(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) — One of the teens who was convicted of raping a female student during a party in Steubenville, Ohio, is back on his high school’s football team this fall.
ABC affiliate WSYX-TV in Columbus, Ohio, reported that Ma’lik Richmond, 18, was released from juvenile detention in January. He had served 10 months of his one-year sentence. Richmond is classified as a sex offender in the state of Ohio and must register with the Ohio attorney general every six months for 20 years.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association noted that the school has the authority to determine whether the student can participate “since he is otherwise eligible.” According to a statement from OHSAA Director of Information Services Tim Stried, “If the detention sentence had been longer, it would have kept the student from participating this fall, or if the school would have a policy against allowing a convicted sex offender from participating, that would also keep him from being a part of the team this fall.”
Still, Stried said, “the OHSAA does not control either of those items.”
“There is no question that the OHSAA believes participation in interscholastic athletics is a privilege, not a right,” Stried added. “However, this is a local school decision, and there is not a regulation that the member schools have approved that would allow our office to prohibit the student from playing.”
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