• Mon, Jan 6 - 9:00 am ET

Steubenville Rapist Released From Juvy After An ‘Unfortunate Set Of Circumstances’ He Committed Known As Rape

 Ma'lik RichmondMa’lik Richmond is a 17-year-old kid. He has served time in a juvenile detention facility after being found guilty of the crime of rape in August 2012 along with Trent Mays. Richmond had been sentenced to a year of juvenile detention with credit given for time already served, while Mays has been sentenced for two years.

No one wants to think about a kid being put in a correctional facility. Despite the fact I was happy that justice was served in Steubenville, my heart broke when Ma’lik was sentenced because I think most people could tell he was sad and frightened and his tearful apology was heartbreaking. I hope that he learned a lesson, and I guess that lesson would be that you shouldn’t rape someone, and I hope that he goes on with his life and makes good choices and hopefully advocates for sexual assault victims and maybe uses his experience to educate his peers and other young athletes. Or something. There’s no telling how Richmond has been affected by any of this, except for this statement released by his attorney Walter Madison upon his release. From WTRF:

“Ma’Lik Richmond recently completed his designated time at the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Detention Facility. The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’Lik and his extended family.

I understand that. Having a kid locked away for rape has to be challenging for any family.

 

At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child.

 

Yeah, I understand that, but hardness beyond imagine? COMPARED TO A YOUNG GIRL BEING RAPED?

 

He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life. As with each other obstacle, Ma’Lik has met it squarely, lifted his chin, and set his shoulders; he is braced for the balance of his life.

 

He made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances? Rape is NOT a circumstance for a rapist. It’s not like Ma’lik was going about his day, taking care of the business of a 16-year-old, and he accidentally raped someone. Rape is NOT a circumstance, it’s a choice. If a circumstance is a fact or condition related to an event, what Madison is basically saying here is that rape was just a natural outcome of encountering a teenage girl puking on herself and passing out. The circumstance is not to help her and get her some water and maybe make sure she gets home OK, according to this the circumstance is to rape her.

 

While away, Ma’Lik has reflected, learned, matured, and grown in many ways.  He is a better, stronger person and looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family.  At this point, Ma’Lik wants most to be a high school teenager. In conjunction with his release, Ma’Lik, his family, and guardians ask that the media respect their privacy in this matter, as we all need to heal and move on with our lives. We will have you know that Ma’Lik will be taking all the time necessary to focus on his academic and personal goals.   We ask for your support and prayers as we move forward, Thank you.”

We all have to heal and move on with our lives, except the victim who was blatantly left out of this whole statement.

I’m sorry, but if we want to expect that Ma’lik has learned and matured and grown from this whole rapist thing, I think that would include adding an apology or at least a mention of the victim. Granted it was his attorney that released the statement, BUT COME ON. If these are the types of adults who are influencing Ma’lik at this point, ignoring the fact that there is a VICTIM in this case makes it seem like at least some of the adults in his circle don’t quite get the fact that rape is a crime.

I’m waiting for the next statement that reiterates CNN’s Poppy Harlow’s sentiment after sentencing about how this whole circumstance caused a star athlete to have his life fall apart.

(Image: twitter)

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  • whiteroses

    I’m sorry- I don’t have a lot of sympathy for him. He raped someone. He deserved to serve time. 16 years old is old enough to know if you’re doing something wrong. And it’s sad that he didn’t, and its sad that he’s had a hard life, but that doesn’t change the fact that he raped someone and should pay the price for it.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Listen, you obviously JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND what a hard time he has had. eye roll

    • whiteroses

      I guess I don’t. I mean, how dare we hold football stars accountable for their actions??!!!!

    • ted3553

      Sadly, I have a discussion about choices and consequences way too often with my teens as does my coworker with hers. There seems to be an idea out there that you’re not actually responsible for your choices and if you make a bad one, you should be let off the hook if you listen to a lecture or say sorry or can find someone to blame your poor choice on. But my friends said, but they were doing it, but my teacher hates me, but, but, but….. Sadly, I’m not surprised that there’s no taking account for his actions

  • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

    Ugh, the apologist attitude of the mainstream media makes me sick.

  • Kay_Sue

    I rolled my eyes so hard at this that my head now hurts. I wish that was a joke.

