Police arrest another suspect in Richmond High gang-rape case

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RICHMOND — Police arrested another suspect this morning in the Oct. 24 gang rape of a 15-year-old student outside the Richmond high homecoming dance.

A SWAT team arrested the 21-year-old man at his Richmond home about 7 a.m., said Lt. Mark Gagan. The suspect, whose identity has not been released, is being held on a $1.2 million arrest warrant.

“He is suspected of committing several felonies,” Gagan said.

Additionally, 18-year-old Jose Carlos Montano, arrested last week, will become the fifth person arraigned in the case this afternoon. Montano was charged today with rape in concert, rape by a foreign object in concert and an enhancement for personally committing a sexual act in concert, prosecutor David Brown said.  

Four other suspects — Cody Ray Smith, 15; Ari Morales, 16; Marcelles Peter, 17; and Manuel Ortega, 19 — were arraigned last week and return to court Thursday. All five charged suspects are being held on high or no bail and face potential life prison sentences. Prosecutors cited the brutality of the crime as reason for charging the underage suspects as adults.

“We are pleased with the progress in this case,” Gagan said. “We are very confident in finding everyone involved in this.”

Prosecutors last week declined to file charges against Salvador Rodriguez, 21, of Richmond, who was released from custody Friday. They cited insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

“There does not appear to be sufficient evidence at this time,” Gagan said last week. “However, the investigation is ongoing, and the forensic evidence is still being examined.”  

Meanwhile, a row of wall-mounted lamps has been installed to illuminate the shadowy courtyard on the north end of campus where the rape occurred.

The victim left her homecoming dance about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 24 Before she called for a ride home, a classmate hanging around in the courtyard with a group of other teens and young adults called out to her. She joined them, and swiftly became incapacitated with strong drink.

Afterward, several of her male companions beat her, stripped her, robbed her of her jewelry and other belongings and repeatedly raped her. The attack lasted about two hours, with different people joining in during its course, and many more passively watching, or even egging on the attackers by jeering and taking cell-phone pictures.

The victim spent several days in the hospital. Police said she has received an outpouring of support from across the country.

“The support the victim’s getting from the community is the most important thing,” Gagan said.

ewct1027rapeFor the now the march on Saturday is on hold.  I will update you once I have more information. You can read the entire article here as well as watch the amazing video of the students speaking out.

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7 Responses

  1. so – are these kids here legally or not?

  2. I haven’t heard one word about that yet. Tomorrow is the arraignment. It will be interesting to see if it ever comes up.

  3. What difference does it make if they’re here illegally or not? Men who are American citizens rape women in this country all the time, stop trying to change the subject away from the fact that this was a brutal act of male violence towards a 15 year old female. It’s not about the city of Richmond, it’s not about the ethnic background, age, or citizenship of the rapists. It’s not about the “by-stander effect”, it’s not about the fact that she drank alcohol, or anything she may or may not have done, it is simply about male violence against women. Why do people keep trying to talk about anything and everything but what the real issue is? The issue is that we live in a culture of violence against women, and this is one of the manifestations of it. When are we gonna stop asking women to alter their behavior i.e. wear “less provocative clothing”, “don’t drink too much”, “don’t go out alone”, “don’t talk to men you don’t know”? We shouldn’t have to do anything differently than what men have to do. When a man is beaten up, robbed, or murdered, we don’t talk about how much he had to drink, we don’t say he shouldn’t have been out when and where he was, or that he was out alone, no the blame/responsibility is put exactly where it belongs, on the one(s) responsible. Well, by and large, men are responsible for the majority of the rapes, abuse, murder, etc. So men should be asking themselves and each other, what men can do to stop/prevent male violence towards women. If you are trying to skirt around this fact, YOU are part of the problem.

  4. You are absolutely right. It is not about their race and it IS about violence against women. This has to stop. I saw a sign today and it read “men can stop rape”. I do not believe in the old saying “boys will be boys”.

    No one is trying to skirt around the problem and I am sorry that you feel this way. We are sensitive to the legal status because of a triple murder that happened. We can talk more about that if you like.

