General Crime

* Richmond High School Gang Rape Suspects Cody Ray Smith, Ari Abdallah Morales, Marcelles James Peter and Manuel Ortega, Arrainged in Court Today

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UPDATE Click Here Elvis Torrentes 7th suspect Arrested, Gang Rape Victim From Richmond High School Releases Statement

Four teenagers charged in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside Richmond High School’s homecoming dance on Saturday appeared in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Richmond this morning, three wearing what appeared to be bulletproof vests. Three of the defendants, San Pablo residents Cody Ray Smith, 15, and Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, and Pinole resident Marcelles James Peter, 17, are charged with rape by foreign object in concert. Morales is also charged with robbery. All three are being charged as adults. The fourth defendant, 19-year-old Manuel Ortega, is charged with robbery, assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and rape in concert.  All four also face enhancements that make them eligible for life in prison if convicted. The three younger teens wore what appeared to be protective vests to court this morning.  Smith, the only one to enter a plea, pleaded not guilty. Peter and Ortega were referred to the public defender’s office and Morales has retained a private attorney but postponed entering a plea. They will return to court on Nov. 5.  Richmond police detectives are continuing to interview witnesses 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. Investigators believe the attack began around 9:30 p.m., after a classmate beckoned the victim to a secluded area of the campus where she began drinking with them. The assault lasted nearly two and a half hours, police Lt. Mark Gagan said.  Students, teachers and community leaders held a rally at the high school Wednesday afternoon to speak out against the assault.  Anyone who wants to make a financial contribution to help the victim and her family can send a check to Richmond High School, located at 1250 23rd St., Richmond, 94804-1011. Checks can made out to the Richmond High School Student Fund, sexual assault victim.
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