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Steubenville Ohio rape victim named by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC

March 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM  |  Updated March 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM   |   Comments

March 19 (UPI) -- CNN, Fox News and MSNBC are under fire after the networks aired the name of the underage victim in the Steubenville rape trial while reporting on the case.

The mishap occurred Sunday as the networks were covering the trial in which Ohio teens Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville. After the sentences were delivered, Mays, 17 stood up and apologized to the victim by name in the courtroom:

"I would truly like to apologize to [victim's first name], her family, my family and the community," he said to the court, his back turned to the camera. "No picture should have been sent around, let alone even taken."

The Huffington Post points out all three news networks aired the teen's statement without censoring it with cuts, or bleeps, thus broadcasting the name of the underage victim.

According to Raw Story, The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence encourages news outlets not to publish the names of minors alleging sexual abuse or rape, or to report information that will make the minors identifiable.

Hours after the two teens were found guilty and convicted, two girls aged 15 and 16 made online death threats against the 16-year-old victim. It's not clear if the teens learned the victim's name when it was aired by the networks.

This is the second time media outlets are criticized for the way they've handled the Steubenville rape case. On Sunday, CNN was widely repudiated as Poppy Harlow's coverage of the trial was perceived as "sympathetic" to the two teens convicted of rape.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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