October 27th, 2009
03:35 PM ET

Police: Gang rape outside school dance lasted over two hours

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/27/gangrape.highschool.jpg caption="Police say a student at Richmond High School was gang raped outside during a homecoming dance."]

Nick Valencia

A California high school student who police said was gang raped in a two-and-a-half-hour assault outside a homecoming dance remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday, two days after she was flown from the attack scene in critical condition.

As of late Monday, two suspects had been arrested in the case and a third was being questioned.

"There is one individual in custody who has made some spontaneous statements that have led me to believe that he is culpable for what happened," Richmond police Lt. Johan Simon said.

Nineteen-year-old Manuel Ortega, described as a former student at the school, was arrested soon after he fled the scene and will face charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, police said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Tina

    This makes me so sick I feel like volunteering to go look for the rapists and all those who watched the crime, if only I lived in that state. I've lost faith in all the authority figures who could have saved that poor girl. The school authorities and the cops who were responsible for making sure that a school dance went on safely inside and outside the campus all need to own up to their failures and accept some of the responsibility for what happened.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  2. sassy

    The people that watch this happen, and did nothing should also be charged with the crime. I was always told if you do nothing that is just like doing the act your self. That might make people stop to do the right thing. That could have been any girl even one that you love.

    October 28, 2009 at 6:34 am |
  3. peterson

    This problem is created by the youth of this country having no respect for anyone or anything. Values need restored and only parents can do that. Everyone there that participated or watched and did nothing should be put away for life without parole.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:27 am |
  4. T. Sommers

    When you can't ell the difference between the cops, criminals,
    and politicians -what do you expect!
    The kids are harassed by all three hence no difference, don't blame
    the kids blame yourselves for the actions of our so called leaders!
    Rome is Burning,
    Tom S.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:24 am |
  5. Terry Barnett

    As a voice of the young community, to the young lady who experienced
    this horrific situation, we prey that she recover and those who are
    responsible are brought to justice.
    Is this our future? It seems as if the war is right here at home in our
    backyard amongst our youth but, as usual their look over and never
    heard. If we as parents slowed down and listen, maybe we could hear
    the cry's of our youth. According To Terry Barnett @ facebook.com

    October 28, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  6. peter mburu

    No movies and games dont contribute to what kids do. howany people watch or play allnkinds of movies and yet dont do such things? its just in their heads. they do that as a way of rebelling against authority, parents, or to make themselves feel better. to feel that you are in power and that you can do whatever. its sad because they live in thier own dream world, and when reality sets in, they become even worse. PETER... KENTUCKY.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:56 am |
  7. Antonio,Jamaica

    my heart goes out to the girl and her family i cried when i saw the story

    October 28, 2009 at 2:48 am |
  8. Antonio

    i'm from jamaica and my heart goes out to that girl and her family how can human be so wicked against each other now i feel like crying

    October 28, 2009 at 2:45 am |

    Why wasn't the school dance supervised?

    How in the WORLD can this happen?

    Who is responsible? Why didn't anyone help or call 911?

    This is so horrible! There is no way in this world, would I or my
    children watch this. One of them would have called 911, my daughter.
    The other, my son, would have jumped in and pulled everyone of
    ???I can't even say it! I do not understand how this could happen.
    My Prayers go out to her and her Family. God help her Father not to
    kill these animals.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:43 am |
  10. Myra

    Why didn't her father report her missing if he was on his way to pick her up? Where was the father in all this?

    October 28, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  11. Nicole

    I blame Children Protective Services for taking the rights away for parents to raise there children strictly and I blame the parents who have not instilled in there children respect for another human.

    October 28, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  12. thompson

    Wow everyone has a comment actions like these reflect who we are as society wake up people our children are only living according to the morals we taught them now we want to hang them in public square that's the answer revert to being barbarians

    October 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  13. Ernie

    Every school should have security cameras on campus and maybe this could have been prevented. But when the first thing to get cut back is education. It makes easy to understand why the cameras haven't been deployed. For example; When education received stimulus money, the state of California subtracted the stimulus money from the states education budget. I find it ironic when politicians speak about the "No Child Left Behind", the first budget to get cut back is education and The Child Does Get Left Behind.