    I don’t recall ever…EVER…having read such an apologist load of crap in my life. This wasn’t a set of circumstances that happened to him. This was his decision that happened to someone else. Bullshit all around, and I am starting my day totally disgusted.

  • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

    Maybe it’s just lack of sleep talking, but the headline made me think that he’d been released from juvy because he’d been raped while in juvy.

    • Kay_Sue

      It could be. I thought the same thing at first, and I too am a bit lacking on sleep today.

    • Alexandra

      Is it bad to say that would serve him right? (I know it’s bad… but I can’t help but feeling it anyway…)

    • Kathy English

      Karma.

    • Mel

      Yes, that is horrible. Seriously. Hoping, even secretly, that someone experiences rape is disgusting. You should not have shared that.

    • whiteroses

      I don’t wish rape on him. I wish that he faces the consequences of his actions in a strictly legal manner- but I wish more mercy on him than he bothered to show to his victim.

      We don’t have to be monsters- even to those who are monsters themselves. We have to be better than that. Rape is rape, and no one, no matter what they’ve done, deserves it.

    • Kay_Sue

      I had a momentary knee-jerk “kind of ironic” reaction. But it’s still a violation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. There’s no certainty that it would even teach someone to sympathize with their own victim, because it would just feed their own victim mentality–and in this aspect of it, legitimately so, which in turn would lend legitimacy (potentially in the mind of the rapist turned victim) to the remainder of their victim mentality that is totally unwarranted. Instead of “Wow, this is what I put her through”, it could quite possibly become “if she hadn’t said anything and I hadn’t been convicted and sentenced to jail, this would never have happened”.

      So not only is it a fairly horrible thing to think, but it’s kind of totally wasted too.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I clarified my head for you guyssss :)

    • Kay_Sue

      Gracias. I did figure it out after reading it, but prior to my morning caffeine, it was a definite WTF moment. ;)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      It was my bad TY for pointing it out

    • Kathy English

      I’ve been up awhile, and that’s what I thought. Since the internet took over the news cycle, quality of writing/eiting has gone way down.

  • keelhaulrose

    This makes me wonder if he learned anything at all.
    He’s not the victim here. Portraying him as one isn’t going to teach him what he did was wrong, it’s going to teach him it was wrong to punish him for it.

    • whiteroses

      I can pretty much promise you he’s learned nothing.

      Why would he think he’d done anything wrong if every single adult in his life keeps telling him it’s an “unfortunate circumstance”? He hasn’t apologized, and in a stroke of patent unfairness, he’ll probably go on to college. Eventually, unless articles like these keep coming out, people will forget. And he will go on to live a normal life without ever having to really face the consequences of his actions.

    • keelhaulrose

      That’s what drove me crazy about the Savannah Dietrich case- the lawyers for the rapists acted as if having their names made public was a worse crime than the rape itself.
      All rapists should be publicly named and have their crimes prominently displayed on search engines. Employers and schools should know who they’re getting involved with. No one slips and falls, pants undone, into a girl’s vagina. No one who did such a crime should be rewarded with victim status and have their identity protected.
      And, yes, I know there are wrongfully accused/convicted rapists. They are victims, not those who admit their acts and have video evidence to prove it.

    • Mel

      Completely agree that convicted rapists should be named! I’ve always had a problem with our need for “perp walks” of those who are only arrested, but after conviction, they should be made to experience the consequences.

  • momjones

    The only thing the lawyer should have said is that Ma’Lik accepts, and has learned from the serious consequences of his actions and that out of respect for the victim and her family, the media should please give everyone involved their privacy. But noooo, the guy sounds like a babbling, repetitive, apologist idiot. “Move on with their lives”…ooooK.

  • Rowan

    From some of the crap that’s out there, we can conclude:

    You can choose to be gay, and that’s wrong so stop it.
    If a woman gets pregnant from a rape then it’s not really a rape because you only get pregnant if you wanted to.
    Men are incapable of stopping themselves from having sex with a woman if she is drunk / unconscious / wearing a short skirt / has big boobs / insert BS reason here.

    So… sexuality is a choice, conception is a choice, but rape isn’t. Er, right.

    • Kay_Sue

      This is the most concise summary I have seen of the fucked up way our society views sexuality today. I’m going to have this printed on a tshirt, I think, because it is amazing.

