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.