In a new interview, the former president of the Steubenville chapter of the NAACP places the blame for the infamous Steubenville, Ohio rape case on the victim claiming that because she was drunk and freely attended the party at which she was assaulted, she was essentially willing to allow the attack.
The controversial comments were made in an interview with Royal Mayo conducted by the International Business Times. Until late 2010, Mayo was the president of the local chapter of the NAACP and is now a member of that chapter’s executive committee. Mayo is also a lifelong resident of the Steubenville area.
The Steubenville rape case made national news when a video of students perpetrating the crime on the drunk and unconscious victim was spread via social media. The video and still photos taken by other kids at the parties became central in a trial that resulted in the conviction of two students, football players Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond.
Constantly calling the 16-year-old rape victim an “alleged victim” in the interview, Mayo criticized the girl for having arrived at the party with vodka. “She said her mother brought her to the party, at 3 o’clock, with a bottle of vodka,” Mayo said. “Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where’d you get it? You came to the party with your mother.”
Mayo went on to intimate that the victim actually wanted to be abused. “They’re alleging she got raped; she’s acknowledging that she wanted to leave with Trent. Her friends say she pushed them away as she went and got into the car, twice telling them, ‘I know what I’m doing; I’m going with Trent,'” the former NAACP chief said.
Evidence in the trial showed that the victim was so drunk after the first party that she had to be carried out physically by the football players. The victim was driven to at least two other parties at which, according to video evidence, she was raped several times while she was unconscious.
Mayo has been close to one of the convicted teens, Ma’lik Richmond, and admits to having been a “counselor” to the teen and his family. Mayo claims that Richmond has denied any connection to the rapes.
Central to Mayo’s claims that Richmond is innocent is his distrust of the Steubenville police. Mayo claims that the two convicted football players were “sacrificed” over racial issues.
“You hear local people saying, ‘We got this out of the way, let us just heal, let the community start to heal.’ It’s like these two were sacrificed, the poor black kid and the white kid who is from the next county, in the next town over, who were sacrificed over all the other dirt and corruption that would be uncovered if you come into Steubenville,” Mayo says.
Mayo insists that the convictions were tinged with racism and that many other students were let off the hook because they were “well connected”–apparently meaning that it is because they are on the football team.
“Here’s the question for me: If none of these guys had immunity from the beginning and one of them made a pornographic movie with his phone with two teenagers, the other two admitted to taking pornographic photos or nude photos of the girl, if they had no immunity or no deal with the prosecutors or police, how come they are not under arrest?” Mayo said.