Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Four charged in gang rape of 15-year-old Bay Area student [Updated]

Rape and robbery charges were filed this afternoon against four suspects in the gang rape of a 15-year-old Bay Area student who struggled against her attackers as more than a dozen people passed by but did nothing.

The girl was repeatedly raped, beaten and eventually robbed Saturday night at Richmond High School after she left a homecoming dance, according to police. The crime has sparked outrage and focused national attention on Richmond, a city of 104,000 northeast of San Francisco. City of Richmond

Manuel Ortega, 19, was charged with assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and rape while acting in concert, said Dara Cashman, Contra Costa County senior deputy district attorney. [Updated 9:27 p.m.: An earlier version stated incorrectly that Ortega was charged with rape with a foreign object while acting in concert.]

She said three minors were also charged but declined to release their names. Two of them, 15 and 17, were charged with rape with a foreign object while acting in concert. A 16-year-old was charged with robbery and rape by a foreign object while acting in concert, Cashman said.

All four suspects were also charged with special enhancements that could result in life sentences if they are convicted, according to Cashman.

A fifth suspect, Salvador Rodriguez, 21, was arrested in connection with the crime but was not charged.

Cashman declined to discuss to discuss any pending charges, citing the ongoing investigation. 

Police said today that more suspects will be taken into custody.

"We still have more arrests to make and a lot of work to do," said Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police Department.

The department, he said, was pleased that prosecutors filed charges quickly.

"This woman's life is ruined by this unnecessary act," he said.

Police said that at least seven males took part in the rape, which began about 9:30 p.m. and lasted two to 2-1/2 hours. Some of the attackers allegedly laughed and took photos of the girl as she was being raped, according to police.

Authorities were finally alerted after a student overheard people talking about a girl being raped in a dark alley behind the campus. Cashman said bystanders who witnessed the attack could be prosecuted only if their actions aided the crime.

"Generally," she said, "just observing a crime is not an offense."

-- Robert J. Lopez

Comments () | Archives (35)

garbage in, garbage out.

To: Dual Threat Quarterback#10

First of all, a 15 year old girl has no "full understanding" of anything! And I would like to know how people could think, a person, regardless of age, would consent to being beaten and raped by several men in an alley or anywhere else. I don't know where you attended high school and I highly doubt you attended college unless it was in a tali ban terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

As for punishment, how about kidnapping, rape and attempted murder you moron.

What is justice? May we say that justice is carried out when a victim's life is restored to its condition prior to the crime. In this case, the guilty parties must restore the 15-year-old to her mental, physical, and emotional state prior to the rape. Is that possible? If it isn't possible then they should pay with their lives. It is quite simple. If guilty, put them to death. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.00. They have not contributed to society, but have robbed the victim of her peace and society of its peace. Death is justice in this case. Unfortunately, this will never happen in this horrid penal system in the U.S. I say penal because it does not hand out justice; only punishment. (and not enough of that!)

J Hyun should return to his country where he belongs.

Hmm...passerbys do nothing in a state that bans concealed carry. Shocking.

My prayers go out for this young lady, may she be completely healed in both body and spirit! The law should do something to those who witness such a disgraceful attack, where are our elected officials, raising their own salaries as usual? And for those who think this is something new, it isn't. Over 30 years ago I tried to help a lady having a seizure in a parking lot of a dept. store at closing time--over a hundred people walked by and would not go for help! The more things change, the more they stay the same, sadly.

Such a gross display of moral decay in our society and world at large! I liked it in the 1970's when I was a kid, before the whole "Censorship movement" did an overhaul on the media (eg; television shows, commercials and film). First they wanted the freedom to use sexual references and sexual terms, profanity and violence. They got more and more and MORE! Now look at the mess our society is! Check out the psychological term: "The Power Of Suggestion". If that's powerful, imagine what the consequences for negative, sexual and voilatile or violent suggestions and/or references and imagery.

Did they act "stupidly"?

Surely, the Attorney General could say something about this....right?

If this happened to my child, they would never touch another women again!

What is it with the comments below - you people... and since they were high school students I would think they speak English as well so I am not sure how this would help. There was 15 people and it doent mean they were all Latinos who dont speak english.
James Gerrick -I don't speak Spanish, but if I did, I would tell...

This incident is sad and scary. It seems like now a day theres so much violence around schools. Just like the incident in Chicago were someone recorded a student being beaten to death in a gang war. Hope she gets better.

What kind of sick world are we living in? Those who committed such a hideous crime should be subjected to the harshest form of punishment there is. Spending the rest of their lives in prison will be too easy on them. Obviously, they were not raised by human beings.
Those who watched are absolutely guilty to the same extent. In fact shame on you and the families who raised you. Would you have watched it if was your sister? I feel very bad for those who are related to you and are relying on you to take care of them.
To the law who treats those who watched differently, I feel very bad for the future of our kids with a legal system like this.
I heard the aunt and mom of one of the boys who was there making excuses for him on the news. All I can say to both ladies is, would you have said the same thing if she was your daughter?

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: