Teen convicted of rape returns to football team

STEUBENVILLE, OH (CNN) – Ma’lik Richmond suited up for practice with the Steubenville high school football team Monday.  Richmond and teammate Trent Mays were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party in 2012.

The Steubenville high football coach says Richmond has earned a second chance.

“It was a horrible crime, it was a horrible crime. Everything the judicial system of Ohio asked him to do, he completed. Everything that the school system asked him to do upon his release, he completed both academically and socially. He was back in school since January, and was suspended from all extracurricular activities for the remainder of the year. I feel that we’re really not giving him a second chance. Some may look at it like that; I feel he has earned a second chance,” said Reno Saccoccia.

“We don’t deal in death sentences for juvenile activity, and I just feel that he’s earned a second chance. I’ve thought about it hard, and I’m going with that decision. He’s one of 55 players that are in good standing with their teammates and their coaches, who have the same opportunity as any other player,” Saccoccia continued.

Ma’lik Richmond remains on probation and will have to register as a sex offender every six months, for the next 20 years.

Teammate Trent Mays is serving a two-year sentence in juvenile detention.

His release is scheduled for January.

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