Teen Gang Rape Trial Begins Today With Two Suspects, Two Juries

VIDEO: A 15-year-old girl was allegedly attacked at her high school while up to 20 people watched.PlayABCNEWS.com
WATCH Trial Begins for Men Accused in 2009 Gang Rape

Two men accused of participating in the gang rape of a California teen after her homecoming dance in 2009 will face trial beginning today, with two different juries listening to arguments and deciding separately on the suspects' guilt.

The case grabbed headlines in October, 2009, when a 15-year-old girl at Richmond High School was allegedly attacked by at least six individuals while up to 20 additional people watched.

Today, the trial for two of the alleged attackers, Jose Montano, 22, and Marcelles Peter, 20, will begin in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. Two separate juries have been seated to hear their cases, and will listen to different opening statements today as the trial begins.

The juries will then listen to most of the same evidence and testimony for much of the trial, which is expected to last six weeks, and then will deliberate separately on the defendants' guilt or innocence.

Read the full report from the 2009 Richmond High School Teen Gang Rape

The victim, whose name was not released, was described by friends to ABC News as a devout Christian who attended the dance with friends in a "sparkling purple dress," a diamond necklace, and silver high heels.

The night began to unravel, however, when the victim allegedly left the dance around 9:30 p.m. and was invited to drink with a teenage boy later charged with rape in the attack, according to ABC News affiliate KGO. She told police that she drank brandy, got dizzy and passed out.

According to testimony from earlier hearings in the case, witnesses testified that the victim was unconscious for much of the rape but woke occasionally and was crying, whimpering, screaming for help and kicking her assailants, KGO reported.

Police said they found the girl beneath a picnic table in a dark courtyard around midnight, with her dress pulled up and revealing the lower part of her body, which was naked, according to the KGO report. Police found open condom wrappers, a silver high heel shoe, the girl's school ID and an empty bottle of brandy.

The victim had a blood alcohol level of .355 percent, and later told police she did not remember the attack.

Authorities charged six individuals with raping, beating, and robbing the girl of her jewelry during the attack.

Two of the other individuals who were charged have taken plea deals, and two are still awaiting trial.

Lt. Mark Gagan told ABCNews.com in 2009 that he believed Montano had a "bigger role than others," in the attack, which lasted some two-and-a-half hours.

"Montano played a significant role in what happened to our victim and his arrest was an important one," he said then.