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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.

Belfast Telegraph


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