Ma'lik Richmond, post-verdict.
Ma'lik Richmond, one of two Steubenville High School football players convicted of rape in 2013, has sued Youngstown State University after the school stripped him of his football eligibility last month.
Via the Associated Press
, Richmond filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday and a hearing is scheduled at the Youngstown federal courthouse this afternoon. Richmond wants to be reinstated on the team's active roster and is seeking damages.
Due to the intercession of head coach Bo Pelini, Richmond made the team as a defensive player earlier this year.
“I believe in him, but I told him, ‘I’ll hold your feet to the fire,’” Pelini told the Youngstown Vindicator
last month. “He has to do it better and cleaner than the next guy.”
A few days later, while student petitions were circulating on campus and online — "Remove Steubenville Rapist, Ma'lik Richmond, from YSU's Football Team
" — the University issued a statement saying that Richmond could remain a member of the football program but must forfeit a year of eligibility.
"Youngstown State University takes the matter of sexual assault very seriously and continues to educate everyone within the campus community about the impact and prevention of sexual assault," read the statement. "The University is fully aware of the gravity of the situation and of petitions that are circulating on social media in protest and support of one of our students, Ma'lik Richmond. We value the input of the entire YSU community and are committed to providing a safe learning environment and growth opportunities for all students, faculty and staff."
Richmond served one year in juvenile detention for his crimes and returned to Steubenville to play his senior season in 2014. He did not pursue a college football career at either Potomac State College of WVU or California University of Pennsylvania, both of which he attended before YSU.
The eligibility forfeiture isn't the only bad news Richmond has received recently. Last month, his father, Nathaniel Richmond, was shot and killed when he ambushed a Jefferson County Judge in Steubenville. Though the motives for the ambush remain a mystery, the local prosecutor said
she didn't believe there was "any connection whatsoever" to the Steubenville rape case.