An Ohio woman accused of using a social media app to livestream the rape of her 17 year old friend appeared in court Friday, April 15, 2016, pleading not guilty to multiple charges. Her co-defendant, a man accused of physically forcing himself on the teenager, also pleaded not guilty, according to ABC 6 Columbus.
Marina Alexeevna Lonina, 18, is accused of live broadcasting on the Web her minor friend allegedly being sexually assaulted by Raymond Boyd Gates, 29. According to Inside Edition, the alleged incident took place on February 27, 2016, at a home in Columbus, Ohio.
A recent press release from the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, posted April 13, indicates “The victim and the two defendants were socializing and at some point in the evening it is alleged that Gates forced sexual intercourse with the victim and Lonina started Periscoping (live-streaming in real time) the sexual assault.”
According to the press release, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien further announced the following.
“Lonina had also photographed the victim in a state of nudity the night before at Lonina’s house… A friend of Lonina’s in another state watched the Periscope live stream of the rape on the 27th and authorities were contacted.”
Additionally, the document notes that both Lonina and Gates have been indicted on one count of kidnapping, two counts of rape, one count of sexual battery, two counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor, and one count of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor.
Lonina was indicted on further matters, including one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material, and one count of illegally using a minor in nudity oriented material for “photographing events that took place the night before the rape.”
Prosecutor O’Brien stated that Lonina told law enforcement she was Periscoping the alleged incident to prevent her friend from being attacked, but “got caught up” when she started getting “likes” from viewers, reports WNCN. O’Brien said based on the video he viewed, it did not appear “for the most part” that Lonina was attempting to help her friend.
Nevertheless, Lonina’s attorney, Sam Shamansky, said that his client tried to help her friend by asking those watching the video stream, “What should I do now?” He added that Lonina is “a good kid… from a fine family” and is not a rapist, according to WNCN.
Shamansky also asserted his client has a “habit of filming everything” using Periscope, and indicated Lonina and her friend met Gates at a local mall the day prior to the alleged incident, where he bought them alcohol and asked them to meet him the next day, ABC 6 reports.
According to WNCN, police say during the alleged assault, Gates restrained the victim using his body weight. The report also states that the girl can be heard screaming “No, it hurts so much,” “Please stop,” and “Please no” several times WNCN reports.
Prosecutor O’Brien stated the comments in the 10-minute video are in Russian, as Lonina and her friend are naturalized citizens from Russia, and Gates is of Russian descent, ABC 6 reports.
In the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office press release, O’Brien also notes that if Lonina and Gates are found guilty of the charges against them, each could be sentenced to more than 40 years behind bars.
During the court hearing it was determined that Lonina’s bond be set at $125,000, while bond for Gates was set at more than double that amount at $300,000, reports WNCN.
Inside Edition reports that Periscope’s user guidelines prohibit postings of graphic content, however, in the past, such video has been broadcast. A Florida woman, Whitney Marie Beall, 23, allegedly filmed herself driving drunk using the app and was subsequently arrested for and charged with DUI, according to Inside Edition.
[Photo by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office]