We all remember the Steubenville rape case that dominated news cycles two years ago. The case, involving two Ohio high school football players, raping a 16 year old girl fueled discussions everywhere as people either argued that the boys, Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, were being punished too severely or not nearly enough.
Richmond was sentenced to one year in juvenile detention and Mays, who used his phone to take pictures of the naked, underaged girl was sentenced to two.
But recently, according to the Associated Press, Richmond, having served his time not only was allowed to enter high school again but he donned a school uniform and got right back on the field. He participated in a scrimmage game.
Richmond, who is now 18, is still classified as a Tier II sex offender and will have to register as such, every six months, for the next twenty years. But unlike adult sex offenders, his name won’t be included in publicly accessible websites and based on the trajectory of his rehabilitation he can request to have the classification removed.
Richmond’s football coach, Reno Saccoccia, said Ma’lik returned to school in January and was ineligible to participate in any school activities for the rest of the year. Saccoccia said, it was a horrible crime but he completed everything the judicial system asked of him. He continued, “We don’t deal in death sentences for juvenile activity, and I just feel that he’s earned a second chance.”
The Ohio High School Athletic Association, Tim Stried, says it’s up to each school to determine whether or not a student can participate in sports. Obviously, Steubenville has made their decision.
Richmond’s lawyer, Walter Madison wrote, “Band, debate, and sports teams reinforce critical lessons meant to guide one throughout life.”
What do you think, should Richmond have been punished more severely? Or do you believe since he was a juvenile at the time, he should be allowed to return to his football team?
I’m just saying I know people who have done less and have been completely removed from a school district…