STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- A judge is expected to hand down his decision at 10 a.m. today in the trial of two Steubenville High School football players who are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl last summer.
According to testimony earlier Saturday, the victim told a friend that she did not have sex with the two boys but remembered little else about her time with them.
Gianna Anile, a student at Madonna High School, testified that she confronted the victim after reports began circulating on the Internet about what had happened the night before.
"We didn't have sex, I swear," Gianna recalled the victim telling her.
When she asked what did happen, the girl replied, "I don't know. I don't remember," Gianna testified.
She was the first witness to testify for the defense in the trial of Trent Mays and Malik Richmond, both 17. They are accused of raping the drunk school girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer. Both deny the charges.
Prosecutors contend that the girl, whom the Post-Gazette is not identifying, was so intoxicated that she was unable to consent to sexual activity that night. The defense contends that any sexual activity was consensual.
During the party at the house of Kamy Bellardine, Gianna said that she noticed the victim was acting drunk and was rolling around on the floor and "being weird." At one point, she tried to stop the girl from leaving the party to go elsewhere but was rebuffed.
Prosecutors contend that the victim ended up at the house of Mark Cole. Mark, 17, testified under a grant of immunity Friday that he saw Trent first assault the victim in his car on the night of Aug. 11 on the way to his house. He later said that he saw Trent try to have the girl participate in oral sex as she lay naked on the floor of his home while Malik lay behind her and digitally penetrated her.
Neither Gianna nor another girl who testified Saturday, Kelsey Weaver, accompanied the victim to Mark's house.
But Gianna said she did go to the house the next day with another friend to pick up the victim. When she got there, the victim was lying on the couch and Trent was sitting next to her. In response to questions, she testified that the victim did not say or act as if anything was wrong, nor did she when they all left with Trent and Malik. It was only after the two boys got out of the car that she asked what had happened.
Kelsey said that the victim had been leaning against Malik's right arm and flirting with him before leaving the party. She also said the girl was interested in Trent.
Another defense witness, Kim Fromme, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin who studies the effects of alcohol on people, estimated that the victim had a blood alcohol level of anywhere between .18 to .25 based on the varying reports of how much alcohol she consumed.
She testified that she believes the victim was in an alcohol-induced blackout during the incident, accounting for her lack of memory of what happened.
While the amount of alcohol consumption would have impaired the girl's judgment, Ms. Fromme said she believes she was capable of making voluntary decisions.
Under cross examination, she conceded that the victim, if she blacked out, would not have been able to remember if she was assaulted or if any activity was consensual.
The case is being tried at the Jefferson County Justice Center.
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262. First Published March 16, 2013 3:30 PM