Rape Trial Begins in Steubenville, Ohio

Rape Trial Begins in Steubenville, Ohio

Two high school football players sit in court—their futures on the line—as their trial begins in a case that has shocked the nation.

Ma'lik Richmond and Trent Mays have pleaded not guilty to raping a 16-year-old girl at a party in Steubenville, Ohio. They were shown holding her like a rag doll in a disturbing photo when the case broke.

INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd reports from the Steubenville courtroom.

"All eyes are now on the small courtroom in Steubenville that only seats a few dozen people. Hordes of national media are camped out and security is very tight. All the witnesses and the two defendants are being brought into a secure back entrance because of what's being called a high threat level," reports Boyd.

Police officer Fred Abdalla told INSIDE EDITION, "That's why I'm glad the judge opened this up to the media and the public. So the whole world can see now what's going on, and maybe the truth is going to come out today."

Ma'lik Richmond was a star wide receiver and Mays was a quarterback on the Steubenville Big Red high school team.  

The case has divided a town where football is king, with some believing the players have been given special treatment at the expense of the alleged victim.

Steubenville resident Becky Mikesell told INSIDE EDITION, "It has definitely divided the community. We have extremists on both sides. Most of us though, are in the middle. We do believe that justice needs to be served."

Today, members of the hacker group "Anonymous" who cover their faces with V for Vendetta masks made their presence known outside the courthouse. One person under a mask said, "The world is watching. You have the perfect oppotunity to improve the image of your community right now with this situation by giving this girl justice."

The case sparked a national uproar when a student in an Ohio State T-shirt was recorded on cell phone video laughing about the alleged rape like it was a big joke.  

"She is so raped right now."

No criminal charges were filed against him since cops say he didn't actually witness anything, even though he made jaw-dropping comments like this:

"She's deader than O.J.'s wife. She's deader than Caylee Anthony."  

Cameras were allowed in court but the first witness demanded that cameras be turned off when taking the stand.

The alleged victim is expected to testify.