Fearful of being labeled a snitch -- a reputation that Rodriguez said could put his life in danger -- the teen said he was too scared to call for help.
"People say, 'Why didn't I call the cops,' but at the same time, I live in Richmond. A neighborhood like this, snitching is something you don't do, you know. I mean I have to walk down the streets now in fear of my life," Rodriquez said.
Someone who heard people talking about the attack eventually called the cops.
"We didn't want to go back there because we were scared," Margarita Vargas told the police dispatcher. "Nobody wants to call the cops, so we decided to call the cops."
The victim, now recovering at home, is described by friends as a devout Christian who attended church three times a week; her friends said she had been looking forward to the homecoming dance for weeks.
Because the suspects are being charged as adults, each could face life in prison if convicted. The charges include rape in concert (gang rape), sexual battery and penetration with a foreign object in concert.
Only one of the six in custody, 15-year-old Cody Ray Smith, has entered a plea. He pleaded not guilty.