2 girls charged with threatening Ohio rape victim


STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- Two teens accused of sending threatening messages on social media following the Steubenville rape trial will appear in court on the charges later this month.

Steubenville police were notified about the posts, one on Twitter and another on Facebook, and arrested the girls, 15 and 16, Monday. The 16-year-old is a relative of Ma'lik Richmond.

Steubenville High School football players, Ma'lik and Trent Mays, were found guilty Sunday of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl after a drunken party last August.

The teens were read the charges at a detention preceding this morning. They are charged with intimidation of a victim, a felony, aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment, both misdemeanors.

Jefferson County assistant prosecutor Sam Pate said that it appeared few lessons have been learned about the seriousness of posting on social media.

"It's beyond me why these young people believe it's OK to post things of this nature on social media," he said

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Fran Carinci, attorney for the 15-year-old girl, said her client is a good student who's never been in trouble before now.

"I think first of all, we need to calm down and reflect and as what the kids really said and if it's a genuine threat," she said. "We are operating under a heightened sense of hysteria."

The girl posted: "I'll celebrate by beating the [expletive] out of Jane Doe," KDKA-TV is reporting.

Ms. Carinci also said her client was herself attacked on social media for supporting one of the defendants in the rape case, who is a friend.

Raven Harris, Ma'lik Richmond's first cousin, said her sister was quoting lyrics by Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill in her tweet.

The girl's tweet was: "You ripped my family apart, you made my cousin cry, so when I see you [expletive] it's going to be a homicide."

The lyric in the rapper's song "Traumatized" is: "You ripped my family apart and made my momma cry. So when I see you [expletive] it's gon' be a homicide."

Ms. Harris, the said her family has received numerous threats throughout the trial.

"People post lyrics every day about murder. They might be murderers for real," she said.

The teens will appear in court for an adjudicatory hearing March 27.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Molly Born is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.

Contact Molly Born at mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944.