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Editors: Starts new series for Saturday

Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 2:06pm

Two witnesses who say they are former best friends of a teen at the center of a Steubenville, Ohio, rape trial testified Saturday that the accuser had been drinking the night in question.

She drank more than two shots and four beers, one of the witnesses testified.

High school football players Trent Mays, 17, and Ma'lik Richmond, 16, are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl during a series of end-of-summer parties in August 2012. The trial, in its fourth day, has gained national attention because of text messages, cell phone pictures and videos surrounding the alleged sexual abuse of the girl.

The defense has tried to dismantle what prosecutors call the central argument in the case: Whether the girl was too drunk to understand what was happening to her.

CNN's policy is not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault. CNN also is not naming the minors who are testifying but is identifying Mays and Richmond, whose names have been used by court officials, their attorneys and in multiple media accounts.

On Friday, three teens testified that they saw Mays and Richmond engage in sexual contact with the girl. All three have been granted immunity from prosecution.

One of the witnesses -- identified as a 17-year-old friend of Mays and Richmond and a Steubenville football player and wrestler -- told Judge Thomas Lipps that he used his cell phone to record Mays putting his fingers inside the girl's vagina during a drive from one party to another. He said he deleted the video the next morning when he realized it was wrong.

According to prosecutors, Richmond and Mays each penetrated the victim's vagina with their fingers, an act that constitutes rape in Ohio.

Mays also is accused of illegal use of a minor in nude materials.

The teen also testified that Mays later attempted to have the girl perform a sex act on him in the basement of a home.

"She didn't really respond to it," he said.

He also admitted taking nude cell phone pictures of the girl while she was in the basement and showing them to friends.

"It was stupid," he said.

Evan Westlake, 18, told the judge on Friday that he saw Richmond digitally penetrate the girl in the basement. Richmond's attorney, Walter Madison, challenged whether Westlake was trying to right a wrong through his testimony.

"I felt a lot of regret, difficult to face my family knowing they knew what I had done," Westlake testified.

Anthony Craig, 18, also testified Friday that he saw Richmond digitally penetrate the girl in the basement.

"She wasn't moving. She wasn't talking. She wasn't participating," he said.

In earlier testimony, teens who attended some of the booze-soaked parties testified the girl appeared to be drunk, stumbling and slurring words. But on cross-examination some said she seemed able to walk and answer questions.

The trial is moving quickly to accommodate the judge's schedule. A verdict is expected by Sunday.

--
CNN's Chelsea J. Carter and Poppy Harlow contributed to this report.

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