Steubenville teen charged in rape case says photo was joke

COLUMBUS, Ohio - One of two Ohio high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party says a photo of the defendants apparently carrying the girl by her arms and legs was a joke.

Sixteen-year-old Ma'Lik Richmond talks about the photo in an excerpt of a videotaped interview with ABC's "20/20," which aired on NewsChannel5 during Good Morning America Tuesday. The program says Richmond contends the girl was awake and was a willing participant.

Richmond says the boys weren't carrying the girl away. Online circulation of the photo drew increased attention to the case.

Richmond and 17-year-old Trent Mays are set to go on trial Wednesday in juvenile court in the eastern Ohio city of Steubenville. Their attorneys deny the charges and have sought to have the case dismissed.

The case has drawn international attention over allegations that more students should have been charged.

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