General Crime

* Manuel Ortega Arrested For Richmond Gang Rape Police Offer A Reward Expecting More Arrests

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Richmond police are offering a $20,000 reward for information relating to Saturday night’s gang rape outside of the Richmond High School homecoming dance, and a spokesman said more arrests are forthcoming.The $20,000 award is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the attack, Lt. Mark Gagan said this afternoon.Police have arrested two teens since Friday night, when a 15-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped outside of the school, while a group of people looked on. Later that night, police arrested 19-year-old Manuel Ortega, a former Richmond student, after he was seen running from the high school,Gagan said.On Monday, police pulled two students out of class at the high school, he said, and brought them in for questioning. One student was released, while the other, a 15-year-old boy, was booked on one count of
sexual assault.Police are continuing to interview witnesses and have increased their estimates of the number of people involved and the number of those who stood by and watched without reporting the incident to police.Gagan could not say when the department might make more arrests, but said “every interview sheds more light on who was there and what people did.”Police now believe between seven and 10 people were involved in robbing, beating and sexually assaulting the girl in front of as many as a dozen onlookers.Police received a call about the incident at about 11:50 p.m., Gagan said. He said the attack began around 9:30 p.m. and lasted nearly two and a half hours. The victim left the dance, intending to get a ride from her father, according to police. Instead, a classmate beckoned her to a secluded corner of campus, where a group of people was drinking, Gagan said.After drinking a large amount of alcohol, the victim became inebriated, and members of the group began assaulting her, according to police. She was airlifted to a hospital and is in stable condition. Four Richmond police officers and several administration members were providing security at the dance, according to West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo.The school brought in counselors on Monday to help students deal with the incident, and Trujillo said they will remain on campus as long as they are needed. The school board is seeking bids for plans to install digital security cameras on campus, and build a fence around the perimeter, Trujillo said. While initial plans did not include a camera in the alleyway on the north side of campus where the attack took place, “I’m pretty sure they are going to be looking at that area now,” Trujillo said.To access the fenced-off spot, students had to leave campus, walk around the school, enter a side street, then a dead end leading to a closed parking lot, he said.Trujillo said the school and the district would review its security protocols to see where they can make improvements.This is not the way we want to learn about anything, but we will learn from this,” he said. School board members have relocated a scheduled Wednesday night safety subcommittee meeting to Richmond High School. The meeting, taking place at 6 p.m. in the school library, will include discussions of campus safety and safety measures for events during non-school hours, Trujillo said.Richmond High School has also organized a meeting for parents Saturday at 10 a.m. in the school gym to discuss the attack and address concerns.The campus is located at 1250 23rd St.

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