Security Failed Gang Rape Victim

Attack went on for more than 2 hours: police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area

    School officials say the security cameras mounted at Richmond High School were obsolete and guards were sent home early the night a 15-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped and beaten by a group of teenagers.

    A second student from Richmond High School was taken into Monday for questioning as detectives continue to track down those responsible for the brutal two-hour assault, police said.

    Richmond Gang Rape Shatters Nerves

    [BAY] Richmond Gang Rape Shatters Nerves
    Richmond police are offering a $20,000 reward for tips leading the arrest of those responsible for the gang rape of a high school student during a homecoming dance. (Published Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009)

    There are security cameras mounted around the campus -- including one on the wall right above where the attack happened -- but they don't work.

    "Those were obsolete. They don't work." School board member Charles Ramsey said. "Those were more cosmetic in nature. Those were not operational cameras."

    Security Cameras, Guard Not Present During Brutal Campus Attack

    [BAY] Security Cameras, Guard Not Present During Brutal Campus Attack
    School officials say the security cameras mounted at Richmond High School were obsolete and guards were sent home early the night a 15-year-old girl was gang raped and beaten by a group of teenagers. (Published Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009)

    NBC Bay Area has also learned that two campus security guards were told to go home at about 9 p.m. that Saturday.

    The school board is now replacing the security system with a $1 million digital security system but it's too little, too late for the girl, who is lying in a hospital room recovering from the brutal attack.

    Many of the girl's classmates found out about the disturbing incident as they got to school after the Homecoming weekend.

    Investigators say the girl was walking across campus after the Homecoming dance on Saturday night at about 9:30. Classmates say they saw her walk out alone.

    Police believe the girl walked over to the other side of campus to wait for her father to pick her up when she saw some friends hanging out and drinking on the campus. She went over to where the group was and started drinking with them, police say. She drank a large amount of alcohol before the alleged attack happened, police said.

    The attack went on for more than two hours.

    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 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.

    Police said witnesses failed to report the attack or try to stop it. Four police officers and several other school security officers were on hand at the dance, the Chronicle reported.

    "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."