Steubenville Football Players Found Guilty of Rape
It was the courtroom drama the whole country is talking about.
Ma'lik Richmond, a star high school football player, broke down as he apologized to the mother of the 16-year-old girl he sexually assaulted.
Richmond said, "I would like to apologize to you people. I had no intention to do anything like that and I'm sorry to put you guys through this."
Now, CNN is coming under attack for its breaking news coverage of the Steubenville verdict. Reporter Poppy Harlow is being criticized for the sympathetic words she used about the two defendants who had just been found guilty.
Harlow reported, "These two young men that had such promising futures; star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart."
CNN anchor Candy Crowley is also under fire for this reaction:
"When you listen to it and you realize they could stay until they're 21, they are going to get credit for time served, what's the lasting effect though on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape?"
Twitter exploded with outrage, with one critic tweeting: "Honestly, save for openly blaming the victim, it's hard to imagine how CNN could have covered the Steubenville verdict more ineptly."
The victim's mother spoke out in court right after the verdicts were announced, saying, "This does not define who my daughter is. She will persevere, grow, and move on. I have pity for you both."
Sixteen-year-old Ma'lik Richmond will serve at least one year in juvenile jail. Seventeen-year-old Trent Mays will serve at least two years.
Mays hugged his dad and was taken away to jail after addressing the court.
Mays said in court, "I would truly like to apologize to (name deleted), her family, my family, and the community."
Steubenville, where the Big Red High School football team is king, has been rocked by the verdict.
The hacker group Anonymous had this reaction: "Getting this victory is beginning to change the rape culture in the United States."