The attorney of an Ohio woman accused of live-streaming the rape of her 17-year-old friend claims she Periscoped the assault to gather evidence of a crime.
Enlarge / Lonina and Gates.
Franklin County Sheriff
The defendant, 18-year-old Marina Lonina, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that include rape, kidnapping, and pandering. Her lawyer, Sam Shamansky, said his client broadcast the February rape in Columbus, Ohio to help convict the alleged rapist, 29-year-old Raymond Gates, according to CBS.
“She does everything possible to contain the situation even to the point of asking while it’s being filmed to these Periscope followers, ‘What should I do now? What should I do now?'” Shamansky said of Lonina, whose bond was set at $125,000 following her arrest last week. He said his client and the unidentified victim, who attend the same high school, were “preyed upon by this pervert.
That’s all I can say.” (The classmates are naturalized US citizens from Russia, and Lonina’s live-streamed comments were in Russian.)
Prosecutors don’t appear to be buying the defense.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said, “She got, I guess, taken up with all the ‘likes’ that her livestream was getting and therefore continued to do it, and did nothing to aid the victim,” CBS reported the prosecutor as saying. O’Brien also noted that Lonina is accused of live-streaming the girl nude the day before the February assault.
“Technology has moved us into an area that is sometimes beyond belief,” O’Brien said.
Gates, also accused of rape and other charges, has pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $300,000. His attorney has declined comment. While the indictment doesn’t allege that Lonina physically raped her classmate, she is charged with rape under the theory of aiding and abetting the assault.