CNN coverage of Ohio teen rape sentencing criticized
By CBSAtlanta.com Web Staff
Mays, Richmond (Source: CNN)
STEUBENVILLE, OH (CBS46) -
CNN is receiving criticism for the way it covered the sentencing of two 16-year-old boys who were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, OH.
On Sunday, the suspects, both high school football players, were sentenced in an emotionally-charged courtroom.
Ma'lik Richmond was sentenced to serve at least one year in juvenile detention for the crime, and Trent Mays was sentenced to at least two years, because he also was found guilty of illegally distributing a naked photo of the victim.
CNN's coverage of the sentencing, which included CNN anchor Candy Crowley, correspondent Poppy Harlow and legal analyst Paul Callan, focused on how the guilty verdict would affect the lives of the convicted rapists, with no mention of the rape victim and what she'd face as a survivor of that rape.
Harlow told Crowley she had never experienced anything like the sentencing.
"It was incredibly emotional, incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men, who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, who literally watched as they believe their lives fell apart," she told Crowley.
Crowley then asked Callan what the lasting effect of the sentence would be on Richmond and Mays.
"Well you know, Candy, we've seen here a courtroom drenched in tears and tragedy and you know, Poppy's description, I think you know, um, sums it all up," he said.
Callan continued to say that the teens' new status as sex offenders would be damaging.
"The most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as registered sex offenders," he said. "That label is now placed upon them by Ohio law and that's the way the laws in most other states now require that designation in the face of such a serious crime. That will haunt them for the rest of their lives."
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