Ohio teen charged in rape case says photo was joke



COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — One of two Ohio high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party says a photo of the defendants apparently carrying the girl by her arms and legs was a joke.

Sixteen-year-old Ma’Lik Richmond talks about the photo in an excerpt of a videotaped interview with ABC’s “20/20.” The program says Richmond contends the girl was awake and was a willing participant.

Richmond says the boys weren’t carrying the girl away. Online circulation of the photo drew increased attention to the case.

Richmond and 17-year-old Trent Mays are set to go on trial Wednesday in juvenile court in the eastern Ohio city of Steubenville (STOO’-behn-vihl). Their attorneys deny the charges and have sought to have the case dismissed.

The case has drawn international attention over allegations that more students should have been charged.