Greg and Jennifer Agresta are standing by the ones they love, even if it will bring public scrutiny.
The couple, who are the legal guardians of Ma’lik Richmond, the high school sophomore who is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl while she was unconscious, told the TODAY show that they love him regardless of his actions that evening.
“It doesn’t matter to us,” Mrs. Agresta said. “We love him, irregardless of what happened that evening. We want him to know that we support him.”
Details of that night are slowly but surely coming to light, including information that Richmond and a fellow football player, Trent Mays, attacked the girl while she was passed out in the basement.
Despite the graphic photograph of the quarterback and wide receiver carrying the limp victim to and from parties, the Agrestas stand firmly behind Richmond.
Richmond was welcomed into the Agresta home as an 8-year-old when his parents couldn’t adequately take care of him. Richmond, who had a tough childhood, lived with the Agrestas for two years.
“When he left our home as a young child, the last thing I said to him when I dropped him off was, ‘Ma’lik if you ever need anything, good or bad, we are a phone call away.’ And when he called us we were that phone call away. We had to be there for him.”
The couple said stepping forward for him was the right thing to do. He is now on house arrest at the Agresta home.
The Agrestas also told the TODAY show that they were “stunned” to hear the allegations against their son.
“It’s completely out of Ma’lik’s character. That’s not the type of person he is,” said Mr. Agresta.
When asked if they think Richmond is guilty of the crime, the Agrestas were quiet. The defense lawyer revealed that he advised the family not to speak about details to protect themselves.
This story is developing.