WILBERFORCE — Hoping to build on the second chance he has received, one of two men convicted in a highly publicized rape case in 2013 is now a student at Central State University.
Trent Mays received delinquent verdicts — the juvenile equivalent of guilty — on charges of sexually assaulting a West Virginia teen at an alcohol-fueled party in 2012 and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and served nearly two years in a juvenile detention facility before being released in early 2015.
He graduated from high school and played quarterback for Hocking College’s start-up football team in the fall of 2015 before catching on at Central State — with the help of recruiting specialist Jim Terry of jimterryfootball.com, a former CSU recruit. Mays enrolled in January, the school confirmed, and is part of the university’s football recruiting class for next fall as a mid-year transfer.
Widely known as the “Steubenville rape case,” Mays and teammate Ma’lik Richmond garnered national media attention, but in an exclusive interview with Greene County News, Mays’ father, Bryan, said his son is ready to move on with his life.
“He’s doing real well,” Bryan Mays said. “He’s getting settled in. His main goal, obviously, is to get his degree. He wants to get in some type of exercise science.”
Mays’ arrival at Hocking College came with some fanfare as the school sent out an email to the campus community stressing that everyone deserves a second chance.
“Second chances do not excuse or defend previous behavior,” President Betty Young wrote. “There are a lot of ‘second chance’ stories at every community college, Trenton’s story is just one more. His path will be challenging, but many of our students face challenges, and they overcome them to reach success. It is up to him to determine what to do with this opportunity.”
Based on reports from Hocking, Mays did just that.
“There were no incidents and everything went very well,” said Hocking spokesman Tim Brunicardi, confirming that Mays was a good student, completed his classes and will graduate. Brunicardi also said Hocking President Dr. Betty Young sent Central State a letter of recommendation.
Central State has been tight-lipped regarding Mays. In an email, Sports Information Director Nick Novy wrote “For the privacy of our students, we will not be providing additional comments.” The university’s public relations department deferred all comments back to sports information.
But Bryan Mays said his son is prepared for questions and concerns about his presence.
“The Associated Press had a reporter follow him around for a couple weeks,” Bryan Mays said. “The Athens newspaper wrote a couple not-so-nice articles about him. I don’t want to say he’s used to it. He’s used to answering those questions. He made it through two and a half years (at Hocking). That’s not the easiest place. He’s been through the ringer.”
And what does Bryan Mays think his son would say if stopped on campus and asked about his past?
“I may not deserve a second chance, but I’m going to make the best of my opportunity and show that I deserve a second chance,” the older Mays said.
Trent Mays, who will soon be 21, is not living on campus, choosing to distance himself from any possible distractions or potential issues, his father said. The younger Mays just wants to concentrate on academics and athletics.
“He likes to show people ‘who I am,’ ” Bryan Mays said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.