A high-profile trial of two popular Ohio high school football players hinges on a flurry of text messages sent after a drunken evening when they allegedly raped a 16-year-old in August.
Steubenville High football players Trenton Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond,16, are accused of subjecting the 16-year-old West Virginia girl to a night of "degradation."
Prosecutors will piece together much of their case from various social media postings since the alleged victim can't remember what happened to her that night.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that some of the texts sent from Mays' phone suggest that he thought his coach Reno Saccoccia would protect him from the fallout over rape allegations.
"I got Reno ... He took care of it and s--- ain't gonna happen, even if they did take it to court," the text stated, a state forensics investigator testified.
The New York Times reported that Mays also texted “I feel like he took care of it” and that “he was joking about it so I’m not that worried.”
Saccoccia — an "icon in the community" — declined to discuss the case with the Plain Dealer because he has to testify in the trial.
Steubenville has been portrayed in the media as idolizing its "Big Red" football team. As ABC's "20/20" has reported, "Steubenville is a place where football is more than just a past time; it's a religion. And residents here worship on Friday nights."
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