    • Haradanohime

      Actually you need to clarify. Rape the victim’s choice if you believe all the rape apologists out there anyway. All they need do is look a certain way, dress a certain way. smile a certain way, act a certain way, be in a certain place…etc. All of that adds up to the choices of the victim. The poor perp just couldn’t help but be affected by the victims choices and do what (s)he did! (insert eye roll)

  • Janok Place

    I don’t buy that he didn’t know what he did was wrong. That’s a crock of shit. I have zero sympathy for rapists… *maybe* for their families, *Maybe*. Not because they are deprived of their child for the duration of a prison sentence. I feel for them because if it were my family, it would be mourning the permanent loss of that relative in our circle. The percentage of re-offending rapists is astonishing. My concern isn’t for his emotional well being, it’s for the potential future victims now that he’s been released.

    • Natasha B

      Exactly. Dear me, what if he meets another drunk girl and unfortunately accidentally violates her?!

    • Janok Place

      It’s an honest mistake, brought on by a series of unfortunate events. How was he to know violating an unconscious girl covered in vomit was wrong? Hopefully his name has been sufficiently broad casted through the media that girls will know to stay safe, and sober, in his presence.

    • bossip10

      i wish her parents had taugh her better. i wish his parents had taugh him better, i wish the school system had taugh him better. someone failed this kid. his life is ruin, her life is ruin. i feel bad for all partys. last but not least, parents please teach your sons, daughters not to drink and go to parties. we have to do better people in teaching our children.

    • whiteroses

      It doesn’t matter how drunk she was. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. And this sure as hell shouldn’t be laid on her parent’s doorstep.

    • Janok Place

      Girls don’t have a right to drink and go to parties? You don’t think each and every boy hears on multiple occassions in a 16 year span that rape is wrong? Teenage drinking happens, passing out and puking happen. These are relatively normal, albeit stupid, things that teens go through. Sexually violating a drunk, incompassitated girl covered in vomit and broadcasting it publicly is not within the realm of normalcy nor is it justifiable by any stretch of even the wildest imagination.

    • JLH1986

      I feel for the families in that I would be heartbroken to learn I had raised a rapist. I would constantly be wondering where I went wrong, what I missed. I would never forgive myself for raising a child who thought violating an intoxicated unconscious person was ever acceptable. I don’t however, feel for Mr. Richmond or Mr. Mays.

    • whiteroses

      Kids make fucked-up choices all the time. Our job as parents is to make sure that they know the consequences of their fucked up choices when they’re little (for example; if you intentionally pull someone’s hair, it will hurt them and you will be punished, because nobody is allowed to hurt someone without consequence) versus when those choices can destroy other people’s lives.

      You do your best as a parent. In the end, that’s all you can do. It seems to me that these boys are the direct result of parents who allowed them to do what they wanted without consequence.

    • JLH1986

      That was my other thought. But I also know working in the mental health field that sometimes parents can do a lot of “right” and the kid will still make terrible decisions. But I still think I’d take a lot of the blame. I would feel responsible.

    • whiteroses

      Sure you would. And that’s what’s going to make the difference between you and Richmond/May’s parents. They don’t feel responsible. They feel like it’s ok to slutshame- at least Richmond’s parent’s do.
      If you point the finger to avoid blame, at some point you’ll end up pointing it at the mirror.

    • meteor_echo

      If I had a kid and he turned out to be a rapist, I’d disown them and make sure they’d go to jail. I’d also help the victim pursue charges if that’s what they’d want.
      And my heart would probably break.

  • Blueathena623

    Unfortunate set of circumstances . . . I could maybe accept this if it were one of those cases where both participants were highly intoxicated, spur of the moment thing, but he had SO MANY times when he could have turned back or stopped, and he didn’t. They were circumstances of his own making.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      It was just all one big ‘ol oopsie.

  • pixie

    I…just…no.
    If we’re going to have a puritanical attitude towards the victims of rape by not even making a mention of them in a statement released to the media, why don’t we just go all the way and use the puritan punishment of having the perpetrator wear a big, red letter on his chest for his crime. In this case a big R. At least that would be doing something (yes, he went to juvy, which is good that he got punishment, but hey, Hester Prynne learned a lot more from wearing that red A than she did when she spent a few months in jail).

