Steubenville rape case lawyer Walter Madison

Steubenville Rape Lawyer Ignores Victim As Rapist Walks Free Early

Steubenville rape convict Ma’lik Richmond, who at the age of 16 was “found delinquent” in the rape of 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, is out of juvenile detention three months before his one-year sentence is up, WTOV News in Steubenville is reporting today.

When the TV station learned that Richmond was walking free to resume life as a high school student, his lawyer Walter Madison sent WTOV a statement that angered the victim’s family, whose lawyer shot back with a statement of his own.

The controversy? As reported by the website Think Progress, Madison’s press release never mentioned the victim of Richmond’s crime, or even what his crime — for which he was convicted on March 17, 2013 — actually was.

Instead, Madison referred only to an “unfortunate set of circumstances” and a “hardness beyond imagine” (sic) endured not by the Steubenville rape victim, but by her convicted attacker, Richmond.

Madison’s statement today, in which he asked the community to show Steubenville rape convict Richmond “support and prayers” as he “looks forward to school, life, and spending time with family,” without any acknowledgment of the victim provoked a sharp response from Bob Fitzsimmons, the girl’s own attorney.

“It is disheartening that this convicted rapist’s press release does not make a single reference to the victim and her family – whom he and his co-defendant scarred for life. One would expect to see the defendant publicly apologize for all the pain he caused rather than make statements about himself. Rape is about victims, not defendants.”

Richmond was convicted of raping the teenage girl at an alcohol-fueled high school party on August 12, 2012.

Because Madison’s statement didn’t mention the Steubenville rape or the victim, it unsurprisingly also failed to express any remorse on Richmond’s part for taking part in the rape of a teenage girl.

The exact day when Richmond was released is unclear, but it came after the first of the year. The Steubenville rape case riveted national attention, first because of the apparently uncaring, even celebratory attitude of the high-school football-playing rapists and their friends, who boasted about their crime on social media and circulated nude pictures of the unconscious victim via text messages.

When media coverage of the trial began, it generated even more controversy for what was widely perceived as its sympathetic attitude toward the Steubenville rape defendants, Richmond and 17-year-old fellow football player Trent Mays.

In one broadcast that became a flashpoint for anger over media coverage of the case, two CNN reporters sympathized with the two boys convicted of the Steubenville rape after they heard their guilty verdicts, discussing how “emotional” it was as media members to watch the boys and their “promising futures” appear to “fall apart.”

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