Steubenville Rape Trial Update: Judge to Make Ruling Sunday Morn - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Steubenville Rape Trial Update: Judge to Make Ruling Sunday Morning

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WTRF is live at the Steubenville rape trial Saturday. WTRF is live at the Steubenville rape trial Saturday. UPDATE:

Judge Thomas Lipps announced he will announce his verdict at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Lipps said Saturday he will announce his decision after reviewing evidence presented over four days in the case against the two defendants.     

Defense attorneys argued the state did not prove their clients raped the West Virginia girl after an alcohol-fueled party last

Prosecutors said the evidence, including text messages and photographs, is overwhelming. The girl testified she was drinking that night and couldn't remember what happened. She said she woke up naked in a strange house after leaving the party.     

If found delinquent, the two could be held in juvenile jail until they turn 21.
Stay with 7News and as we bring you the verdict.     UPDATE:

Judge Thomas Lipps may make a ruling tonight. His decision will come at the bench.

Stay with 7News and as more information becomes available.


The victim took the stand about 3:45 p.m. She testified she recalled the events of Aug. 11 and discussed the parties she attended that evening.

She said she talked to a lot people at the party and had a mixed drink then a red Smirnoff ice drink in a red solo cup with ice. The witness said she could tell she was getting drunk and not really feeling like herself, not presenting herself like she would normally. The memory of the party she said was leaving and her friends were behind her. She said she thought "a lot of people were leaving at that time."

She then testified that the next thing she remembers is waking up in an unfamiliar place with one of the defendants. She said it was "really scary." The victim said she was "embarrassed, scared, not sure what to think," and three boys were around her when she woke up covered with a blanket.

Further testimony indicated that no one knew where the victim's phone was and she says she was too embarrassed to ask what happened. She says she asked where her clothes were and covered herself with a blanket while getting dressed. She then continued to search for her phone.

At that time she was picked up by her two friends and they did not talk on the car ride home. These friends also dropped off the two defendants. Her friends then started yelling at her because of what they were hearing. She said she does not remember photos being taken of her.

The state prosecutor showed the victim a photo of herself she had seen prior to today. The victim started crying on stand at the sight of the photo. She said she has no memory of it being taken but the carpet in the photo seems to match carpet in basement of the home where she woke up.

She said she went to the hospital two days after, Aug. 13 on advice of her family.

Texts between the victim and one defendant indicate him admitting to taking a picture of her naked and identify the substance on her as his semen.


The prosecution is calling the victim to testify.

We'll work to bring you more information as it becomes available.


A professional witness was called to the stand Saturday afternoon to discuss the effects of alcohol in hopes of better understanding the alleged incident. 

Dr. Kim Fromme was called out of turn for the defense to accommodate her schedule. 7News legal analyst Diana Crutchfield says this is not uncommon. Fromme is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Fromme testified that alcohol alters the way people focus and process, leading to poor judgement and decision making. When asked to clarify the difference between passing out and blacking out, Fromme explained when a person passes out the brain shuts down and the person becomes unconscious. When an individual blacks out due to alcohol they are able to make decisions, but those actions do not transfer into long term memory.

Fromme also testified from the material she was provided she calculated the victim's estimated Blood Alcohol Content at the time of the incident was between .18-.19 percent, within black out range.

She said the victim would have had to drink 11 shots to have passed out, resulting in a BAC of .31-.32 percent Fromme also didn't estimate the BAC of three witnesses and therefore was unable to determine if they were blacked out too which would affect testimony. She also testified she calculated according to another witness who says victim consumed more shots putting her at a max BAC of .25 percent




Saturday morning's first witness, an "ex-best friend" of the alleged victim, testified to the court that the alleged victim seemed drunk at the party. The witness said she was periodically "checking on her." At one point, the witness said she saw her "leaning on" and interacting with one of the defendants. At one point, the witness said she observed the alleged victim "on the ground rolling around" and thought it was "kind of weird."

The witness said the alleged victim's behavior when drunk was consistent with other times she saw her drunk. She also stated that when the alleged victim drinks her demeanor toward other girls can change, and said the alleged victim was "kind of mean."

The witness said she told alleged victim not to leave the party and the victim "shrugged her off" the first time, and "kind of hit her," the second time.

The witness said the alleged victim made it clear she wanted to leave the party. She walked away and said she didn't know where alleged victim went after that.

The next morning, the witness and her friend went to pick up the alleged victim. When the three girls were alone in the car, the witness said she yelled at the alleged victim regarding her actions the night before and the things she had been seeing on the Internet.

The witness said the alleged victim's first response was, "we didn't have sex I swear- I don't remember what happened."

Stay with for updates throughout the day.




Day four of the Steubenville rape trial began at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Friday's proceedings lasted until 10:30 p.m., and today's testimony is expected to stretch into the night as well.

Testimony Saturday includes that of the alleged victim of the rape.

Three witnesses on Friday gave their accounts of what happened the night of the alleged rape, including descriptions of the girl being sexually assaulted in a car and later on a basement floor.

The teens invoked their fifth amendment right against testifying for fear of self-incrimination, but Judge Thomas Lipps granted them immunity from prosecution.

Follow WTRF's live stream of the trial here. Follow WTRF's Laurie Conway, live at the trial, here.

Read Friday's trial story here.