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Ohio school rape victim didn’t consent, prosecutor says

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A 16-year-old girl was substantially impaired after an alcohol-fueled party, was unable to consent to sex, and suffered humiliation and degradation when she was raped by two high school football players, a prosecutor said Wednesday in her opening statement at the boys’ trial.

But a lawyer for defendant Trent Mays said his 17-year-old client ‘‘did not rape the young lady in question.’’

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Prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter and Mays’s lawyer, Brian Duncan, spoke at the opening of the juvenile court trial, which has drawn international attention to a small town in a football-loving region of eastern Ohio. Hemmeter said she would show that the girl was ‘‘somebody who was too impaired to say no, somebody who was too impaired to say stop.’’

The lawyer representing defendant Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, gave no opening statement.

The case has divided the community amid allegations that more students should have been charged. It also has led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of a pride in a community that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry.

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