Home > Sexual Assault and Rape > Nightmare At Richmond High School, CA

Nightmare At Richmond High School, CA

November 2, 2009

RICHMOND HIGH SCHOOL SIGN

A gymnasium filled with decorations, balloons, neon and strobe lighting is the setting of most high school homecoming dances.  A DJ spinning today’s tunes for high school students; couples and friends dancing.  Perhaps some students shy (both female and male) sitting around at the tables chatting and enjoying the time that they will be to able replay in their minds and hearts forever.  Many wondering if so-and-so “likes” me……wondering if he may ask me to dance or if I ask her to dance will she accept.  Snacks filling the tables and an atmosphere filled with happiness, excitement and promises of a bright future – every young person’s dream when in high school.  An annual event that takes place after a homecoming football game whereas a king and queen are elected from the Senior class of the high school by the student body.  However, October 24th, 2009 will forever be changed for one young lady, her family, her friends and community.

The life of a 15 year-old young lady has been changed for the rest of her life as she was brutally beaten and gang raped for at least two-two and a half hours a week ago (October 24th) at Richmond High School, Richmond, California.  Many onlookers cheered and encouraged the assault on WITHOUT a second thought of coming to her rescue.  Can you imagine yourself or your child to be part of such a horrific crime without doing anything to try to stop the assault?  To try to assist this young lady?  Very few kids do not have cell phones today – in which it would have only taken a moment to dial 911……but no one did who was there.  Does anyone find this remotely disturbing?

The victim was lured by a male friend to a remote area of the high school campus while waiting for her father to pick her up from her homecoming dance.  According to  reports, after drinking brandy, the victim became incapacitated and vulnerable.   This young lady struggled, trying to fight off a group of youths who spent two hours or more raping, beating and robbing her.  Pictures and videos of the assault were taken by cell phones.  While this horrific assault was taking place, her father was looking for her as she was missing at the specified time and place as they had agreed to meet at the school.

No one called police until word of the ongoing rape spread to a house party, where an appalled female fellow student felt obligated to phone in the rumor as she overheard other kids talking about the assault.

When officers arrived on the scene, the assault was still going on.  Several suspects fled as officers arrived at the scene.  The victim was found badly injured and semi-conscious near a picnic table.   The victim was airlifted to a nearby hospital, admitted in critical condition.  Thank God, she stabilized overnight.

At the time of this posting five males have been arraigned in the shocking gang rape case that has horrified the entire nation.  The defendants, Manuel Ortega, 19, Cody Ray Smith, 15, Ari Abdallah Morales, 16 of and Marcelles James Peter, 17 filed into the Contra County Superior Court wearing bulletproof vests. Smith was the only to plead not guilty, while the rest declined to enter a plea. Smith, Morales and Peter are all being charged with rape and sexual penetration with a foreign object. Prosecutors say there are special circumstances that could make them eligible for life in prison. They will be charged as adults due to the severity of the crime.  A fifth suspect has been arrested, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez, but he has not been charged as of yet. He remains jailed.

My heart goes to this young lady and her family. As for the males that were involved in these crimes I only shake my head and pray that justice will be served.  I commend the young lady who called 911 as she did not give it a second thought to report the assault.  She is truly a humanitarian.

  • Why would a “friend” of anyone put you in harms way?  (Friends like this, who needs enemies?)
  • Didn’t the victim find it odd that this “friend” was leading her to a remote area and away from the dance and what could he have possibly said to her?  (Her intuition had to have kicked in at some point in time.  However, with proper training or education not always do people heed to this strongest feeling one will ever have.)
  • What is wrong with these young people (males) that would possess them to assault this young lady or any female?
  • How could others even look themselves in the mirror as they cheered and watched the assault?  (It has been reported that the onlookers cannot be charged – having a hard time digesting this.)

The victim’s family is asking for no more violence and to find ways in which the community can come together to work through what has happened to their daughter.

“Please do not respond to this tragic event by promoting hatred or by causing more pain. We have had enough violence already in this place. If you need to express your outrage, please channel your anger into positive action,” the girl’s family wrote.

“Work toward changing the atmosphere in our schools and in this community so that this kind of thing never happens again.”

Parents are volunteering to assist at the high school in numerous ways.

The family has a deep spiritual bond – “Through God’s unconditional love, He will give you continual strength.”

A friend of the victim has blasted the school officials whereas whites are a minority.  There is a strong need for more security inside and outside of the high school.

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