An 18-year-old Ohio woman is accused of using a social media app to film the alleged rape of her 17-year-old friend.
Marina Lonina and Raymond Gates, 29, were charged Wednesday with rape, kidnapping, sexual battery and pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor. The indictment said the alleged rape involved intercourse by force and the charge was not related to the alleged victim’s age.
Lonina was also charged with illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance, related to the alleged use of the social media livestreaming app Periscope.
Periscope, an app for smartphones, uses a video function to allow users to stream events live.
O’Brien said Lonina and the victim were socializing with Gates at a home in Columbus on Feb. 27 when Gates raped the 17-year-old girl. Lonina used the Periscope app to livestream the assault, O’Brien said.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the motive for the livestreaming was unclear, but he said alcohol was a factor.
Lonina is also accused of taking nude photographs of the victim the night before the rape, according to WTTE-TV. The case came to light when authorities were contacted after an out-of-state friend of Lonina saw the images.
“People need to know and understand that the use of a smartphone to video events can constitute serious felony crimes,” 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 “categorically denies these charges,” said her attorney Josh Bedtelyon.
Gates is scheduled for arraignment Friday. He and Lonina each face up to 40 years in prison, if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.