Richmond High School Gang Rape
Police in suburban San Francisco believe as many as a dozen people watched, laughed, took snapshots, and stole jewelry as a 15-year-old girl was beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it.
One suspect is in custody, but police said as many as six other men attacked the intoxicated girl over a two-hour period Friday night outside Richmond High School.
The girl left the dance at approximately 9:30PM and was walking to meet her father for a ride home when a classmate invited her to join a group drinking in the nearby courtyard. The victim had already consumed a large amount of alcohol by the time the assault began. Investigators say as many as 15 people, all males, stood around watching the assault, but did not call police or help the victim.
“She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other’s presence,” Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police tells CNN. “What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it.”
“Based on witness statements and suspect statements, and also physical evidence, we know that she was raped by at least four suspects committing multiple sex acts,” Gagan said. “As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated,” he added.
Manuel Ortega, a 19-year-old former student at the school, was arrested soon after he fled the scene and will face charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, police say. He is being held on $800,000 bail for investigation of rape, and robbery.
“That’s just wrong,” senior class president Gina Saechao, who helped organize the dance, said on Monday. “What if it was your little sister? What if it was your mom?”
The victim remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.