STEUBENVILLE - A 16-year-old Weirton girl is relieved following Sunday's guilty verdicts against Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond, the two teens who raped her last August, related the girl's attorney, Robert Fitzsimmons.
The victim testified at length Saturday, saying she remembered little from the night Mays and Richmond raped her, first in the back seat of a car and then on a basement floor. Much of the trial's testimony focused on her alcohol consumption and her severe impairment, as she blacked out and still doesn't recall what happened.
"The victim has her moments, each and every day," Fitzsimmons said. "She was very strong on the stand (Saturday), but we did see her break down when she saw the first picture, which was one she had never seen before."
The picture showed the victim being taken advantage of by the defendants.
The girl's father opted not to appear in the courtroom, while her mother appeared only during the girl's testimony to offer support. There were other family members present throughout the trial, Fitzsimmons said, and the process was excruciating for them.
The girl's mother was sequestered in a room down the hall from the courtroom, watching as Lipps announced the verdict. According to Fitzsimmons, she sensed the emotion and was compelled to enter the courtroom before Mays and Richmond issued their apologies to the victim and her family.
Richmond walked directly up to the victim's mother to issue an emotional apology, sobbing heavily while tears streamed down his face. Fitzsimmons represented that the girl's mother acknowledged his apology and said she forgives him.
Richmond's attorney, Walter Madison, informed one of the three teenage witnesses that received immunity that Fitzsimmons had been in the courtroom monitoring the proceedings, and that a civil suit was imminent. On Sunday, Fitzsimmons said he did not know why Madison would make that claim, but did not refute it.
Fitzsimmons also noted that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's announcement that a grand jury would meet next month to determine if more people should be charged in the case would not have an effect on the timing of potential civil proceedings.