Central State University football player Trent Mays was convicted in 2013 along with a Steubenville High School teammate of raping a 16-year-old girl who was incapacitated by alcohol. But because Mays was a juvenile at the time, his conviction does not appear on the sex offender registry.
If not for widespread publicity of the crime, Mays’ conviction would be unknown to many of his fellow students, and possibly to the school.
Central State officials would not comment on their decision to allow Mays to enroll and play football, citing federal laws protecting student privacy.
Mays is one of 15 registered sex offenders in Greene County and 43 in Montgomery County who are not on the public registry because they committed their crimes as juveniles. Many of them are now adults.
State law requires juvenile offenders to report to the sheriff’s office where they live, but not where they go to school.
TOM ARCHDEACON: Trent Mays learning to make right decisions at CSU
Greene County officials say Mays is the only juvenile offender who has reported a current college address in Greene County and none have registered a college or university in Montgomery County.
Ma’lik Richmond, who was convicted along with Trent Mays for the Steubenville rape, faced intense public pressure when Youngstown State let him on their team last year. The school said the team wouldn’t let him play after an online petition called for his removal from the team. Richmond ended up playing following a settlement with the school after he filed a lawsuit.
A pitcher at Oregon State quit the college’s baseball team after a newspaper revealed he was charged with molesting a six-year-old girl when he was 15.
“He went from being a major league draft possibility to being not drafted at all and probably won’t ever play baseball his entire life,” said Derek Logue, a registered sex offender in Cincinnati who now runs a website advocating for abolishing the registry. “His life is ruined.”
In response to this incident, Oregon State this year enacted a new policy requiring all prospective students to self-report if they have prior convictions or sex offenses. Similar policies exist at some, but not all, Ohio schools.
Logue doesn’t believe any new laws or restrictions are needed in Ohio schools.
“You have these laws that dictate every aspect of how we live our lives…and the laws just seem to pile up year after year,” he said. “In time it begins to restrict our ability to become a productive member of society.”
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