Homecoming Dance Ends in Gang Rape: Police

Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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Homecoming Dance Ends in Gang Rape: Police

Link confirmed day before shootings

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The mood at Richmond High School was somber today as students  learned of an alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old student after the school's  homecoming dance Saturday night, a school district spokesman said today.     

Counselors were at the school today to help students cope with the  incident, but classes were still being held, West Contra Costa Unified School  District spokesman Marin Trujillo said.

The attack happened shortly before midnight Saturday in an  alleyway on the north side of campus at 1250 23rd St., about an hour after  the dance ended, police said.

When officers arrived, they saw several males running from the  scene and found the victim, a student at the high school, unconscious, police  said.

Investigators believe that the victim was robbed, beaten and  sexually assaulted by possibly as many as seven people while as many as 10  others watched, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said.

Police said witnesses failed to report the attack or try to stop  it.

 "This is just a horrific crime," Gagan said. "The victim was  beaten, sexually assaulted, robbed and dehumanized ... What's even more  disturbing is that other people came by and witnessed the attack and failed  to report it."

The victim was airlifted to a local hospital in critical  condition. Her condition has since been upgraded to stable, police said.

Police arrested 19-year-old Manuel Ortega after he was seen  running from the high school shortly after the attack, police said.

Ortega is being held in county jail on suspicion of rape, robbery  and kidnapping. His bail has been set at $800,000, Gagan said.

As of this afternoon, no other arrests had been made.

 Trujillo said Ortega was a former Richmond High School student who  left the school two years ago.

Four police officers, three administrators and several additional  teachers were at the school to chaperone the dance, Trujillo said. He noted  that there were no incidents during the dance and officials closed the event  at 11.

  Bay City News

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