Richmond rape victim feels betrayed by attacker

richmond04_12_0500798197A Richmond High School student recovering from a gang rape has told police that she was betrayed that night by one of her attackers, whom she considered a trusted friend, the lead investigator in the case said Thursday.

Richmond police Sgt. Lori Curran spoke emotionally of the ordeal endured by the girl being referred to as Jane Doe, saying that the 16-year-old is in awe of the good wishes and gifts she has received as she recovers from the Oct. 24 attack outside a homecoming dance at the high school.

“The outpouring of support and love for Jane Doe is remarkable. In the 19 years that I have been here, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything quite like this,” Curran said.

“When she hears about what people have e-mailed about her and what people have said about her at public rallies, the letters that she’s receiving,” Curran said, “more often than not she has clutched her heart and just is in awe that these people are really doing this for her.”

While the victim is overwhelmed with the support, Curran said, she was also left “very saddened” by what happened. “She is a young girl who’s impressionable, and, I think, wonders if this is really what the world is really like.”

Curran said the girl thought of one of her attackers as a trusted friend, and was acquainted with several others from her neighborhood. Their treachery has added to her pain and trauma, she said.

“She did feel betrayed that the one she knew and trusted would let this happen to her,” Curran said. “She had a sense of trust from the others she recognized from the neighborhood.”

Now, Curran said, the teenager hopes to move forward.

“Quite honestly, she’s voiced several times that she just wants to put this behind her,” Curran said. “She wants to heal around it. Ideally, as a 16-year-old, she just wants to forget about what has happened. Unfortunately, she can’t, because her emotional healing is still in the recovery process.” (The victim previously had been reported to be 15 years old.)

Six alleged attackers face charges, while a seventh suspect has been released pending DNA evidence testing. The three juvenile suspects – all charged as adults – appeared in court Thursday. Marcelles James Peter, 17, Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, and Cody Ray Smith, 15, made brief appearances at a hearing that was continued until next week. Three adults are being held in the case, Elvis Torrentes, 21, Manuel Ortega, 19, and Jose Carlos Montano, 18.

“I think we’re satisfied with people we do have in custody, we are satisfied with what their involvement is,” Curran said. “There are still a few people we need to talk to, but as far as the participants, we have pretty much captured them all.”

Curran said that victims sometimes become uncooperative, but Jane Doe has continued to provide what information she can glean from the flashbacks and nightmares she is suffering. “She doesn’t shut down when we talk about painful things.”

Also Thursday, Richmond police released the 911 call from a woman who reported a girl naked and passed out in the rear of the school. The caller said other people had seen the girl but did not want to call authorities.

The call, which came at 11:50 p.m., prompted a police response to the assault, which took place over a 2 1/2-hour period while as many as a dozen others watched.

Curran said the community has also been instrumental in building the case.

She said that that response has been in part because of the age of the victim.

“I think that because of Jane Doe’s age … they’re so affected by it. Everybody has a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter; everybody has a relative that they can think of as Jane Doe.”

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5 Responses

  1. I am believing in an “eye for an eye” right now !

  2. That last comment about the support for her because of her age makes my blood boil (and that can’t be a good thing). Granted it is tragic that a child had to go through this, but would it really be that much better if an older woman was attacked this way? The brutality alone should be enough to shock anyone.

    PUMA-SF, you have done great work. I love your blog, I will visit again. Sorry that I can’t make the rally (I’m on the other coast) but I am there in spirit.

  3. Honora, thanks so much. I love seeing you here and you’re right. What fucking difference does her age make. What if this happened to your mother? Does that make it better? We just need to bring awareness and have zero tolerance for this crap. Enough is enough. It is time to end the violence against women.

  4. “Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up in Richmond.”

    Not until they get some REAL men out there.

    Who is raising this stuff?

  5. Please let me kill the fucks that did this to our sister.

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