General Crime

* Manuel Ortega And 3 Juveniles Charged In Richmond Gang Rape No Charges Filed On Salvador Rodriguez

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The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has charged four of five people arrested in connection the two-and-a-half-hour gang rape of a 15-year-old girl during Richmond High School’s homecoming dance Saturday night. Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said she filed charges this afternoon against 19-year-old Manuel Ortega and three juveniles who will be charged as adults. She has not yet released their names. Charges have not been filed against the fifth person who was arrested, 21-year-old Richmond resident Salvador Rodriguez. Ortega, who was arrested shortly after the assault as he allegedly ran from the area, is being charged with robbery, assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury, and rape in concert, Cashman said. A 15-year-old San Pablo boy who was pulled out of class and arrested on Monday is being charged with rape by foreign object in concert,as are a 16-year-old San Pablo boy and a 17-year-old Pinole boy who were arrested Tuesday night, Cashman said. The 16-year-old has also been charged with robbery.All four also face special allegations that make them eligible for life in prison if convicted, Cashman said.They will appear in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Richmond on Thursday morning.Detectives are continuing to interview witneses and now believe that between seven and 10 people were involved in robbing, beating and sexually assaulting the victim, a Richmond High School student, in front of as many as a dozen onlookers. Police received a call reporting the incident at about 11:50 p.m., police Lt. Mark Gagan said. He said investigators believe 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, police said. Instead,a classmate beckoned her to a secluded corner on the north side of campus, where a group of people had gathered to drink, Gagan said.After drinking a large quantity of alcohol, the victim became inebriated and members of the group began assaulting her, police said. When police arrived and broke up the activity, the victim was airlifted to a hospital and is in stable condition.Four Richmond police officers and several school administration members were providing security at the dance, but didn’t know the attack was going on, West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesman Marin Trujillo said. Richmond police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the attack, Gagan said.The school board has relocated a safety subcommittee meeting scheduled for tonight to Richmond High School. The meeting is being held in the high school’s library and will include discussions on 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 school board is also 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 where the attack took place, “I’m pretty sure they are going to be looking at that area now,” Trujillo said.

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