Emotions ran high in the Ohio courtroom on Mar. 17 when one of the convicted teens approached his victim’s mother. Read on to see their heart-wrenching exchange.
The mother of the 16-year-old girl who was horrifically raped in Steubenville, Oh. has gracefully forgiven one of her daughter’s offenders.
Steubenville Rape Victim’s Mother’s Unbelievable Compassion
The emotional moment occurred soon after the verdict was given sentencing Ma’lik Richmond, 16, and Trent Mays, 17, to one and two years in juvenile detention, respectively.
Ma’lik, who had already broke down in tears, approached the mother and said, “I’m so very sorry,” according to MailOnline.
The mother showed unimaginable courage and compassion, responding, “I know you are and I forgive you.”
Outside of the Ohio courtroom, a spokesperson for the victim’s family reiterated their feelings: “It’s a very religious, spiritual family. They are praying for those two men also,” he said.
What an incredibly difficult thing to do — though the victim herself is understandably not yet ready to forgive Ma’lik and Trent, MailOnline reports.
Steubenville Rape Victim’s Mom Speaks Outside Courtroom
The 16-year-old’s mother also gave an official statement, which was less compassionate, after the verdict was announced. “Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent,” the mother said. “It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code.”
“Your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you,” the statement continued. “You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on.”
“This does not define who my daughter is,” the mother said. Slightly breaking down, she emotionally finished her statement. “She will perservere, grow, and move on.”
“I have pity for you both. I hope you fear the Lord, repent for your actions, and pray hard for his forgiveness.”
— Andrew Gruttadaro
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