A Youngstown State University football player convicted of raping a teen in a highly publicized case in Steubenville is eligible to play in the Penguins game on Saturday, a judge ruled this evening.
Ma'lik Richmond was granted a temporary restraining order against the university by an OH judge on Thursday, allowing him to play football again for the next 14 days. Another hearing is set for September 28, when Richmond's permanent status on the team could be determined.
The notice of appeal was filed on Friday, one day after Judge Pearson issued a temporary restraining order against the university who was sued by Richmond when YSU took him off the active roster following public outcry over his past rape conviction.
Youngstown State attorneys spoke in court Thursday but declined further comment. Richmond did not want to return to football practice and wanted to quit school.
In the suit that triggered what is right now a temporary order, the plaintiffs argued that Richmond did not violate the student code of ethics as had been contended; has been denied the right to due process in violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution; and that the university violated Title IX laws by discriminating against Richmond on the basis of his sex.
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Richmond was found gulty as a juvenile of rape while he was playing for Steubenville High School's football team - a case that garnered widespread publicity.
After Coach Bo Pelini made his decision to allow Richmond to join the team, a female student at Youngstown State began circulating a petition calling for the school to not allow Richmond to play football. Richmond claims the university cost him a year of eligibility and future monetary damages and other consequences as a result of a decision he claims was made "without any cause for discipline whatsoever". The case brought global attention and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect Steubenville's storied football team.
After his release, Richmond attended colleges in West Virginia and Pennsylvania before transferring to Youngstown State in the fall of 2016 as a sophomore.
The reply says "proving no deed goes unpunished", the school has been "hauled into court by a student that YSU has bent over backward to assist, support and provide a second chance when no one else would". Pelini has previously said he chose to welcome Richmond to the program following his own investigation, and Richmond claims Pelini informed him he would play this season after the spring.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office had submitted a scathing reply to the lawsuit on behalf of the university, arguing why Richmond's petition for relief shouldn't be granted.
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