Four out of five suspects arrested in connection with the publicly witnessed, hours-long gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside of her California high school's homecoming dance face charges that could send them to prison for life, police said.
Manuel Ortega, a 19-year-old former Richmond High School student, has been charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, rape in concert [gang rape] and rape with violence, according to Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office is going to ask for a life sentence for Ortega, Gagan said. His bail has been set at $1,230,000
The other three suspects are juveniles, ages 15, 16 and 17, but are to be charged as adults, and the D.A.'s office will seek life sentences for the trio, Gagan said.
The three juveniles are being held without bail on charges of rape in concert and penetration with an foreign object in concert. In addition, the 16-year-old will be charged with robbery.
A fifth suspect, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez, arrested Tuesday night, has not yet been charged, although the district attorney's office continues to investigate his role.
Estimates of the number of people present for the more-than-two-hour assault Saturday night have grown. Initially, police believed 20 people either took part in the attack or watched it happen.
Police now believe that as many as 10 suspects took part in the gang rape, while 20 others stood by and watched the crime occur in a dimly lit corner of the sprawling campus, according to KGO.
No one who was present during the assault tried to stop it or called police. Instead, some of those watched the attack are suspected of taking pictures, police told ABC's KGO-TV in San Francisco.
KGO reported that police were called only after someone who was not at the scene heard people talking about the attack, which was still going on.
Police officers found the girl semi-conscious, curled up near a lunch table.
Gagan said the Richmond Police Department is pleased with the district attorney's aggressive approach in prosecuting the case.
Richmond police arrested three people Tuesday night, including the 17-year-old boy, who turned himself in to police after authorities visited his home earlier in the day, according to KGO-TV.
The 16-year-old boy and Rodriguez also were among the suspects taken into custody Tuesday night, joining two other young men who police already had apprehended.
The 15-year-old boy was arrested Monday after he was pulled out of class for questioning. He is believed to have known the rape victim.
"These are people who played a significant role in the incident," Gagan told the Associated Press. "I'm confident that more arrests will be made."
An official with the school district said Tuesday officials were praying for the victim's recovery but also defended school security, saying that when the students leave the dance, "we don't take them home."
West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo told ABCNews.com that there were four police officers, five chaperones and a host of teachers to supervise the dance, and that when the event was over a sweep was made of the campus to make sure everyone had gone home.
The corner on the outskirts of school grounds where the girl was attacked, he said, was not part of the search.
"I bet this is a learning incident," Trujillo said, referring to the way they searched the campus.