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5:10 p.m. Second witness testifies to sexual activity at juvenile rape trial

March 15, 2013
By MICHAEL D. MCELWAIN - Staff writer (mmcelwain@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - A Steubenville High School senior testified this afternoon he belied he saw two defendants facing rape charges engaged in an inappropriate sex act the night a 16-year old Weirton girl was allegedly raped.

Anthony Craig, 18, was granted immunity by visiting Judge Thomas Lipps and compelled to testify during the third day of testimony in the Jefferson County Juvenile Court.

Trent Mays, 17, and 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond have been charged with raping a 16-year-old Weirton girl during a series of end-of-summer parties Aug. 11-12. Mays also is charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity- oriented material for allegedly having and sending a picture of the girl from his cell phone.

Craig testified that he could not remember much of what happened that day.

But he did testify to witnessing an incident in the basement of Mark Cole's Wintersville house.

Craig told prosecutor Marianna Hemmeter that he believed he saw both defendants engaging in an inappropriate sex act.

When asked why he did not intervene, Craig responded, "I was told to not worry about it, everything would be fine."

Craig also indicated on multiple occasions that he did not witness the alleged victim move, talk or participate in the sexual act.

The defense had not started its cross examination of Craig.

Testimony from a defense witness who was expected to be called out of order was postponed until Saturday, and the prosecution resumed its case during testimony Frida.

Earlier today Wintersville resident Cole told Lipps he witnessed Mays digitally penetrating the underage girl.

Cole testified this morning the alleged contact took place in a vehicle as they traveled from one party to another. He admitted to recording the incident on his iPhone, but said he deleted it the next morning. When asked why, he said, "It was one of those moments when you realize you did something wrong and stupid that night, so I deleted it."

The youth also testified about a series of text messages he sent to and received from Mays and Richmond in the hours and days after the incident allegedly took place, and admitted to consuming between eight and 10 beers that evening. He also testified that he refused to send Mays and others the video that he'd recorded.

He also testified that at one point, he saw the alleged victim and Mays wrapped in a blanket. Earlier, investigators had said they found Mays' semen as well as the girls' DNA on a blanket recovered at the scene and sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for testing.

Cole said he also saw Richmond lying behind the girl and said he believed Richmond was touching her with his hand.

Cole had told the state's attorney that the girl was being very loud and that he believed it was because she was intoxicated. But under cross-examination, Cole told Richmond's attorney, Walter Madison, that all of the partygoers were being loud and he couldn't say with certainty whether the victim was drunk or just trying to be heard above the noise.

Cole also told Madison that a now-infamous picture of the Richmond and Mays holding the girl by her hands and ankles as they carried her out of a party "was a joke" photo and agreed with Madison's assertion that nobody knew what just happened before the photo was taken, or what happened immediately after it was taken.

He also told Madison that he'd told investigators "as much as I could remember and as truthfully as I could."

 
 

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