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Teen Accused of Live-Streaming Her Friend’s Rape on Social Media

Marina Lonina, a high-school student from Ohio, has been accused of live-streaming the rape of her 17-year-old female friend on the social media app Periscope. 

Marina Lonina

Lonina, 18, was arraigned on Friday, April 15, along with accused rapist Raymond Boyd Gates, 29. According to the New York Times, both were indicted on multiple charges, including kidnapping, rape, sexual battery and pandering sexual matter involving a minor.

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Lonina reportedly told police she recorded the assault on Periscope to gather evidence. Her attorney, Sam Shamansky, told the New York Times that his client made “substantial” efforts to try and stop the attack. “You don’t want to lose track of the fact that she’s a high school student and she and her friend were clearly taken advantage of,” he said in the Times story.

Raymond Gates
Raymond Gates

According to police reports, Lonina and her friend were shopping at a mall in Columbus on February 26 when they met Gates. He allegedly bought them a bottle of vodka and suggested meeting at his home. The women were drinking at Gates’ home the following day, when he allegedly pinned the victim down and raped her, NBC4i News reported. Rather than call for help, Lonina took out her phone and began recording the attack. One of Lonina’s followers saw the 10-minute stream and contacted the police. 

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“I have never seen a case such as this where you would actually live-stream a sexual assault,” Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien told NBC4i News on April 15. “Based on the video that I saw, it didn’t appear for the most part of it that she was attempting to help the victim.” O’Brien later told the New York Times: “For the most part she is just streaming it on the Periscope app and giggling and laughing.”

The defendants — who both pleaded not guilty — each face more than 40 years in prison if convicted, O’Brien said. 

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