TODAY   |  March 16, 2013

‘A lot of hurt’ in Steubenville over rape trial

A very emotional trial in Steubenville, Ohio is continuing into the weekend, with two local high school football players accused of raping a teenage girl. “There's a lot of hurt in this community,” said one resident. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we begin the half hour with the emotional trial out of stooub inville, ohio. two local high school football players are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. the case exploded on social media . ron allen has been in court watching and he is outside the courthouse this morning. good morning.

>> good morning to you, erika. the judge deciding this matter said he will listen to testimony right through the weekend to resolve this dispute that so divided and community. two athletes are on trial. they have pleaded not guilty in a case that has cast them and many of their friends in a harsh spotlight. in court tren maze 27 and malique richmond stand accused of assaulting a 16-year-old girl that prosecutors say was too intoxicated to know what was happening. but their exploitation of that knowledge when they treated her.

>> it allegedly look place in august during a night when they say dozens of under aged teens were drinking heavily and sharing pictures on social media like this one showing the accuser being held by the two defendants and sh video showing a young man who shorts say did not actually witness the alleged attack mocking the girl.

>> she is deader than a door nail.

>> they claim social media and the protest that is erupted only distorted the case and prosecutors cannot prove maze and richmond committed a crime.

>> we don't believe they can support there was any sexual conduct let alone the fact that it was none consensual. friends of the defendants have testified they saw mays sexually attack the girl in the backseat of a car and then in a basement while she was lying naked on a floor. prosecutors have bolstered their case with thousands of text messages retrieved from phones that night describing what happened and many liced with proceed fan at this and in one exchange, i wasn't being a slut, they were taking advantage of me. it is all difficult for this small town especially because the local high school and the football team long have been such a source of local pride.

>> there is a lot of hurt in this community, a lot of hurt and a lot of pain and re force and regret and just -- i can't plain it.

>> later today the case could reach an emotional crescendo. we expect to hear from the 16-year-old girl at the center of this case. regardless of the outcome, her life, the lives of the defendants and the lives of many other young people will never not same again.