Ohio teenager charged with live streaming alleged rape of friend

Marina Lonina (left) and Raymond Gates were charged in the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl.
Marina Lonina (left) and Raymond Gates were charged in the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl.PHOTO: FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

A woman has been indicted in Ohio on charges of using social media app Periscope to live stream her own friend's rape.

Marina Lonina, 18, was socialising with the 17-year-old female victim and Raymond Gates, 29, at a residence in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb 27, Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien told local station WCMH-TV.

At some point, Mr O'Brien said, Gates sexually assaulted the girl and, in response, Lonina began live streaming the violence using Periscope, an app for smartphones that uses video for streaming.

A night earlier at her home, Lonina also reportedly took an illicit photo of the victim.

The authorities learnt of the alleged assault when an out-of-state friend of the victim saw the images and alerted the police.

Mr O'Brien said the motive for the live streaming was unclear, but pointed to alcohol as a factor, noting that Gates, Lonina and the victim had all been drinking.

Lonina and Gates were both indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday (April 13), and Gates is due in court for arraignment on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

The pair have been charged with rape, kidnapping, sexual battery and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. If convicted, they each face up to 40 years in prison.

"People need to know and understand that the use of a smartphone to video events can constitute serious felony crimes," Mr O'Brien said.

"They should think twice before they use their smartphones to either photograph or video anything that's of a sexual nature."

Lonina's attorney Josh Bedtelyon said his client "categorically denies" the charges.