Juvenile arrested along with seven men on suspicion of gang rape is to be charged as adult, official says
The juvenile arrested in Ventura County along with seven men on suspicion of gang-raping two teenage girls they lured from social networking sites is expected to be charged as an adult later Tuesday, authorities said.
The 15- and 16-year-old girls agreed to meet the suspects on separate occasions -- one in March and one in April, said Det. Sgt. Ismael Cordero of the Santa Paula Police Department.
Cordero said the suspects gave the victims alcohol and possibly other substances, and in both cases the girls passed out and awoke to find themselves being sexually assaulted.
The suspects were identified as Santa Paula residents Esteban Oseguera, 18; Isaac Ek, 19; Joseph Sandoval, 18; Jonathan Gaona, 20; Dion Mendoza, 19; Carlos Ek, 22; Adrian Garcia, 19; and a juvenile boy whose name has not been released because of his age.
But Cordero said the juvenile is expected to be charged as an adult later Tuesday, at which time his name will be released.
The charges against them include kidnapping, rape, conspiracy, street terrorism, unlawful intercourse with a minor and rape while a victim was asleep.
One alleged victim came forward in April, and during the course of that investigation, police learned of the earlier alleged assault in March.
Several of the suspects are believed to be gang members or to have gang ties, but Cordero said it was unclear whether the alleged rapes were committed in connection with the gang.
Some of the suspects were allegedly involved in both alleged rapes.
Based on the investigation, it is "reasonable to assume additional sexual assault victims may exist," police said in a statement.
-- Abby Sewell