AP Legal Affairs Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Attorneys for two Ohio high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl say the alleged victim and two other witnesses from West Virginia are now expected to testify because a judge reversed his earlier ruling.
A judge in West Virginia had rejected requests that the three juveniles be called to testify at the trial set to begin Wednesday in Steubenville in eastern Ohio. Defense attorneys say the judge reversed that ruling late Tuesday.
It wasn't clear why, and a copy of the ruling wasn't immediately available.
The juveniles' testimony was expected to bolster the players' defense against the charges.
One of two Ohio high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party says a photo of the defendants apparently carrying the girl by her arms and legs was a joke.
Sixteen-year-old Ma'Lik Richmond talks about the photo in an excerpt of a videotaped interview with ABC's "20/20." The program says Richmond contends the girl was awake and was a willing participant.
Richmond says the boys weren't carrying the girl away. Online circulation of the photo drew increased attention to the case.
The players' attorneys had filed to have the case dismissed, arguing the defendants' rights were compromised or violated by the inability to compel the three juveniles to testify.