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article imageOhio NAACP executive suggests Steubenville rape victim wanted sex

By Brett Wilkins     Mar 28, 2013 in Crime
Steubenville - An Ohio NAACP executive has raised eyebrows and ire by saying that a teen rape victim was a drunk and willing participant.
The Steubenville High School rape case, in which two school football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were recently convicted of raping a drunk 16-year-old girl during a night of alcohol-fueled partying, made global headlines. But now it's a local leader who's grabbing the headlines after making shockingly insensitive remarks about the case in an interview with the International Business Times.
Royal Mayo, a member of NAACP's Ohio executive committee and former president of the Steubenville chapter of the civil rights group, told the IBT that the role played by the young victim in the attack should be more closely examined. Mayo says the girl-- who he calls the "alleged victim"-- was drunk and wanted to go out with Mays. Any sex that occurred, Mayo suggests, may have been consensual and not a criminal assault.
"They're alleging she got raped; she's acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent. Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, 'I know what I'm doing; I'm going with Trent,'" Mayo said during the phone interview, drawing on victim testimony from the well-publicized trial in which the girl said she had a crush on Mays and indeed wanted to leave a party with him.
But the girl was soon so intoxicated that other teens were ridiculing her and betting others to urinate on her. She could barely stand or walk on her own, let alone consent to sex. She was carried out of one party by Mays and Richmond, and while riding in a car on the way to another party, Mays was recorded sexually assaulting her. At another party, witnesses saw Richmond sexually assaulting the victim. Instead of helping her, other partygoers took photos and videos of her, with some joking about how she was being raped. One of the photos showed her lying naked on a floor with the semen of one of her attackers splashed across her chest. That's how she woke up the next morning, remembering almost nothing that happened after midnight the night before.
Mayo says he knows Richmond and spoke to the star football player shortly after the rape allegations began circulating last summer.
"Back in August, when the rumors first started going around, I talked to Ma'lik, and he said, 'No, Mr. Mayo, we didn't do anything to that girl. I don't know what these rumors are; I don't understand it.'"
Mayo questions the police investigation of the case and claims that other teens implicated in the incident got off easy because they're "well-connected." He also points to the Steubenville Police Department's history of civil rights problems as a red flag. In a 20-year period, the department was the target of 48 civil rights lawsuits over issues such as false arrests, excessive force and other misconduct. The department has even been sued by the federal government over its civil rights violations.
Mayo dismisses the fact that Trent Mays is white by explaining that he is "from the next county, in the next town over."
He also has harsh words for the victim's mother.
"She said her mother brought her to the party, at 3 o'clock, with a bottle of vodka," Mayo told IBT. "Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where'd you get it? You came to the party with your mother."
Mayo is no stranger to allegations of criminal misconduct involving women. In 2007, WTOV reported that he and his girlfriend were both charged with domestic violence.
"He hit me," Tamekia Smith said. "I ran up the house and threw something at him as he was leaving. He beat me up in the house."
The charges against Mayo were later dropped.
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