    October 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  14. Kara

    I live in a neighboring city, even as bad as this neighborhood, I still can't believe this happened. But at the same time. The ones that did not step in to help. They were afraid of getting shot, if they did help. For the ones who took pictures and video, do the right thing and hand over the pics to the cops so the ones who did this to this poor girl will get what they deserve and hopefully much much more.

    For this poor girl, all my prayers are with you, and maybe someday you will be able to trust again. At least in God.

    October 27, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  15. Kathy Kemp

    Round up these maniacs for the rape on this poor young girl, sex is one thing GANG RAPE is another. And when the trial comes up for them, please incarcerate them all for LIFE> NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  16. alicenyc

    Parents of the students of that school, really have to sit and talk to theri children and try to convince them to tell the truth about anything they heard or saw. These teens, will have a hard time in the future if they keep this information a secret, it will follow them the rest if their lives even if they had nothing to do with it. Do it for them get them to talk. The animals who did this and the animals who just stood around watching need to pay and also need some serious mental help. If they don't get the help they need they will be the future rapist, murderers of the future. These same people can hurt a child or sister or mother of the students that attend that school or any other. This is the time to stop this. Come on Richmond High Parents Do it NOW

    October 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  17. Mike in NYC

    A quick look at the demographics of Richmond will answer people's "why" and "how" questions.

    October 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  18. Larry

    They need to find those white guys and lock em up and toss away the keys.

    October 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Blunt and to the point: We need capital punishment for such crimes. No appeals. No bleeding heart jury trials. Execution of sentance done in a public place, send a very clear message to the gang bangers that this is unacceptable and there will be fatal results for the perps. I bet such attacks would stop if we had zero tolerance. But we are a spineless society, we care more for the perps then the victims! We are reaping the results of what we have planted in our society.

    October 27, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  20. SELVIN

    we need stronger laws with severe punishment and jail time for criminals under 18 make standered laws to punish a 10 year old same as a 18 year old so we can curb crime in school kids think they can get away with murder maybe if we make stand and judge adulds and kids with same laws kids will avoid crimes selling drugs for drug dealers or rape or kill or any other crime knowing they will pay with jail time and will have permanent record now a days they watch tv notice hey if im under age i can rape someone get away with a slap on the hand or sell drugs no problem even kill lets fix the laws in america

    October 27, 2009 at 6:54 pm |

    My heart goes out to this girl...ill pray for her..as for the boys who did this...the meaning of "what goes around..comes around"...will become quite clear to you once you get to prison...enjoy.

    October 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  22. C J

    So you convict them, and put them away for doing such a horrible crime against another human being... But what happens to the ones involved in carrying out the horrific crime? They sit in a cell and do nothing but learn the trades of new crimes from other inmates. The are not rehabilitated, no council, no nothing. Then years go by and these same boys are let loose on the streets again. Now they are a time bomb ready to go off. Many years of hatred inside...

    And the bystanders? They are no different than those that did the dirty deed.

    Throw the book at all of them, but hey lets try to teach them right from wrong. If that is at all possible. Which is should be, we live in America for gosh sakes.

    OH Wait! What am I thinking sheesh.

    October 27, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  23. Mrs. C Reeves

    Hate is overtaking America! Instead of these crazy commentators trying so hard to start a race war they should be trying to bring ALL Americans together. It's a sad sad state of mind that we are in and it's effecting are young people all across the country.

    October 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Many schools claim to have a zero tolerance policy, but actions speak louder than words. Maybe the media should broadcast names of schools who neglect protecting their students. I bet if their schools' names were broadcast similarly to "The Culprits of the Collapse, " they would take this situation more seriously. No school wants a bad reputation and/or to lose federal money due to bad press, etc.

    October 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  25. Tina

    I am speechless and so sickened. I can't even imagine the pain this poor child went through and the pain that she will have to endure for the rest of her life over this incident. Those that participated and those that watched and did nothing should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and even then I don't think that would be enough to make reparations for this heinous act.

