A federal appeals court is allowing a man convicted of sexual assault to continue to play college football this weekend, Crime Online reported, even as his university tried to keep that from happening.
Ma’lik Richmond, 21, was convicted in 2013 of digitally penetrating a heavily intoxicated 16-year-old girl and taking photos of her naked body in the infamous Steubenville, Ohio case, along with his co-perpetrator Trent Mays. The victim apparently only learned that she had been raped through widely circulated social media posts showing her repeated assaults.
Richmond, who was 16 years old at the time, served about 10 months in a juvenile detention center for the crime, according to USA Today. He then returned to his high school football team and later joined the football team of Youngstown State University.
After the ensuing controversy, including a petition started by a Youngstown student, the university decided to block Richmond from playing on the team, keeping him instead on the practice squad. In turn, Richmond sued the university for denying him “one precious and irreplaceable year of NCAA eligibility” without any due process.
The university, the suit claims, had been “infected by an anti-male bias that has swept across America’s universities and colleges.”
U.S. District Court Judge Benita Pearson ruled in favor of a temporary restraining order in the case until she holds a Sept. 28 hearing to make a permanent ruling, saying that the university failed to show that allowing Richmond to play “has serious or irreparable consequences.”
Mays, who was likewise convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to two years in a juvenile detention center, is also currently playing football at Central State University.
[Image: YSU Sports]