Nation roundup for March 18


Ohio teens guilty of rape, face year-plus in jail

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Two members of the high school football team that is the pride of Steubenville were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that bitterly divided the Rust Belt city and led to accusations of a cover-up to protect the community’s athletes.

Steubenville High School students Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond were sentence to at least a year in juvenile jail, capping a case that came to light via a barrage of morning-after text messages, social media posts and online photos and video. Mays was sentenced to an additional year in jail on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, to be served after his rape sentence is completed.

The two teens broke down in tears after the verdict was read and later apologized to the victim and to the community. Both were emotional as they spoke, and Richmond struggled at times to talk through his sobs. Richmond’s father, Nathaniel, also asked that the victim’s family “forgive Malik and Trent for the pain they put you through.”

Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after an alcohol-fueled party on Aug. 11, and then in the basement of a house.

The case roiled the community amid allegations that more students should have been charged — accusations that Ohio’s attorney general pledged to look into — and led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of a pride in a community of 18,000 that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry. Their arms linked, protesters who sought guilty verdicts stood outside the courthouse Sunday morning, some wearing masks.

The trial opened last week as a contest between prosecutors determined to show the girl was so drunk she couldn’t have been a willing participant that night, and defense attorneys soliciting testimony from witnesses that would indicate that the girl, though drunk, knew what she was doing.

The teenage girl testified Saturday that she could not recall what happened the night of the attack but remembered waking up naked in a strange house after drinking at a party. The girl said she recalled drinking, leaving the party holding hands with Mays and throwing up later. When she woke up, she said she discovered her phone, earrings, shoes, and underwear were missing, she testified.

“It was really scary,” she said. “I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything.”

The girl said she believed she was assaulted when she later read text messages among friends and saw a photo of herself taken that night, along with a video that made fun of her and the alleged attack. She said she suspected she had been drugged because she couldn’t explain being as intoxicated as defense witnesses have said she was.

“They treated her like a toy,” said special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter.

Evidence introduced at the trial included graphic text messages sent by numerous students after the night of the party, including by the accuser, containing provocative descriptions of sex acts and obscene language. Lawyers noted during the trial how texts have seemed to replace talking on the phone for contemporary teens. A computer forensic expert called by the state documented tens of thousands of texts found on 17 phones seized during the investigation.

In sentencing the boys, Judge Thomas Lipps urged everyone who had witnessed what happened in the case, including parents, “to have discussions about how you talk to your friends, how you record things on the social media so prevalent today and how you conduct yourself when drinking is put upon you by your friends.”

The girl herself recalled being in a car later with Mays and Richmond and asking them what happened.

“They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me,” she testified. “I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video.”

In questioning her account, defense attorneys went after her character and credibility. Two former friends of the girl testified that the accuser had a history of drinking heavily and was known to lie.

“The reality is, she drank, she has a reputation for telling lies,” said lawyer Walter Madison, representing Richmond.

The two girls testified they were angry at the accuser because she was drinking heavily at the party and rolling around on the floor. They said they tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop drinking.

Nathaniel Richmond urged during the sentencing that parents speak to their children about “the dangers of alcohol and how it can lead to bad decisions that will affect the rest of your life.” He said he himself was an alcoholic.

The accuser said that she does not remember being photographed as she was carried by Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond, an image that stirred up outrage, first locally, then globally, as it spread online. Others have testified the photo was a joke and the girl was conscious when it was taken.

The photograph led to allegations that three other boys, two of them members of Steubenville High’s celebrated Big Red team, saw something happening that night and didn’t try to stop it but instead recorded it.

The three boys weren’t charged, fueling months of online accusations of a cover-up to protect the team, which law enforcement authorities have vehemently denied.

Instead, the teens were granted immunity to testify, and their accounts helped incriminate the defendants. They said the girl was so drunk she didn’t seem to know what was happening to her and confirmed she was digitally penetrated in a car and later on a basement floor.

After Mays and Richmond were taken into custody Sunday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he planned to convene a grand jury next month to investigate whether anyone else should be charged in the case.

Noting that 16 people refused to talk to investigators, many of them underage, DeWine said possible crimes to be investigated include failure to report a felony and failure to report child abuse.

“This community desperately needs to have this behind them, but this community also desperately needs to know justice was done and that no stone was left unturned,” he said.

Mays and Richmond were determined to be delinquent, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, Lipps ruled in the juvenile court trial without a jury.

The length of their sentence beyond the minimum one year will be determined by juvenile authorities; they can be held until they’re 21. Lipps said that “as bad as things have been for all of the children involved in this case, they can all change their lives for the better.”

The Associated Press normally doesn’t identify minors charged in juvenile court, but Mays and Richmond have been widely identified in news coverage, and their names have been used in open court. The AP also does not generally identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.

College mourns pregnant Pa. coach killed in crash

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A small Catholic college outside Pittsburgh mourned the loss of a women’s lacrosse coach who died along with her unborn child when the team’s bus crashed on the way to a game, remembering her Sunday as warm, outgoing and a natural leader.

