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Onlookers laugh during teen girl's gang rape

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Onlookers laugh during teen girl's gang rape

By Karl Fischer and Shelly Meron

Contra Costa Times

Posted: 10/26/2009 10:59:03 AM PDT

Updated: 10/26/2009 07:03:04 PM PDT

Onlookers laughed, took pictures and even joined in Saturday night during the two-hour gang rape of a semiconscious 15-year-old outside her homecoming dance at Richmond High, police said Monday.

Teams of detectives and school resource officers spent the rest of the weekend trying to track down those responsible.

"The crimes perpetrated against this 15-year-old are both startling and horrific," police Chief Chris Magnus said Monday. "We are committed to arresting the perpetrators and to preparing the strongest case possible by aggressively pursuing every lead and utilizing the full resources of the department."

The victim, a student, remained hospitalized Monday with injuries that were not

life-threatening.

Patrol officers broke up the sex assault just before midnight, arresting 19-year-old Manuel Ortega as he ran from the crime scene, they say.

"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," said Lt. Mark Gagan, a patrol supervisor in the city's Northern Policing District. "What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening, and failed to report it."

Ortega remained at Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on Monday, booked on suspicion of rape and robbery. Detectives believe as many as six other men raped the girl as she lay semiconscious on a courtyard bench,

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also beating her, taking pictures and stealing her jewelry.

Police took at least one student out of Richmond High on Monday afternoon for questioning.

No one called police until word of the ongoing rape spread to a house party in the city's North and East neighborhood, where an appalled partygoer felt obligated to phone in the rumor.

"That's just wrong," senior class President Gina Saechao, who helped organize the dance, said Monday. "What if it was your little sister? What if it was your mom?"

Officers broke it up, and found the victim semiconscious and obviously hurt. Paramedics flew her to a regional trauma center in critical condition; she stabilized overnight.

This newspaper does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

The girl attended the dance, held in the gym from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. About 400 students attended, with three administrators and four police officers both inside and watching the surrounding parking lot and street.

"Obviously we've had some breakdowns. Obviously, it was not safe because this happened," said Charles Ramsey, a West Contra Costa school district board member. "Should we have had higher awareness, should we have been more vigilant? Probably."

Police say the victim left alone about 9:30 p.m. and walked north on 23rd Street, expecting to catch a ride from her father. Instead, a schoolmate caught her attention from behind a cyclone fence on the north end of campus.

He invited her to join a group drinking and hanging out in a secluded courtyard behind the fence, Gagan said, and escorted her down Emeric Avenue to a short gate from which they made their way back to the group.

The assault began after the girl quickly drank a large amount of hard alcohol and fell over, Gagan said.

Detectives spent the rest of the weekend trying to identify the various participants, some of whom arrived after the gang rape began.

The courtyard is pitch-black at night, making it difficult to see into it from 23rd.

"(Lighting) is an ongoing issue for all our sites," school district spokesman Marin Trujillo said. "That particular section does have lighting. Could it be better? That's something we're always reviewing."

The school district plans to install surveillance cameras by January at the campus, a project long in the works. Plans for new fencing have been in the works since March.

"It's unfortunate that we weren't able to have this finalized a little bit sooner," Ramsey said. "But we've been on top of this issue (safety). Our board is working very proactively to make sure we stay on top of the issue."

Reach Karl Fischer at 510-262-2728 or kfischer@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/kfischer510. Reach Shelly Meron at 510-243-3578 or smeron@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her on Twitter @shellymeron.

How to help

Richmond police ask anyone with information about Saturday night's rape at Richmond High School to call Detective Ken Greco at 510-620-6618 or the anonymous tip line at 510-232-TIPS (8477).


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Off to bed but unf-ck-nbelievable.

If anyone dares to even hint let alone suggest that this generation of kids have the same attitude of those generations 20 or 30 years ago, I will knock them out.

Edited by Booyah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Off to bed but unf-ck-nbelievable.

If anyone dares to even hint let alone suggest that this generation of kids have the same attitude of those generations 20 or 30 years ago, I will knock them out.

Its a heinous crime BY, but you have absolutely no context forb this. None whatsoever.

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Its a heinous crime BY, but you have absolutely no context forb this. None whatsoever.

What it does show is that kids are now desensitized. To look on and laugh is an absolute disgrace. Situations like this is where I like France's Good Samaritan laws. All of those who looked on, let alone laughed, should be punished for not doing anything. This girl has had her life ruined and they think it's funny. Funny is when every single one of them is in prison for 10 years. Then we will see who is laughing.

Sure you will say I am generalizing, so have a look at the comments from teenagers towards the girl who can no longer walk properly due the side-effects of the flu shot. Yeah real funny. If I dared mocked the misery of someone else, my old man would have slapped me across the head. If I did what these kids did, going to prison would be the last thing I was worried about.

I was watching a few news reports from the area there, not to my surprise I saw typical 2009 parent responses of "the school is to blame for not having surveillance or security". No b-tch, pathetic parents like yourself are to blame for their gross incompetence and should be held accountable.

The two issues are the:

  • Lack of empathy for the victim.
  • As per usual, parents shifting the blame to someone else.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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BY, I suggest you watch some old movies. Start with 'Born Losers'. It's a ####### film but it illustrates how these types of behaviours were common enough in the 60's that the movie business documented it with its own genre.


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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What a horrible, horrible crime!


Don't just open your mouth and prove yourself a fool....put it in writing.

It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

kodasmall3.jpg

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BY, I suggest you watch some old movies. Start with 'Born Losers'. It's a ####### film but it illustrates how these types of behaviours were common enough in the 60's that the movie business documented it with its own genre.

I must have been in a coma during the years I grew up then.

I grew up in a tough area. With a handful of students currently serving life for a range of crimes. To service life in Aus, you have to have done some major #######. However, not one of them would have joined in or stood there and took photos; let alone cheered others on.

Edited by Booyah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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may God be merciful to the girl and erase at least the mental trauma of her attack from her memory

i have done a little research on this topic and years past........what i found was the biggest deference in most cases at least between then and now is that times in the way past the attorneys for the criminal were allowed to try to suggest it was the girls fault trying to alleviate the criminal of the crime and placing the blame on the girl........as for my personal opinion prolly wont matter much in the end..........

men that behave like this and people that watch it with out trying to stop it are not even as good as a dog

sara

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