In an exclusive audio clip provided to CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, the mother of the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim said she hoped the crime against her daughter would raise awareness about sexual assault.
“My family and I are hopeful that we can put this whole ordeal behind us,” she said. “We need and deserve to focus on our daughters future. We hope that from this something good can arise. I feel I have an opportunity to bring an awareness to others, possibly change the mentality of a youth or help a parent to have more of an awareness to where their children are and what they are doing.”
“The adults need to take responsibility guide these children,” she continued. “I ask every person listening what if this was your daughter, your sister or your friend? We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right. We all have that option to choose. This is the start of a new beginning for my daughter. I ask that you all continue to pray for her and all victims and please respect our privacy as we help our family to heal. Thank you.”
The perpetrators, 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond, were found guilty on Sunday of raping the young girl while she was unconscious.
The Steubenville rape case brought national attention to the small town in Ohio after hackers publicized shocking details of the crime, including video and text messages. The hackers alleged the football-loving town was refusing to move the case forward because it was protecting its two high school stars.
Watch video, courtesy of CNN, below:
[Image via Brian Stansberry, Creative Commons licensed]