In February, 18-year-old Marina Lonina allegedly livestreamed her friend’s rape on the app Periscope. Police say she opted to film 29-year old Raymond Gates raping her teen friend instead of calling 911. Both Gates and Lonina pleaded not guilty in an Ohio court on Friday — Lonina’s attorney blames the distraction of social media for her actions.
Lonina’s attorney, Ron O’Brien, told the New York Times that his client was hoping that broadcasting the attack would help stop it. “She got caught up in the likes,” O’Brien said.
The two face charges for kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, and pandering sexual matter involving a minor, according to reports from the Franklin County prosecutor’s office. Regardless of whether she was distracted by likes on social media, both Lonina and Gates face up to 40 years in prison.