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Despite new arrests and indictments regarding the Steubenville, Ohio rape case that gripped the nation last year, one of the teens convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl is being released from a juvenile detention center early.

Ma’lik Richmond, a former high school football player, was found “delinquent” of raping the teen girl last year and sentenced to a year in detention. However, due to good behavior, the teen is being released three months early. In total, he served nine months.

Upon his release Sunday, Richmond’s lawyer again put out a statement asking for sympathy and stressing how much Richmond’s life had been altered. “The past sixteen months have been extremely challenging for Ma’Lik and his extended family,” Madison said. “At sixteen years old, Ma’Lik and his family endured hardness beyond imagine for any adult yet alone child. He has persevered the hardness and made the most of yet another unfortunate set of circumstances in his life.”

The statement, however, did not mention the rape victim or her family.

It isn’t odd that Richmond’s lawyer chose to focus on how drastically the convicted rapist’s life has changed. Last spring, both the media and lawyers for both teens accused of the sexual assault incident were painted as sympathetic, good teens whose lives were  ruined because of the victim’s allegations. At one point, Richmond’s lawyer even argued that the media and court stop referring to the 16-year-old girl as a “victim.”

So what’s life going to be like for Richmond now that he’s free?

According to Think Progress, the teen will have to register as a sex offender every six months for the next 20 years. His name, however, will not be on public records of sex offenders, since he received the verdict as a juvenile.

With rehabilitation, he has the possibility of getting his time on the registry shortened.

Trent Mays, the other teenager found “delinquent” in the rape, is still serving his two-year sentence. There is no immediate word on early release for Mays.

We’ll keep you updated with the latest.

SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Screengrab/NBC 

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