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As the story of an alleged rape involving high school students in Steubenvile, Ohio continues to draw national attention, on Wednesday evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" invited attorney's from both sides to provide their perspectives on a case that has exploded exponentially in large part due to the use of social media.
Following a string of summer-ending parties in August, a series of videos, pictures and messages revealed an underage teenage girl, who appeared to be unconscious, seemingly being sexually assaulted. A pair of high school football players are facing criminal charges of rape, with a trial scheduled for next month.
Joining host Piers Morgan live, Bob Fitzsimmons shared some insight as to the alleged victim's physical and mental state at the time of the incident:
"The allegations are that a young lady was unconscious. There is a picture that most anybody that has read or heard about this particular case has seen. If you look at the picture, there is little doubt that this young lady was unconscious," explained the attorney for the unnamed 16-year-old girl. "I don't care who you are, and I don't care where you are, a person has the right not to have their body invaded by another individual without consent. That's just wrong. And in this particular case, she was unconscious. And there can be no consent. There can't be assumed consent with this particular girl, with the state that she was in. And that's what this was about."
Later on the program Morgan welcomed Walter Madison, a defense attorney in the case, who offered thoughts on his client's current legal situation:
"Mr. Fitzsimmons premised his statement when he says defendants and he lumps them together. Ma'lik Richmond had nothing to do with the video," says the lawyer who's representing Richmond. "He's not depicted. He didn't produce the video. He was never charged nor is he charged with disseminating any material, or is there any evidence whatsoever that he sent any photographs or promoted what we've seen on the Internet."
Watch the clips, and listen to the interview, as Fitzsimmons offers further insight into the girl's present state of mind, while Madison explains how the video – though "repugnant" – is a protected form of expression.
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