Columbus, Ohio - 19-year-old Marina Lonina was sentenced on Monday after she live-streamed a man raping a 17-year-old girl.
In February 2016, Lonina and the victim had met 29-year-old Raymond Gates and the three drank alcohol until the 17-year-old victim was heavily intoxicated. Gates then forced himself on the girl while she pleaded for him to stop.
While Gates was raping the girl, Lonina use the Periscope app to live-stream the rape. Police launched an investigation when they obtained a copy of the video on March 2nd, 2016.
The victim, now 18, said that Marina Lonina set her up and manipulated Gates into committing the rape.
Lonina had been indicted on charges of rape, sexual battery, kidnapping, and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a juvenile. As part of a plea bargain, she only pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for failing to report the rape or turn over evidence to law enforcement. She was sentenced to 9 months in jail.
Raymond Gates pleased guilty to the rape and was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
According to Columbus Dispatch, Lonina's attorney disputed the victim's version of events. “The notion that (Lonina) set this up and is responsible (for the rape) is unmitigated nonsense,” he said. “Streaming it live was wrong on every level, and she knows that. ... This was an appropriate resolution to a difficult case.”
It's hard not to see this case as a failure on the part of the prosecutor. Lonina was at the very least complicit in the rape, and she produced child pornography. Even if the prosecutor didn't think that they could secure a conviction for the rape, it doesn't make any sense why they would drop the charge of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a juvenile, which seems like a slam-dunk conviction.
Do you think that 9 months is justice for the victim? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.