Two separate juries reached guilty verdicts in the gang rape trial of two men accused of raping a Richmond teenager outside her high school homecoming dance in 2009. Jodi Hernandez reports.
Two separate juries reached guilty verdicts Thursday in the gang rape trial of two men accused of raping a Richmond teenager outside her high school homecoming dance in 2009.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga first read the guilty verdict for Pinole resident Marcelles Peter, 20. The jury found him guilty on all counts.
Peter was dressed in a blue-striped collared shirt and tie. His lawyer put his arm around him as the guilty verdicts were read. His mother wept.
Next up was the reading of the guilty verdict for 22-year-old Jose Montano, of Richmond. He was also found guilty of all three counts he faced.
Neither defendant showed any emotion in court.
Prosecutor John Cope called the verdicts an important and appropriate outcome for some horrendous crimes.
"This is clearly justice the jury has spoken," Cope said.
Montano's attorney said she's disappointed, but not shocked at the outcome. She said her client was at the scene and committed an offense, but it did not rise to the level of the conviction, adding his family is devastated.
In a rare legal move, the trial had two separate juries for the two defendants. The groups attended most of the trial together but deliberated separately.
The two men on trial this month were tried on charges of rape in concert, oral copulation in concert and sexual penetration with a foreign object in concert, along with special allegations of inflicting great bodily injury on the victim. They are the first of six men jailed for their alleged roles in the incident.
Prosecutors said the victim was raped, beaten and robbed during a more than two-hour period as about 20 boys and men watched.
Police received a 911 call that night and found the girl comatose with head trauma, burns, hypothermia and a near-fatal 0.35 percent blood-alcohol level, according to prosecutors.
Peter's jury returned a verdict Tuesday after seven hours of deliberations, while the jury for Montano reached a verdict Wednesday after deliberating for about 11 hours.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 15.
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