    Oh…wait, but it was just an unfortunate circumstance…he clearly didn’t mean to rape that poor girl…/sarcasm

  • Natasha B

    Oh, that poor poor boy. Such unfortunate circumstances! And now he gets to skip off to college, be a football hero, and rape lots more drunk girls. Go, Justice System.
    I’m going back to bed.

    • Kay_Sue

      Make sure to pull the covers tightly over your head. I intend to once my littlest one goes down for a nap, myself….

    • bossip10

      who said that he going to rape again? as far as i am concern, they all are at fault for some of this, Malik and the victim are both responsible for what happen, if she was not drunk, if he had used common sense.

    • Natasha B

      Oh yes, he just made an honest mistake. Of seeing a girl passed out and thought ‘oh yeah, I should do her’ and saw nothing wrong with his actions. NO. Drunk does not entitle someone to rape you, neither does dressing provocatively or hell walking around naked. It is not her fault.

  • CMJ
    • EmmaFromÉire

      Side note but so in love with Benedict Cumberbatch it hurts….

  • EX

    The statement is awful, granted, but I am wondering if the wording was intentionally chosen to help his case in any potential civil suit? I’m not saying that makes it right, by any means, but I don’t think we should read too much in to what Ma’lik did or didn’t learn in juvy based on lawyer speak.

    • ChillMama

      My thoughts exactly. This sounds like CYA talk from his counsel. Here’s hoping that the young man really did learn, and that the remorse he showed when convicted is genuine.

  • Haradanohime

    Like many of you probably did, I followed the trial. I saw the reactions as the verdict was rendered. I saw Malik weep and fall into the arms of the court official as he apologized to the victims family. It seemed so genuine. But then I remember the interview he did with ABC aired during or before the trial (I can’t remember which) which he denied he raped her, said she was coming onto him/flirting with him, said nothing happened and it makes me think that apology was more of a “sorry I got caught.” This statement by his lawyer just confirms my suspicions even more.
    This was also the same boy who was allowed to leave house arrest and travel across the country “for his safety” with his foster parents (who were going to a college bowl game their biological son was playing in and then to NYC where they interviewed with Matt Lauer on the Today Show along with Malik’s lawyer.) If the foster parents were unable to care for him during that time then for the time there were out of the area Malik should have been returned to the custody of the Juvenile facility or placed somewhere else where his “safety” was better served.
    So as to time served? I don’t think that being under house arrest should have counted. Had they been in Juvienile the entire time then yes it’s time served. But not this. Overall, I don’t think the lesson was learned at all.

    • Momma425

      Apoligy smoligy to the victim and her family. He RAPED her. “I’m sorry” doesn’t fix that. The fact that he is upset about having to go to juvy doesn’t fix that. If I was the mother of the victim, him being genuine, or not wouldn’t really matter to me. I would simply want to see him HURT.

    • whiteroses

      He can apologize all he wants to. It changes nothing. He hasn’t even bothered to acknowledge that he did wrong, so an “I’m sorry” isn’t going to cut it.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    This whole statement infers he was the victim here, tested by difficult circumstances only to emerge a stronger person. What would have been more appropriate would be a renewed apology for his behaviour and an affirmation that he has had time to reflect on his life and will make different and better choices in the future.

  • Amanda Williams

    It sadly appears that one of the things he didn’t learn here was that he was NOT the victim here.

  • meteor_echo

    I don’t wish rape on this piece of shit, like someone else in the thread, but I hope that he gets hit by a car and has his right leg amputated. Or somehow manages to break his right femur. The fucker needs to never be able to play sports – let’s see how coveted he’ll be then. I’m sure an accident would strip all of his entitlement off forever.

  • Guest

    Yes! The guys were dogs! But just about every person that I have encountered does’nt understand why most of you out there are not sitting your daughter’s down and using this as an example as to why getting passed out drunk IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! I know, you should be able to get drunk and walk around naked if you choose! That is the most irresponisible thing I have heard anyone say about this! What message are you sending out to the young girls? Are you parents fucking kidding me right now? Yes girl’s go ahead get drunk and strip, you should have no problems! These guys will go on and play there football and get more tail than any of you could even fantasize about, but the girl, she is scarred for a long time! YOU ARE SENDING THESE GIRLS THE WRONG MESSAGE!!! And I don’t care who gets offended by this, it is the truth!!!!!!!!

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