Accuser in Steubenville case testifies: ‘I didn’t remember anything and it freaked me out’
The 16-year-old girl allegedly raped by two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio, testified on Saturday that she woke up the morning after the alleged assault not knowing what had happened, NBC News reported.
“I didn’t know what to think,” the accuser said. “I didn’t remember anything and it freaked me out.”
According to Reuters, the girl also testified that she hesitated before identifying the defendants, 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond, as her attackers, even after seeing a video making light of the assault, which prosecutors said took place after the three left a party together in August 2012.
Mays and Richmond are accused of raping the girl via manual penetration while she was unconscious and are being tried as juveniles, meaning that if found guilty, they could be in jail until they turn 21 and be required to register as sex offenders. The case gained international attention after the hacker collective Anonymous released information connected to the incident, alleging that local authorities were protecting the defendants because of their athletic connections.
“Honestly, I was praying that everything I heard wasn’t true,” the accuser told prosecutor Marrianne Hemmeter on Saturday. “I didn’t want to get myself into drama because I knew everyone would just blame me.”
Hemmeter also showed the accuser some of the images of her that were posted online, including one that showed her naked with what prosecutors said was semen on her stomach. The accuser testified she had never seen that picture before, and started crying.
Attorneys for Mays and Richmond called two teens, Gianna Anile and Kelsey Weaver, who identified themselves as former best friends of the accuser. Both testified that they ended their friendship with the accuser after she began alleging the two football players raped her.
Weaver testified that she saw the alleged victim drink two beers and four shots of vodka during the night in question, while flirting with Richmond. Weaver also testified that she did not believe the accuser when she said she had been drugged. The accuser, Weaver said, “lies about things.”
Watch NBC News’ report on the accuser’s testimony, aired Saturday, below.