning that judgment that is actually show.
Fact you are correct in saying that but is it.
It's a question about whether you know that why don't we see his behavior more cases that I wanna talk about that we come back but I also -- -- talk about.
The attorney general in an Ohio suggesting there could be charges still to com and we'll show you why next.
Now the AG in Ohio suggesting there could be more charges to come home to get that second but I want to ask you -- about mark's point.
Because he is right it is -- scientific fact that these kids their brains are not fully cooked yet.
And yet is that a justification or does that in any way mitigate their acts when.
What they did here was so right callous and it wasn't just the -- it was that.
Laughing about it and the celebration of it after the fact it is not an excuse naked.
Is mitigating in the sense that already have the mitigation lied because they were tried as juveniles as opposed to being -- try to adults either they aren't they got that break they could have been looking at 1020 years for rape Megan.
Mark Allen and.
You -- to get through that he's out there.
That they're not going to be sitting around singing wheels on the bus go round -- -- playing video games they're going to be a lock down one for a year went for two years juvenile facility filled with the worst of the worst offenders it's not going to be easy for them.
Now it's but it's not going to be easy for that sixteen year old girl who was treated like a piece of car I don't disagree and not -- I don't know if not just by these two but one of the things the -- now gonna look into is the other teammates.
And other attendees at these parties who watched as this girl.
And it is a picture we'll show it to you it -- not to be salacious but to.
They were carrying her like you Kerry in a dead deer that you would just shot.
Walking around with this -- election was nothing and in the text messages talking about how dead she looked and it celebrating.
What it just -- but look at this this is these are the two defendants and what a laugh riot this was to some of the team including this guy at least let's just remind ourselves of the one.
Caught on video talking about it after the fact.
It was like a little slips up I don't know critics everywhere.
She's -- -- and you read so that helps.
-- the AG says he's asking to convene a grand jury deceit whether additional charges or indictments are -- are your thoughts.
I think that's a great idea Megan because of the week we are you saw the video there we are Saudi -- but it's not just -- the kids.
What about adults what -- the coaches may have known about a -- or two or teacher would have known about it.
Under that a lot of Ohio they would have a duty as an adult to to report to do something about it -- they didn't.
They could be definitely helped run to laugh about another crime after the fact to be callous about it it is however crime to circulate pictures of an underage girl not -- you half naked on line they're going to be looking at all that panel thank you both so much.