After Settlement, Youngstown Will Let Convicted Rapist Play Football

October 3, 2017

Ma'lik Richmond, the Youngstown State University football player convicted of a high-profile rape in high school, will remain on the team.

Richmond sued the university last month after he was told he couldn’t play this season. As a part of a settlement with that lawsuit, Richmond will be eligible to play, the university announced. Richmond will will be trained in “Title IX issues” – a reference to the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law barring gender discrimination and that protects against sexual assault.

Other aspects of the deal were not disclosed.

In 2013, Richmond was convicted – one of two high school football players -- of sexually assaulting a girl. Details of the case, known nationally as the Steubenville High School rape, drew widespread attention because of the evidence that players exchanged photos and joked about the assault.  

His inclusion on the team prompted outrage, and a petition circulated, signed by more than 11,500 people, calling for him to be kicked off.

The university released a statement on Monday:

“This has been a complex situation and will continue to be of interest to our campus community. As we move forward, we are prepared to continue to engage the campus in a review of our policies at it relates to these types of situations, including policies on student participation in athletics and other high-profile university activities. While the settlement agreement may cause concern for some, we believe it is in the best overall interest of the university, students and the community.”

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