  5. Thanks fer responding personally to my comment as well as on your blog, and I definitely empathize with you around the trauma you described, and the feelings you have about it. I still think that focusing at all on someone’s legal status is missing the point. Men in this country commit heinous acts all the time, it has nothing to do with their legal status, and if you think that someone being here legally or illegally is gonna matter to your safety, you are wholly kidding yourself, and actually making yourself more vulnerable. You are allowing the men around you and in the media to say, “Oh, it was “THOSE men, those ILLEGALS who did it”, so they can see themselves as being apart from those men, so they can convince women and themselves that they aren’t part of the system of terror. I wrote what I wrote ‘cos I’m totally fed up with the fact that women are systematically terrorized, via rape, abuse, murder, exploitation, discrimination, and we are denied equal pay, equal access to health care, education, etc. And when we are victimized by male violence, who has to spend what little resources we have to recover, and to come up with ways to prevent it in the future, is it the people responsible for the violence? No, it is the victims (I’ve been raising funds for the Richmond Jane Doe, a young lesbian who was gang-raped by four men in a hate crime for almost a year, and 99% of the donations come from women, the one’s who can least afford it.) That is just incredibly oppressive, and no one is talking about it. I think that far too often (as in every time), the media directs the public to think and talk about an event like this, in ways which completely distract from the real issue. We fixate on things like the ages, ethnicities, the behavior or sexual orientation of the victim, the status of the perpetrator’s citizenship, the “by-stander effect”, whether it was gang-related or not, whether there were security cameras or not, what the charges are, what the potential sentences may be, etc. We focus so much on those things that we never get around to asking the right question, what are men gonna do to stop/prevent male violence towards women?

    Women have been coming up with (or agreeing to) various methods, strategies, ideas, and rules to cope with male violence for centuries, we do the best we can to protect ourselves and each other. In the end the rules that we come up with wind up being used against us, if for some reason we don’t follow them to a T, and we are attacked. We tell ourselves, and each other, that if she just hadn’t gotten drunk, or that she just went home earlier, etc. The reality is, is that MANY women are raped, even when they have followed all the rules. We are told to take self-defense classes, so we can feel empowered, so that we will inhabit our bodies in such a way that the man who is looking to easily dominate, will move on to someone else, but we don’t think about the fact that that someone else is another woman! It’s time to stop focusing on the behavior of women, as if it is anything that warrants the terror we experience, it’s time to focus on the behavior of MEN, to hold them accountable.

    Even men/boys who don’t participate in the abuse, rape, exploitation of women, if they aren’t actively fighting against it as fiercely as any soldier at war, they are still making a contribution to it. The reason I say this is because boys/men are taught at a very early age to regard with disdain, skepticism, even contempt, the voices of women. They are taught to ignore, even revile our ideas, our feelings, and beliefs. Anything female, feminine, or girly can be used as the greatest of insults to a boy, it’s no wonder that they don’t value anything we say. The major movie studios, and book publishers have stated that boys won’t willingly watch, or read anything that has a female lead character or which is written by a woman (which is why J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, used initials instead of her name, and likely why Harry is the lead, and not Hermione). Men won’t/don’t listen to women, but they will/do listen to other men. Even the coolest guy you know has very likely uttered words which insult femaleness, likening it to weakness, i.e. throwing like a girl, screamed like a little girl, don’t be such a pussy, or used expressions like “man up”, “grow some balls”, “take it like a man”, etc. which imply that being male is the only way to be strong, and reaffirms the idea that being strong is the best way to have value as a man/human.

    Ya, some men talk to their children about respecting girls/women, but talk is nothing without action to support it. These men must demonstrate for their children, not just by respecting their wives/girlfriends/sisters/mothers/etc. but by actively fighting against male violence. By educating themselves and learning to recognize the hatred of women in their every day lives, by speaking out every time they see examples of the hatred of women, by organizing or going to actions for the prevention of male violence towards women, by admitting and owning the fact that they are part of a population of people who cause terror for another population of people, and allowing that women have a billion valid reasons not to trust men. Recognize that when we walk down the street and don’t make eye contact with some guy smiling at us, it isn’t ‘cos we’re stuck up bitches, or unfriendly, it’s because we are trying to protect ourselves from the uninvited, unwanted, and often very dangerous male gaze, that we get that smile several times a day, every day, and instead of trying to convince us that we should ignore our defense strategies, and smile at you ‘cos you’re one of the nice guys, just recognize the injustice of us having to deal with this shit at all, and leave us be. We can’t tell by looking at a man that he’s not a rapist, that he isn’t abusive, or violent, that he isn’t a child molester, or that he doesn’t hate women. And if a man would rather watch football, golf, work on or gawk at cars, drink beer, or anything else than being active against male violence towards women, ask yourself, and him why that would be the case. If he doesn’t have time to do anything, he isn’t your ally. People will make time for things that are important to them, it should be important to all the men/boys in your life, to prevent/end male violence, and the hatred of women, if it isn’t, then they don’t actually care about you or women.

