Ma'Lik Richmond
Ma'lik Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correctional facilityReuters

One of the two Steubenville teenagers convicted of rape in a case that gained worldwide attention has returned to his high school's football team.

Ma'lik Richmond, 18, was found guilty alongside Trent Mays of raping a 16-year-old girl at a house party in the Ohio town in August 2012.

The case attracted huge attention over claims the crime was covered up in order to protect the two Steubenville Big Red stars in a town where the high-school football team provide a huge source of pride and income.

Hacktavist group Anonymous also helped bring the case into the wider public by releasing a serious of photos and videos that were shared on social media on the night the rape occurred, including images of a girl believed to be unresponsive from alcohol being carried around at the house party.

It believed more people should have been convicted over the rape of the teenager.

Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correctional facility in March 2013 and was released in January. Mays, who was additionally found guilty of distributing a nude photo of a minor, received two years.

Nearly 18 months after he was found guilty of rape, Richmond has returned to the playing field for Steubenville Big Red, with local news channel WTRF showing him training.

Alexandria Goddard, a blogger credited with helping bringing the case to wider attention, said while she was "shocked" the school has allowed Richmond to return, "we all knew it was bound to happen".

"Steubenville City Schools hasn't really done a lot in the past two years to prove to the world that they don't tolerate rape culture and allowing a Tier II registered sex offender on the team pretty much solidifies the assumption that they are concerned about wins rather than the safety of young girls or the destruction of rape culture in their area," she told Buzzfeed.

Elsewhere, staff members at the school have been accused of trying to cover-up the rape or obstruct the original investigation.

In May, Steubenville superintendent Michael McVey was charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, as well as of falsification and obstructing official business. His trial is due to start in October.

William Rhinaman, the Steubenville schools' former technology director, has pleaded not guilty to accusations of evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

Volunteer football coach Matt Belardine was sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $1,000 for one count of making a false statement and one count of enabling underage drinking after allowing the teenagers to drink at his home before the rape occured in a different location.

And in April, wrestling coach Seth Fluharty was sentenced to 20 hours of community service as part of a plea deal for failing to report the rape.