    Truly I want to cry that this happened on school grounds, with multiple witnesses and for 2 1/2 hours. HOURS. She is in my prayers and I am wishing her much strength and fortitude.

    October 27, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  26. ML

    Will we ever find out WHY this happened? Gang mentality? Alcohol? Drugs? Alcohol AND drugs? Alcohol, drugs AND gang mentality? Surely this was not done by rational people.

    October 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  27. Nilo

    There should be some consequences for those who watched & did nothing. This is becoming the norm. I am sure some defence attorney will get up there & blame the victim.

    October 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  28. angela

    it's all so sad and gross it's beyond words. My thoughts go out to the young girl, I wish you the best after what happened. The ANIMALS that participated in any part of the crime, from watching or recording it on your cell phone to the dispicable COWARDS who hurt this girl, I wish you a speedy trip to Hell. No other place for you, sorry excuses for human beings.
    How did we get to where such out of control, violent, repulsive kids are ruining society almost daily??? Too many parents have really raised some monstrous, self-centered kids.

    October 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  29. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    I have an almost 14 year old and find this to be quite horrifying.

    I try to guard her and explain to her that things like this can happen so I warn her to be vigilant.

    That is a parent's worst night mare.

    I think the boys need to be neutered.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  30. Lydia

    And it happened on SCHOOL GROUNDS, no less! How can that be?! Where were the adults, the chaperones for this school dance? It might have been prevented if there had just been more awareness on the school's part.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  31. Laura

    I can't believe we have turned into a society that these teenagers could watch this tragedy and then go off and tell other teens about it, who then went to see it also. Parents have got to step up and take a stand in talking with their children about morals and values. These teens thought this was "no big deal". I agree with Bambi, they should be arrested and least be given time to do community service or other types of community work. Where has our regard for human life gone?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  32. Jennifer

    I am so horrified at this story. It blows my mind away that people were told about this and instead of getting help for this girl they decided to go to where this was happening and watch. I almost threw up in my mouth when I read that. I hope to God there is a way every single person who watched this crime and did nothing gets arrested. If not, then all I can say is....Karma!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  33. DanieClarke

    Unfortunately, it's not unusual for people stand around while such a horrific crime is taking place. But that's usually under the duress of fear for their lives or or their image by their community(snitch). I don't understand why? But it's evidence of how uncivil our communities are. No more care or respect for each other. No more empathy nor sympathy. To each his own... Very sad.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  34. Dana

    It's truly disturbing and disheartening that this can happen in suburban America in this day and age.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  35. Christina

    Shocking. ...just shocking. We (humans) have so much capacity for good but as this report evidences, we also have an equally large capacity for evil. No one offered assistance or called for help? Unconscionable! The participation from onlookers is just as evil as the physical assaults themselves. My heart goes out to the poor young lady. No one deserves such horrific treatment. The frequency of this type of behavior is alarming. Is our civil society completely crumbling right before our very eyes?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  36. Alison

    What is wrong with people, that not only did no one step in to help, but some people who came over to see what was happening decided to participate?! I will never understand such a lack of human decency.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  37. Leah

    I heard about this earlier today. God bless her and I pray that she will be alright.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  38. Maggi

    sick! sick! sick! what kind of pervert WATCHES something like this and does nothing, or worse yet, decides to participate??!!!!! What is wrong with people today??????

    October 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  39. Ahmad, Pakistan

    Its indeed a very sad story and my heart goes out to the victim.

    I was surprised however, why CNN did not mention the religion of the victim and the offenders. Now does this reflect anything on the larger Christian society in US or Christianity in general. No it certainly does not. Its a cultural / moral issue.

    Similary when US media jumps on any case of women rights violance in a Muslim society, it doesnot reflect on Islam in general. Its a moral issue.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  40. Jane Clark Beaver

    Totally undescribable! What have we as a society taught our children? I can't stop crying for this poor girl. May the angels protect her and give her strength to confront her demons and go forward. She will survive!!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  41. Bambi

    Each and everyone of the people that stood around doing nothing should be arrested also.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  42. alex lyrics

    This crime is not only disgusting, but it is horrific.

    We must do something to stop these types of crimes.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |