YSU Football Player and Steubenville Rapist Ma'Lik Richmond Wants Off Sex Offender Registry

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Ma'lik Richmond, post-verdict, (March, 2013).
  • Ma'lik Richmond, post-verdict, (March, 2013).

Disclaimer: Details of the Steubenville High School rape case are discussed in this article.

Youngstown State University football player and convicted Steubenville rapist, Ma'Lik Richmond has a hearing Thursday where Judge Thomas Lipps will decide whether or not Richmond should be removed from Ohio's sex offender registry. Convicted as a juvenile, Richmond is within his rights now that he's 21 to challenge his sex offender status.

Richmond, then 16, was convicted of publicly raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl in 2012. Despite video evidence of the assault perpetrated by multiple participants circulating social media, Richmond was only given a one-year minimum sentence for his participation in the assault, serving only about 10 months, and was granted permission to represent Youngstown State University as a football player in 2017.

The highly publicized case was particularly heinous, with former Steubenville baseball player Michael Nodianos joking about the incident in a video posted on YouTube stating "they raped her quicker than Mike Tyson raped that one girl" and "They peed on her. That's how you know she's dead, because someone pissed on her."

While restorative justice is an extremely important part in the healing process for both victims and perpetrators, allowing Richmond to remove his name from the sex offender registry feels like an attempt to wash away any accountability or guilty verdict that he so rightfully deserved. His conviction as a juvenile offered him a stunningly tame sentence, and removing his name from the registry continues to perpetuate a "boys will be boys" mentality that apologizes for rapists while victims spend the rest of their lives recovering from the trauma.

Thanks to the #MeToo movement, we are no longer living in the same world as Steubenville 2012. If the judge declines Richmond's request, perhaps the victim will finally see some form of justice.


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