Students and staff packed into Seton Hill University’s century-old Saint Joseph’s Chapel for a memorial service for lacrosse coach Kristina Quigley and other victims of the crash. The program for the service reads: “In Loving Memory of Kristina Quigley and Son”

Earlier Sunday, team members and fans at a Seton Hill baseball game observed a minute of silence for the two crash victims. With the players in the background on a cold day, students and other mourners visited a tribute set up in front of a lacrosse net next to the baseball field that featured bouquets of flowers, stuffed animals, a lacrosse stick, a whistle and a candle sat in front of a team photo and signs reading “In memoriam - Kristina Quigley - Forever a Griffin.”

Players and coaches from Seton Hill were among 23 people aboard when the bus crashed into a tree Saturday morning on the Pennsylvania Turnpike outside Harrisburg. The team was headed to an afternoon game at Millersville University, about 50 miles from the crash site in central Pennsylvania. Police are investigating the cause.

Quigley, 30, of Greensburg, died of her injuries at a hospital, Cumberland County authorities said. Quigley was about six months pregnant, and her unborn son didn’t survive. The bus driver, Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Johnstown, died at the scene.

Saturday’s game and a Sunday home game were canceled after the crash.

Seton Hill is a liberal arts school of about 2,500 students that sits atop a hill in western Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. The campus is a mix of older stone and brick buildings surrounded by newer ones. The school is also offering grief counseling to students.

Duquesne University women’s lacrosse coach Mike Scerbo remembered Quigley as a warm, outgoing person who immediately impressed him when he hired her to be an assistant during the 2008 season. Quigley, a Duquesne alum, spent just one season under Scerbo before moving to South Carolina to start Erskine College’s NCAA Division II program.

“In that time, I really saw how much passion she had to be a coach, and how much she enjoyed working with the kids,” Scerbo said. “She was a teacher, and she wanted to help kids grow and learn, not just about the sport, but about life.”

She spent three years at Erskine before taking the top job at Seton Hill for the 2012 season. She stayed in touch with Scerbo, often seeking his guidance and showing up at the Duquesne alumni game.

“She was a very happy person, very passionate about life, about her players, about her job and most importantly about her family,” Scerbo said.

Quigley, a native of Baltimore, was married and had a young son, Gavin, the school said.

Two victims flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center remained there Sunday, and no information was released about them. A woman injured in the crash was discharged Sunday afternoon from another hospital. All others aboard the bus were taken to hospitals as a precaution, but almost all were treated and released.

Police couldn’t immediately say what had caused the crash. The front side of the bus, which was towed from the scene Saturday night, was shorn away, and the vehicle came to rest upright about 70 yards from the highway at the bottom of a grassy slope.

The bus operator, Mlaker Charter & Tours, of Davidsville, Pa., is up to date on its inspections, which include bus and driver safety checks, said Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for the state Public Utility Commission, which regulates bus companies.

The agency’s motor safety inspectors could think of no accidents or violations involving the company that would raise a red flag, she said, though complete safety records were not available Saturday.

On Tuesday, another bus carrying college lacrosse players from a Vermont team was hit by a sports car that spun out of control on a wet highway in upstate New York, sending the bus toppling onto its side, police said. One person in the car died.

Fund pays $600M to settle insider trading charges

Associated Press

Hedge fund CR Intrinsic Investors will pay more than $600 million in what federal regulators are calling the largest insider trading settlement ever.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the firm with insider trading in 2012, alleging that one of its portfolio managers illegally obtained confidential details about an Alzheimer’s drug trial from a doctor before the final results went public and made trades from that information.

The SEC said Friday that the fund agreed to settle the charges and the parties neither admit nor deny the charges.

“The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are a sharp warning that the SEC will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm,” George S. Canellos, acting director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.

The SEC said in its complaint that Sidney Gillman, a doctor who moonlighted as a medical consultant, tipped CR Intrinsic portfolio manager Mathew Martoma with safety data and eventually negative results in the trial of the drug made by drug firms Elan Corp. and Wyeth two weeks before they were made public in 2008. Martoma and CR Intrinsic then caused several hedge funds to sell more than $960 million in Elan and Wyeth securities in a little more than a week.

The commission amended its complaint Friday to add S.A.C. Capital Advisors and four hedge funds managed by CR Intrinsic and S.A.C. Capital as defendants, saying they each received ill-gotten gains from the scheme.

The settlement is subject to the approval of a U.S. District Court judge. It does not settle charges against Martoma, whose case is still in litigation

It was one of multiple settlements reached Friday by the SEC. The SEC also settled charges against Sigma Capital Management for $14 million. Sigma allegedly profited illegally from early information about the earnings of two technology companies.

The cases stem from a long-running probe of insider trading by hedge funds, many of which are affiliated with S.A.C. Capital.

CR Intrinsic was an affiliate of S.A.C. A separate S.A.C. affiliate fund allegedly benefited from Sigma’s actions.

S.A.C. said in a statement Friday that it is happy to put these matters with the SEC behind it.

“This settlement is a substantial step toward resolving all outstanding regulatory matters and allows the firm to move forward with confidence,” the company. “We are committed to continuing to maintain a first-rate compliance effort woven into the fabric of the firm.”

 

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