A 17-year-old girl has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment for live-streaming the moment her best friend was being raped onto the Internet.
The victim, 17 had gone shopping with her friend where they met 29-year-old Raymond Boyd Gates who chatted them up.
He reportedly bought alcohol for them and invited them to his house the following day.
The incident happened in Columbus, Ohio.
The next day at Gates’ house, they also had some drinks and reportedly got a bit drunk, that was when things began to get ugly.
Gates took advantage and raped the tipsy 17-year-old girl. However, while he was assaulting the victim, the other 17-year-old girl, identified as Marina Lonina, started filming the sickening attack, livestreaming it through the Periscope app and twisted people started ‘liking’ the video.
One of Marina’s friends saw the horrifying clip and quickly alerted the police, who investigated.
Both Marina and Gates were charged with kidnapping, rape, sexual battery and pandering sexually-orientated matter involving a minor.
Marina was also charged with use of a minor in nudity-orientated material or performance, for live-streaming her friend naked the day before.
A police report accused Gates of holding down the victim with his bodyweight while assaulting her, saying she could be heard screaming ‘No, it hurts so much’ and ‘Please stop.’
Although Marina Lonina had no physical involvement in the rape itself, the case provoked a huge outcry because she filmed the traumatic attack.
Some believed that made her just as bad as the rapist himself. But others suggested she was a victim, too, having been manipulated by an older man.
It was alleged that in the video Lonina could be heard ‘giggling’, and at times it looked like Gates was trying to cover up his face with the bedclothes.
The victim alleged Lonina had set up the rape, but Marina Lonina’s lawyer denied this.
The prosecutor said the motive for the filming was unclear, but alcohol was a factor.
“People need to know and understand that the use of a smartphone to video events can constitute serious felony crimes,” he said.
“They should think twice before they use their smartphones to either photograph or video anything of a sexual nature.”
When the case came to court, Marina Lonina’s lawyer spoke on her behalf.
He said she ‘categorically’ denied the charges and that Marina filmed everything on Periscope to help gather evidence.
The prosecution, however, said the victim was clearly shouting ‘stop’ during the attack; and that that the poor teenager was obviously in pain.
Both Gates and Marina initially pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Raymond Boyd Gates later admitted one count of rape and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Marina Lonina made a plea deal with prosecutors in which she admitted one count of obstructing justice by failing to report the rape or hand over her evidence afterwards.
She was sentenced to nine months in prison.