One of two former Steubenville football players convicted of rape in the infamous Steubenville rape case has been released from juvenile detention, and may be able to avoid being classified as a sex offender altogether.
As reported by ABC affiliate WBTV, among other outlets, former Steubenville student athlete Trent Mays was released from custody on Wednesday morning, and has already enrolled in a new school near Steubenville, according to his lawyer, Adam Neeman. Mays will be called for a hearing on whether he should be forced to register as a sex offender. His former Steubenville teammate, Ma’Lik Richmond, was also forced to have a sex offender hearing and was forced to register as a sex offender once every year for the next 10 years, a ruling that was decreased from an initial decision that would have required him to register once every six months for 20 years.
As a refresher, here is part of the evidence that led to Mays’ conviction:
Prosecutors said Mays admitted in one text message that he penetrated the girl with his hand. In other messages, he asked friends to cover for him, prosecutors said.
During the trial, the prosecution also introduced a text message from the 16-year-old victim that said: “I wasn’t being a slut. They were taking advantage of me.”
Neeman insists that his client has turned a page.
“He (Mays) is an extremely promising young man, eager to prove himself on behalf of his family and his community,” Nemann said in a statement. “The main focus here is rehabilitation, so that they understand what they did was wrong.”
That rehabilitation process is precisely what the family of the victim hopes will come now that her attackers have paid their official debt to society.
“We hope that they realize the magnitude of lifelong pain that they have caused the victim and pray that the memory of their crimes lives in their souls as a constant reminder to treat women with dignity and respect,” the family said in a statement.