Richmond Gang-Rape Convicts Sentenced to Decades in Prison

Two men convicted in the gang rape of a teenage girl at Richmond High School learned their sentences Thursday. 

Marcelles Peter, 20, was sentenced to 29 years to life and Jose Montano, 22, faces 33 years to life in prison for the attack, the maximum sentence possible.

Judge Barbara Zuniga told Montano she would have given him more time if she could "because what he did was despicable."

Last month, the two men were found guilty on all counts for their involvement in the gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl outside the school's homecoming dance back in 2009.

The defendants showed no emotion as the judge read the sentences.

"The conduct the two of you engaged in, you dehumanized her," Zuniga said. "She stopped being a human being to you. She became a thing for you to torture and play with."

"No words can undo what's been done,” Montano said during the sentencing proceedings. “All I can do is apologize for my actions and wish to move forward."

Before handing down the sentences, the judge heard a statement written by the victim, who says she still has nightmares, flashbacks and body aches.

"You both took a lot from me, more than you will ever know," the statement said. "But I just want to say to the both of you, I forgive both of you, because I deserve to be at peace."

Two other men connected to the case took a plea deal. Two more are awaiting trial.

As many as 20 men are believed to have been involved.

"You cannot engage in this kind of mob mentality, vandalism on a person’s body and get away with it," prosecutor John Cope said. "Some of the people who are out there who think that they’ve gotten away with this, we’re still working on this case."

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