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"LOL, She Couldn't Even Move" Awful Texts Revealed at Steubenville Rape Trial

The alleged victim had no memory her assault, but the defense says that doesn't matter.
 
 
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Photo Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

 

On the second day of the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial, thousands of messages from seventeen confiscated phones helped to piece together the disturbing evening when a sixteen-year-old Jane Doe was allegedly raped by local football stars Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16. Now, the court will begin to piece together the events of the night the same way the victim learned what happened to her: From the gossip and pictures sent around town via text messages and social media.

"It was an extraordinary level of evidence and detail,"  Katie Hanna of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Assault said of Wednesday’s testimony, "I've never heard of anything like it."

The prosecution alleges that, at a football party last summer, the West Virginia girl who multiple witnesses have described as incapacitated to the point of incoherence and unconsciousness lay shirtless on a yard, vomiting, while a group of guys offered $3 to piss on her. Next, she was allegedly sexually assaulted multiple times, ranging from digital penetration to attempted oral rape. Photographs taken during the assault, as well as a video in which a witness described the “dead girl” as “so raped,” were distributed throughout the town.

As Jane Doe tried to learn what happened to her, the boys shared their alleged sexual assault with each other through texts and e-mails.

“Hey buddy...you want to send me that pic because you love me?” one boy texted Mays, while Jane's Doe friend commented about the same photo, "If that is [semen] on you that is [expletive] crazy.”

"I hate my life....I don't even know what the [expletive] happened to me,” the victim texted, along with, "Wait I think I was drugged. I have no memory from after I left ... I swear to God I don't remember doing anything with them. I remember hearing Trent's voice telling me to do something, but I said no," and "I wasn't being a slut. They were taking advantage of me.”

The defense will hinge not on whether the alleged victim consented, but whether Trent and Mays knew she was too incapacitated to do so. Arguably, the trial will come down to whether Jane Doe is seen as a victim.

It is abundantly clear, however, that the alleged victim had no memory of what happened to her, and therefore could not have possibly consented.

"OK, tell me right now what the [expletive] happened last night and don't lie to me," she wrote to Mays. "We need to talk about this right now."

"And don't lie about anything. I need to know the truth. People keep asking. Idk (I don't know) what to say.”

Mays told her ‘nothing happened,’ but that she performed a “sex act” on him and “that’s it.”

Later, he texted a friend, "I'm pissed all I got was a hand job, though. I should have raped since everyone thinks I did."

"Why the f--- would you let that happen. Seriously, you have no f---ing respect. People are telling me so much s--t, why the f--- would you take my clothes off in front of everyone. You shouldn't have let that happen," she wrote.

When one friend called Mays “a felon” and warned him not to send photos around, he responded “not really.” Nonetheless, Mays replied to friends asking how he could have had sex with "a dead girl" with "LOL, she couldn't even move."

Even after the case heated up and the gravity of the allegations became more clear, Mays didn't stop laughing. "Oh, LOL. Hello cops," he wrote to a friend who warned him to delete texts and photographs. Then, when a friend asked Mays what Reno Coach Saccoccia (who was rumored to have tried to shield the boys from trouble and criticized for hardly reprimanding them) said about the alleged rape, Mays texted “Nothing really...Going to stay in for awhile. LOL. And next time [someone is] into something, suspended for three games.”

"But I feel he took care of it for us," he wrote, "Like, he was joking about it, so I'm not worried."

He also said, "I got Reno. He took care of it and [expletive] ain't going to happen, even if they did take it to court."

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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