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Steubenville’s Former NAACP President Suggests “Alleged Victim” was Willing, and Ma’lik Innocent
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Steubenville’s former NAACP President, Royal Mayo, has voiced some perhaps unpopular opinions in a phone interview done by the International Business Times about the recent conviction of two football players from Steubenville who were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. Though Mayo is now on the NAACP’s Ohio executive committee, and does not speak on behalf of the NAACP, many find his words carry a certain authority, or at least interest, especially since he is voicing an opinion offensive to those who think justice was served.

Perhaps it was obnoxious that in the interview he referred to the 16-year-old girl as the “alleged victim” and implied that she was if not willing, at least acting peculiar. He suggested in the interview that the sex might have been consensual. “She said her mother brought her to the part, at 3 o’clock, with a bottle of vodka. Where did you get it, young lady? You brought it from home? Where’d you get it? You came to the part with your mother.”

“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.’”

  
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Mayo was also intent on questioning just how sure the testimony against Ma’lik actually was. One student, Westlake, for instance, gave ambiguous testimony:

“Now, he said, ‘It appeared that he did something,’ ‘It looked like,’ and ‘I thought…’ He never said, ‘I was definite, and I’m 100 percent sure.’ And, out of the witness, he’s the only one that said that. The other guys, ‘Ma’lik was behind her, I couldn’t tell, I couldn’t see anything,’ but he definitely saw it,” said Mayo, in the same interview.

Most outstanding in his take of the case is that Steubenville has a bad record of unjust treatment of African-American residents, with over 48 civil rights lawsuits in the last 20-years over issues of false arrest, excessive force, and police misconduct. Mayo thinks this may have played a part on this case.

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“You hear local people saying, ‘we got this out of the way, let unjust 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,” he said in the interview.

Whether there is any merit to Mayo’s take, it is certain to unsettle many.





 

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