    If and when, on the rare occasions that women actually talk about the distrust of men which lies just underneath the surface of our society, we are treated as though we are paranoid, as if we are over-reacting, or we are accused of hating men. We are told again and again, that not all men rape, murder, beat, or exploit women, well duh, we already know this, but it is an inescapable reality that the people who do rape, murder, beat or exploit women, are by and large, MEN. To ignore this, to deny this, to stuff it down, so that the men in our lives don’t feel uncomfortable, so they don’t have to own that they belong to a “brotherhood” of people who teach and practice the hatred of women, or because we are dependent upon the men in our lives in some way, and don’t wanna rock the boat, this is one of the parts that women must stop playing. People of color have so MANY reasons to distrust white people, most don’t talk about it out loud to them, because white folks get so defensive, they don’t listen. They say things like, “I’ve never owned slaves”, “I’m working class, I don’t have any privilege”, etc. This is the same thing that happens when women talk about male violence being the responsibility of men. They say things like, “I was taught not to hit girls”, “I’m not a rapist”, “Women have the same opportunities as men”, or “I’m straight and I LOVE women”, as if being heterosexual means they can’t hate women. Men must stop getting defensive about the actions of their brothers, they must prove their love for women, not with jewelry, not with flowers, not with chocolates, but with concrete action every day, against male violence towards women. To hell with opening the door for us, or helping us get our coats on, if they really wanna do something that is actually helpful, they need to step up and do whatever they can to prevent/end male violence. Now THAT would make us feel loved, cared for, and special.

    It may seem like I’ve said a lot here, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is SO much more that needs to be said, LOUDLY, and REPEATEDLY, until things change.

    cheers,
    tallon

  6. Quote: “What difference does it make if they’re here illegally or not?”

    Unfortunately, it does make one really important difference.

    The US has proven it has plenty of men and boys willing to rape girls. This is horrible and bad enough.

    But, when you have to protect girls from NOT ONLY homegrown rapists, but rapists that shouldn’t have even been in the country, in the first place. That’s another problem entirely.

    Political correctness is killing us.

    It is one of the responsibilities of our government to protect our borders. To me, its a matter of math. Defending against a number of US criminals is problematic enough. To ask us to defend against our own and another country’s is ridiculous.

    This comment is only in response to the notion that it shouldn’t matter where the assailants come from. It unfortunately does matter. If stronger borders means one less death, rape, etc. And, it falls under the federal government’s responsibility…I don’t see the need to let them off the hook on that one.

  7. If my interest is only in protecting american women and girls from male violence, then their legal status would be relevant, however, my concern is for ALL women and girls, no matter their ethnicity, nationality, class background, religious background, sexual orientation, education level, age, their level of able-bodiedness, etc.

    Concerning yourself with the legal status and with protecting only american women, is very much a part of the problem. It distracts from the real issue which is that rape is a men’s problem, as by and large, they make the decision to rape, not women. It also indicates a level of racism in your thinking, since if the rapists were known to be white skinned, instead of brown, you wouldn’t think about their status at all, and then how would you be trying to focus on anything but the fact that what happened was once again male violence against women? There are so many more “legal” browned skinned people in this country than “illegals”, it’s sad that your thinking doesn’t reflect more awareness of this. And if the legal status of the perpetrators is relevant, then it could be argued that the victim’s is as well, afterall, any women or girls in this country illegally who have been raped, wouldn’t have gone through what they’re going through, if they were in their own country where they belong, eh? As if american men abroad don’t rape non-american women, all the time. As if male violence respects borders. Rape, assault, murder, are all violations of physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries, do you think borders really matter?

    Political correctness is what’s killing us? Really? It isn’t about political correctness, it’s about decency, and caring about women. I think it’s a sad expression to say anyway, ‘cos it isn’t political correctness that is killing us, it wasn’t political correctness which raped, and then strangled to death, those women whose bodies were found last week in a house in Ohio, it was a man. It wasn’t political correctness that gang-raped and beat Jane Doe almost a year ago, it was four men/ young men. It wasn’t political correctness which gang-raped the Richmond High School student, it was men/boys. Trying to get around this, or skirt the issue in any way, is enabling men who may not participate, but who have the power to stop it, to feel as if it doesn’t have anything to do with them.

    Stronger borders does NOT mean one less death, rape, etc. It may or may not mean one less american death or rape, but if you do not concern yourself with male violence against ALL women, american or not, able-bodied or not, young, old, gay, straight, bi, blonde, brunette, middle-class, poor, wealthy, muslim, christian, jewish, hindu, whatever, then YOU are contributing to the problem.

    Again, I say that focusing on anything but the fact that many MEN make the choice to rape, while many others make the choice not to stop their brothers in any way they can, is a HUGE problem, and until we stop defending men, protecting them from the simple reality that if they are not making every effort to stop male violence, then they are contributing to, and benefitting from it, until we stop denying to ourselves that rape is a choice that many MEN consistently make, and that they must demand from EACH OTHER that different choices are made, nothing is going to change.

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