Alleged victim takes the stand

STEUBENVILLE — At 3:46 p.m. today, the 28th witness took the stand as testimony continued in the juvenile rape trial being held in the Jefferson County Justice Center.

It was the alleged victim — a 16-year-old Weirton Madonna High School student.

The alleged victim testified about events leading up to the incidents that allegedly occurred on the night Aug. 11-12, and admitted to being the individual who brought the vodka to the party.

The vodka was stored in an upstairs bedroom in the Belardine house on Wilma Avenue at the party, testimony indicated. The alleged victim said that she did consume enough alcohol to become intoxicated, or, in her words, drunk.

“I just wasn’t myself. I got really hot and was just not presenting myself very well,” she testified.

The alleged victim said that up to the point of leaving that party, she had a recollection of what had happened, but said that she didn’t remember anything after leaving there.

She did testify to leaving with Trent Mays, 17, of Bloomingdale, one of the defendants in the case, and she testified that it was the first time she had ever seen the second defendant, Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, of Steubenville.

The next morning, the alleged victim reported she was naked and asked where her clothes were. When she woke up, she testified that Mays, Richmond and another boy, Mark Cole, were surrounding her.

The alleged victim reported that she was too embarrassed to ask what happened that night, and said that she immediately got dressed.

The girl’s testimony came as the fourth day of the trial continued in front of visiting Judge Thomas Lipps.

Mays and Richmond have been charged with rape in connection with an incident involving the alleged victim that occurred the night of Aug. 11-12. Mays also faces a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material for allegedly having a picture of the alleged victim in an outgoing message on his cell phone. Attorneys for both defendants have denied the charges.

A candlelight vigil in support of the alleged victim has been scheduled for 8 p.m. today in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The trial, which began Wednesday, is scheduled to continue into Sunday, and could run into Monday, courtroom observers have indicated.