A judge on Friday ordered that an ex-Ohio high school football player convicted of rape be removed from the state’s sex offender registry for juveniles, as allowed by law.
The ruling by Judge Thomas Lipps came in the case of Ma’Lik Richmond, a former Steubenville High School football player who in 2013 was convicted of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl at a party that followed a football scrimmage the previous year.
Richmond served a one-year sentence and later rejoined the Steubenville football team. Now 21, he plays for Youngstown State University.
After his conviction, Richmond was ordered to register his address every six months for the next 20 years. In 2014, Lipps agreed to reclassify him so that he had to register only once a year for the next decade. Ohio law allows juveniles to request removal altogether.
A second juvenile convicted in the crime served a two-year sentence. His attorneys plan a similar request in the future.
A message was left with Richmond’s attorney seeking comment. In a November filing, state public defender Brooke Burns argued that Richmond had served his punishment, completed all sex offender programming, and is now a successful college student. He has a strong family support system and is hard-working and remorseful, the filing said.
Richmond’s “court history demonstrates his rehabilitation and commitment to leading an offense-free future,” Burns said on Nov. 9.