I’ve written about how the parents of the Steubenville rape victim, the Jane Doe in this case, must be feeling. After the video showing Michael Nodianos, a former Steubenville High student and baseball player, laughing his head off and cracking jokes about how the victim was “deader than Caylee Anthony” went viral yesterday, I started wondering about how the parents of the Steubenville “Rape Crew” were feeling. The parents of Nodianos haven’t made a statement to the press, possibly because of the nature of the case being an ongoing investigation. For those of you who couldn’t stomach watching the video, Holly Briley has an example of Nodiandos’ opinion via Twitter.
Ma’lik Richmond‘s parents have both been vocal about the case. Ma’lik, who has been released on bail and had his case moved to the juvenile system, has been charged with rape. He currently resides with foster parents in Steubenville:
Daphne Birden, Richmond’s mother, said she allowed Greg and Jennifer Agresta to assume guardianship of her son because of medical conditions when Richmond was about 8 years old.
Ms. Birden has voiced her opinions on the case on Facebook:
I suppose it’s admirable in a sense that this mother wants to stick up for her son, but it’s also rather horrifying this mother wants to stick up for her son, considering he “allegedly” raped an unconscious girl. Ma’lik’s father, Nathaniel Richmond, has said this about his son:
“I am speaking on behalf of my son, Ma’lik, when I ask you to not rush to a personal judgment. He is a good child, an outstanding student and a credit to Steubenville High School. I ask you to let justice prevail,” stated Richmond.
“If you believe in God, pray for Ma’lik and Trent Mays. These are false charges, and they are innocent of the charges put upon them,” said Richmond.
“Today is Aug. 28, the anniversary of the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights of everyone. I ask you to pray Ma’lik gets a fair trial. And do not believe the propaganda printed in the newspaper to sell papers,” Richmond said before leaving the council meeting.
And from Holly Briley’s website, he also stated this on Facebook:
I have a teenager. I am trying to raise him to be a good man, a man who would never consider having sex with a woman without her direct permission, a man who doesn’t call women “sluts” or “whores”, a man who if he saw a young girl passed out at a party would either protect her or call an adult for help. Because of this case I’ve been speaking to my son about what he should do if he encounters someone at a party who has had too much to drink. I think a lot of parents have.
I don’t think I will ever be in the situation where my son would be accused of rape or an accessory to rape or he would be the type of kid to film a rape or tweet about a rape or make a video laughing his ass off about a raped girl. I am doing everything in my power to raise a kid who would never do any of the above.
But I will tell you one thing, if any of my children ever behaved in any way even remotely close to the Steubenville “Rape Crew” or their cronies, I’m the type of mother who would not protect my kid in this situation. I would not blame the victim. I would not have this “boys will be boys” mentality I have seen expressed by people in regard to the Nodianos video.
Yes, it’s tasteless and twisted and offensive. But as far as we know, it’s also just talk. As awful as these guys are — particularly the leading player, Mr. Buckeye — they are not necessarily the same guys who perpetrated this awful crime or were part of the so-called “rape crew.” They’re probably just a bunch of dumb high school kids, most likely drunk and/or stoned, making terrible jokes.
And standing by while a girl was raped, live-tweeing it, filming it, posting photographs on Instagram, and basically contributing to her rape by not doing a damn thing. I don’t understand the logic of these parents. I don’t understand how these kids turned out how they did. I may not understand it, but I am trying as hard as I can to raise kids who don’t behave the same way. But God forbid if they do, I won’t be the mom standing beside them.
Alexandria Goddard discussed the case along with her attorney on CNN this morning:
UPDATE: From WTRF:
Steubenville High School Superintendent Mike McVey said three students have been suspended from extra-curricular activities.
McVey said the school has launched an investigation into policy violations.
The school found out about these possible violations after testimony from last Friday’s probable cause hearing for two Steubenville teens charged with rape.
McVey said two are football players and have not been at practice and the other is a student who was also suspended from any extra-curricular activities.