Police arrested a suspect today who police say played a "significant role" in the brutal gang rape of a teenager at her school's homecoming dance, but released another suspect who has been in police custody for several days.
Late Thursday night, police arrested 18-year-old Jose Carlos Montano in connection to the rape.
"Montano played a significant role in what happened to our victim and his arrest was an important one," Richmond Police Department Lt. Mark Gagan told ABCNews.com today.
Gagan said detectives believe Montano had a "bigger role than others" in the two-and-a-half hour gang rape outside Richmond High School's homecoming dance last Saturday night.
Montano, who is being held on $1.3 million bail, is charged with rape, rape in concert with force and other charges, according to Gagan.
"We will be going after a couple, if not several, people who are implicated in this crime," said Gagan. "We know there were more people back there with our victim."
Another suspect, Salvador Rodriquez, 21, was arrested Tuesday night but was never charged by police. He will be released from a county jail later today, according to ABC's KGO-TV in San Francisco. Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said there was not enough evidence against Rodriquez to charge him, according to KGO.
The arrest of Montano and the release of Rodriguez brings the total number of people charged in the attack to five. Four have been formally charged including three juveniles who will be tried as adults. Prosecutors have said they will seek life sentences for the suspects. Because they are being tried as adults, ABC News has decided to identify the suspects.
The gang rape took place in a remote part of the school's grounds while the homecoming dance was taking place. The area, according to a close friend of the victim, was known as a secluded area where couples at the school would often congregate.
As many as 20 bystanders are believed to have watched without intervening and may have even filmed or photographed the attack.
Montano joins five other suspects who police arrested earlier this week.
Manuel Ortega, a 19-year-old former Richmond High School student, is charged with robbery, assault 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 include Cody Ray Smith, 15, Abdallah Morael, 16, and Marcelles James Peter, 17. They were all charged as adults.
The DA's office will seek life sentences for all four defendants who have been arraigned so far, Gagan said.
They are being held without bail on charges of rape in concert and penetration with a foreign object in concert. In addition, Morael will be charged with robbery for taking the victim's jewelry during the attack, according to ABC's KGO-TV in San Francisco.
Of the four suspects who were arraigned Thursday, only Smith entered a plea. Smith pleaded not guilty.
All the suspects wore bullet proof vests for their protection to the courthouse, just blocks away from where the rape occurred, according to KGO.
The victim of last weekend's attack is a devout Christian who attended church three times a week and whose friends say had been looking forward to the homecoming dance for weeks.