Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
One of two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football players convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party in 2012 has been released from a state juvenile detention center, WTOV-TV reports.
Ma'lik Richmond, who was 16 at the time, was convicted in March and sentenced to one year in juvenile detention. He also must register as a sex-offender every six months for the next 20 years, although that requirement can be lifted based on his rehabilitation.
The other athlete, Trent Mays, received a two-year sentence. Mays also was convicted of using his phone to take a naked picture of the underage girl.
Richmond's attorney, Walter Madison, said in a statement that his client and his family "endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child,"
"He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life," the statement said. "As with each other obstacle, Ma'lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; He is braced for the balance of his life. While away, Ma'lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways. He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family."
The case drew wide attention in this steel town of 18,000 people in eastern Ohio amid allegations of a cover-up to protect the popular Steubenville High School football team.
Six other people have since been charged with related crimes in the case following a grand jury convened by Attorney General Mike DeWine. The Steubenville school district's former technology director faces a late February trial on charges he misled investigators. He and other school officials charged have pleaded not guilty.
Bob Fitzsimmons, an attorney for the victim, identified as Jane Doe, also issued a statement, saying that it was "disheartening" that the Richmond's statement did not make any reference to the victim or her family who were "scarred for life" over the incident.
"One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologize for all the pain he caused rather than make statements about himself," the statement said. "Rape is about victims, not defendants. Obviously, the people writing his press release have yet to learn this important lesson."
The four-day trial in March included testimony from the teenage victim who said she was "embarrassed and scared" after finding out that she had been sexually assaulted while intoxicated that night.
"I honestly did not know what to think because I didn't remember anything," she told the court.
She said the reconstructed details of the incident from witnesses, as well as Twitter, Instagram photos, a YouTube video, and text messages.
"They treated her like a toy," special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter told the jury.