Gang Rape Victim Is Church-Going Honor Student

The 15-year-old victim was gang raped by a group of about 10 men in a dimly lit area of the high school's campus while the homecoming dance was taking place.

Five Arrested "Played Significant Role" in Gang Rape

West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo told that he has been getting hate mail since he made remarks earlier in the week suggesting that the event could still be deemed a "success" because the incident did not occur at the dance.

"We had four police officers, three administrators and a host of teachers who were at the event to support the safety of the students," said Trujillo, growing defensive.

"Our assumption was that parents should arrange for a safe ride to the school and back from the event," said Trujillo. "Clearly we have to do something different."

Police believe that as many as 20 other people watched the attack, some even snapping photos and videos with their cell phones, rather than calling for help.

"The participants and the observers of the rape have a callous and disengaged attitude about what they were doing to this victim," Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan told

"The evidence that nobody intervened to help and nobody called authorities to alert us to her vulnerability is evidence that these people really had no regard for her as a human and they were only treating her as an object," said Gagan.

Gagan said that while he has heard rumors of photographs and videos of the attack being in possession of some of those involved in the incident, he has not yet seen them.

It's not known if any of the men seen outside the dance are the same ones who participated in the rape elsewhere on the school's grounds, but two of those in custody were no longer students at the school.

Five people have been arrested and so far. Four of the five suspects in police custody were charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office and if convicted, could spend the rest of their lives in prison. They are expected in court today.

"These are people who played a significant role in the incident," Gagan said.

"Detectives are definitely focusing on several other individuals who will be arrested in the coming days," said Gagan.

A $20,000 reward is being offered by the Richmond Police Department to anyone who can provide information leading to more arrests in the case.

Manuel Ortega, a 19-year-old former Richmond High School student, is charged with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, rape in concert [gang rape] and rape with violence, according to Gagan. The DA's office is likely to ask for a life sentence of Ortega, whose bail has been set at $1.2 million.

Three other suspects charged in connection to the attack are juveniles, ages 15, 16 and 17, but are to be charged as adults, and the DA'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 a 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 in the attack.

Gagan said that the five individuals who have been arrested are those police believe "played the most active role" and "who committed the most heinous crimes."

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