Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Four US teenagers charged over school gang rape

Four US teenagers were charged today over the gang rape and beating of a 15-year-old girl outside her high school homecoming dance in Northern California.

The four - aged 15, 16, 17 and 19 - were charged with rape and enhancements that they acted in concert, which could make them eligible for life in prison.

The minors each face one count of felony rape with a foreign object. The 16-year-old also faces robbery charges. They were charged as adults because of the severity of the crime, Lt Mark Gagan of Richmond Police said.

Besides rape, the 19-year-old, Manuel Ortega, of Richmond, was charged with robbery and assault causing great bodily injury. The four remained in custody today.

"These are people who played a significant role in the incident," Lt Gagan said. "I'm confident that more arrests will be made."

A fifth suspect arrested on Tuesday, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond, remained in custody but had not been charged.

The Saturday night attack at Richmond High School and its aftermath shocked the crime-ridden city of about 120,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Police believe as many as 10 people aged 15 to their mid-20s attacked the girl for more than two hours in a dimly-lit area. As many as two dozen people saw the rape without notifying police.

The victim, a sophomore, had left the dance and was drinking alcohol in a school courtyard with a group when she was attacked, police said.

Officers found the girl semi-conscious and naked from the waist down near a picnic table. She was released from the hospital yesterday.

Police also hope a £12,000 reward will bring more people forward with information.

Lt Gagan said the girl left the dance and was walking to meet her father for a lift home when a classmate invited her to join a group drinking in the courtyard.

The girl had drunk a large amount by the time the assault began, police said. Lt Gagan said the girl's father tried to call her mobile phone, but no one answered.

Police received a tip about a possible assault on campus from a young woman, a former student, who heard two men bragging about it.

The girl was found nearly an hour after the dance had ended.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz