A jury found the alleged ringleader in a brutal 2008 gang rape of a lesbian woman in Richmond guilty on charges of kidnapping and gang rape in addition to hate crime and gang-related enhancements. Four verdicts were read in a Martinez courtroom this morning of the 14 charges against 36-year-old Humberto Salvador before the Contra Costa County Superior Court jury broke for lunch at noon. Salvador was convicted on charges of kidnapping for sexual purposes, kidnapping for carjacking, forcible oral copulation in concert and forcible rape while acting in concert.
The jury found true allegations that the defendant committed some of the crimes due to the gender or perceived sexual orientation of the victim, who is openly lesbian. In addition, jurors found true that he inflicted great bodily injury on the victim and committed the crimes in affiliation with the Sureno gang. The jury’s verdicts for 10 more charges and a slew of additional special allegations against Salvador will be read when court resumes this afternoon. Jurors deliberated for more than seven hours after the trial wrapped up on Tuesday. During the trial, jurors heard harrowing testimony from the victim, a woman who is now in her early 30s and is referred to in court as Jane Doe, about how Salvador beat, raped and kidnapped her in her own car in Richmond the night of Dec. 13, 2008.
Throughout the attack, Salvador also taunted Doe about her sexual orientation, asking her repeatedly if she liked men, she testified. At Salvador’s direction, two other defendants forced her to orally copulate them and three other defendants took part in the carjacking, according to prosecutors and Doe’s testimony. One of those defendants, 20-year-old Darrell Hodges, was sentenced earlier this month to a 24-year prison sentence for his role in the crime. Another defendant, Robert Ortiz, 20, is awaiting trial later this month. Josue Gonzalez, 26, was the only defendant who prosecutors say did not sexually assault the victim. Gonzalez testified against Salvador during the trial and is awaiting sentencing on carjacking and robbery convictions in connection with the case.
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