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Outrage over gang rape of 15-year-old girl; more arrests made overnight

Outrage grew in a Bay Area town over the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl as police made more arrests overnight.

National attention has been focused in Richmond over what police described as a gang rape of a 15-year-old student who struggled with attackers -- some of whom took photos and laughed -- as more than a dozen witnesses passed by and did nothing. Police said last night that as many as 20 people saw the attack, and some might have shot video on their cellphones.

"We are outraged that this happened," Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin told reporters Tuesday.

Overnight, Richmond police served search warrants at the homes of several suspects and arrested three people, bringing the total number of suspects in custody to five.

City of Richmond The girl was repeatedly assaulted Saturday night at Richmond High School after she left a homecoming dance early to wait for a ride from her father. At least seven males beat, raped and eventually robbed the girl in a dark alley behind campus during an ordeal that lasted two to 2 1/2 hours, according to Richmond police.

Two people -- a 19-year-old former Richmond High student and a 15-year-old student at the school -- were arrested Saturday and Monday in connection with the assault, which began about 9:30 p.m.

The suspects allegedly described how some of the attackers laughed and took photos of the girl with cellphone cameras as she was being raped, said Det. Ken Greco of the Richmond Police Department.

"It was a pretty brutal scene," he said.

Police said they had received numerous tips from outraged students and witnesses. 

"We're getting more information about who was there and who played what role," said Lt. Mark Gagan.  "The physical evidence is pretty supportive of the direction we're going."

He declined to elaborate on the evidence, citing the ongoing investigation.

Police were alerted after a female student overheard people talking about a rape. She called 911 and told dispatchers what she had heard, Gagan said.

Police said the victim was still being assaulted when officers arrived on the scene. The suspects fled as officers found the girl lying in the alley. She was unconscious and naked from the waist up, Gagan said.

The former Richmond High student, Manuel Ortega, 19, was arrested a few blocks away Saturday night and booked on charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, police said. The 15-year-old was booked on suspicion of felony sexual assault.

Gagan said that alcohol had been consumed at the scene but that toxicology tests were pending.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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Comments () | Archives (65)

I know my dad would have came out looking for me to see where the heck I was.

I think everyone who picked up their phone FIRST to record the rape rather than dialing 911 should be apprehended as well! It has nothing to do with "hip-hop" culture. It's about raising a child to do the right thing.

I think there might be some misinformation - another article says she was naked from the waist down. Here, it says naked from the waist up.

Every high school in the country should be talking to their students about this. What happened to "No means No" - "If something bad is happening you report it" - "Help someone in need". There's a segment of our children who have become desensitized animals lacking any kind of compassion or moral compass.

I just heard about this in Gov. Class and just to think that no-one called the police and no teacher or parent didn't see twenty kids chilling in a dark alley is just hard to believe. I feel terrible for this girl and justice needs to be served! Eye for an Eye

I find it so outrageous that people are pointing fingers at chaperones, school officials, and the father of the victim. What this school needs just as much as heightened security is a community-wide DIALOGUE about violence, respect, and the dangers of the mob mentality. I'm glad that from all corners of the country, Americans are disgusted--hopefully the public outrage will help bring the attackers to justice. And for the other men who just stood by? I can only hope they are scorned from the school, the community, and their family and friends. What a shameful day for California.

The following comments are only directed at attorneys, politicians and policy makers reading this.

First, thanks to CA law the only thing you can carry to protect yourself is about 1.5 oz. of pepper spray. Therefore if I see something like this I am NOT getting in the way of this mob. If I were armed, then I could put a few shots in the air.

Second, in another report (USA Today) it said witnessing a crime against someone younger than 14 is a CRIME if you do not intervene.
Is the state going mandate a special ID tag or wristband outside ones home to differentiate ages? I can't magically tell the ages of any two given kids in the street.

Is the state going to compensate citizens for risking their safety up to, and including their lives to intervene?

Is the right to object going to be decided by the supreme court, and at what expense?

Lastly, I understand that "ignorance of law is no excuse", but that is when you do an action, not when you fail to take an action in a situation you did not choose to be part of.

Please. I cannot get this young woman out of my mind. If anyone knows of any place where cards or letters can be sent, please post it. And if anyone knows of a fund set up to help her with the rehabilitation she will need as well as college or the ability to live somewhere where she will feel safe, please also post everywher you can.

Let's make sure this beautiful child knows that she will never be alone again.

Yeah it's a cultural thing. If you see the surnames of the rapists, you can see what culture they are from.

I DO HOPE THE POLICE ARE SCANNING *YOUTUBE* FOR ANY POSSIBLE VIDEOS-so the uploaders can be arrested-the event might not show up as graphic enough to register complaints

Islamic law is the way to solve this.

For a gripping account of what a rape victim goes through-- read Alice Sebold's memoir, LUCKY. This trauma persists for a very very long time.

I'm pretty sure these guys were latino. Women get cat called and harrassed by guys all the time, but 97% of them are latino and I want them out of my country damn it. The central park sexual assaults where a mob of latin men terrorized innocent bystander women and ripped their clothes off.... The fact that you can't walk down the street without some midget mexican trying to harrass you for being female.... I finally decided to look up the sex offender registery of my city and guess what... at LEAST 50% on that list have names like Martinez, Lopez, Vasquez, Abreu, Valdez, Aristizabal..... and I don't even live in California! These are just the guys who got CAUGHT is all. All of you should check the registry online for your own cities and see if you get similar results to mine ... and then see if you still don't believe our borders should be controlled.

be an thug in the streets ,be an thug in prison doing 20 to 40 .now thug that !!!!

A sad commentary on the youth of today and the sick bastards that have so little self respect and regard for human life. I hope they all rot in hell.

Them boys just havin they fun.


I think that in this great country of America we as a society has become barbaric. To think that we as a society worry about terroism is completly nuts, when we have tragic things such as this rape that took place in Richmond Ca.. I mean my own country that i fought for in the miltary cannot control the gangs, the serial killers, the rapist,the child molesters,the drugs,the bullying in our schools,but yet we consider ourselves in this great country cilvlized. We in our country should really sit back and take first a very hard look at us as a country and say to ourselves that enough is enough. This incident along with a host of others has to stop, by all means necissary. We have become so prone to this kind of activity unil it's evey day news and no one gives a damn unless it's at our idiviual doorstep. So next time you hear of Terroism, please don't flinch, don't react just accept things as they are.


Sadly we've heard this story before in our society, and we'll probably hear it again!

No amnesty for fruit-pickers!!!!

A culture that does not honor education and promotes dropping out of school, will produce this type of low character people ( and I use the term loosely)!

This is sickening. My prayers are with that girl and her family. I hope the people that perpetrated this crime suffer as much as humanly possible and then some.

This is sickening. My prayers are with that girl and her family. I hope the people that perpetrated this crime suffer as much as humanly possible and then some.

Why didn't anyone try to stop them if they are walking by witnessing this act. I would have jumped in and pulled her out cussing them all out. This is pathetic how people don't help people.

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