Richmond High Gang Rape Case: Sixth Suspect “Played a Significant Role”

The Scene of the Crime

Where it happened last Saturday; the courtyard beyond the fence on the campus of Richmond High School (Courtesy: Contra Costa Times)

The sixth suspect in the Richmond High gang rape incident has been identified as Jose Carlos Montano, 18. Montano, who resided in San Pablo, was arrested Thursday by police. He is described as playing a significant role in the rape of the 15-year-old student who was raped at last week’s Homecoming Dance at Richmond High.

More information about the girl herself was released yesterday as well.

Kami Baker, one of the victim’s close friends, said the girl came to the dance Saturday evening clad in a sparkling purple gown, diamond necklace and matching silver shoes.

“When we walked in the dance together she said, ‘I can’t wait to get my dance on!'” Baker, 16, told ABC News.com.

[…]

“She was perfectly sober at the dance,” said Baker, who saw the victim just 15 minutes before she left the dance. “She was bubbly, and kept saying how happy she was to be at the dance.”

Baker said that the victim had many close friends who weren’t able to attend the dance because of the $10 admission fee. She described her friend as an outgoing student who was enrolled in an honors English class.

She had a long distance boyfriend, according to Baker, and although she had always wanted to join the school’s photography club, her parents didn’t like her to stay after school and her church commitment took up much of her time.

It was also thought that the victim was having problems “fitting in” at the school.

They’re going to make hash with this development. A “good Christian girl” and a possibly white girl being ravished by…well, take your pick. Animals. Saracens. Unwashed Heathens. Neanderthals. Native Americans. Arabs. Mexicans. Bad Negroes.

Frankly, she was raped and tortured by young men who had little respect for themselves much less than for her. Let’s leave culture and color out of this for a moment. Because no individual respecting the name of man would do such a thing in a so-called civilized country in the 21st century, whether it is in Bosnia, Sudan, or in the United States of America. Rape is a hate crime, a terrorist act visited on women, girls, boys and men, but mostly on females.

We’ve become more united culturally than ever. However, the proliferation of films, videos, cable networks and music–and just plain everyday behavior between and among adults demeaning women–has led to a new, underlying disrespect for women, reducing them to just a body to be used and thrown away like Kleenex. Add to this any cultural predispositions about women and girls, and in the hands and minds of the youth of our country, such views could be detrimental to their development if nothing and no one provides an alternative.

One predisposition I would like to see hammered into oblivion is that the honor of men–and of white men–is more important than that of women and children.

One or two respondents yesterday asked me what I felt about the arraignment of Marcelles James Peter, identified as the only black male suspect in this mess. I think that he’s an idiot, much like those who have been caught and charged or about to be charged. I don’t buy his contention that he was only walking by the incident and didn’t do anything. Again, why didn’t he report it? I think there were people who were participants, and those who walked by or watched and then, had their turn. Let’s see what evidence comes up that exonerates him by his defense attorneys. A sure sign of his complicity would have to come with any DNA found from a rape kit.

Peter’s cousin and her friend have been shown as overcome with emotion. Sistas, I grieve more for you, but if he did it, then he did it. And he was wrong if he did it. This is not the real bad old days when people would immediately be looking for rope and wood. I will agree though, that some things that are even more insidious has been added to today’s mix. The authorities may not say it, and they might not be wearing white sheets, but they will use the wheels of justice to crush all truth and fact but their own. There will always be people who’ll say, well, you know they’re all like that. Excuse me, but no, they aren’t. According to lesbian separatists, all men are all like that.

Peter’s cousin Monquasha Peter of Richmond burst into tears upon seeing him, and her mother, Monica Peter, dabbed her eyes.

Peter’s family accused prosecutors of having racial motives. Peter is the only black suspect named in the case. Smith is white, and the other suspects are Latino.

Peter “didn’t have anything to do with this,” his aunt said. “He said everyone was just walking past, and he just kept moving when he saw something was going on.

“He’s a good kid with no criminal record who likes to play soccer,” she said. “I am going to prove his innocence.

“My nephew is scared,” she added. “He is the one they’ve arrested who is black, and if they give my nephew a life sentence, I will sue Richmond. There is no way in hell I will see my nephew blamed in this because he is black.”

I find it interesting that the $10 admission fee (…good lord!) may have kept some of the good friends out as well as the bad who might have disrupted the dance. The bad could also include the young men standing about in that darkened, secluded area, who were probably drop outs or former graduates of the high school.

Three defendants, all of them juveniles charged as adults, were wearing bulletproof vests when they were led into Superior Court by a corps of Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies. The three – one of whom had a black eye – looked morose and said nothing as relatives wept in the gallery.

Only one, 15-year-old Cody Ray Smith of San Pablo, entered a plea – not guilty – during the brief arraignment in Richmond.

[…]

Smith and two other defendants, Marcelles James Peter, 17, of Pinole and Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, of San Pablo, are juveniles being charged as adults. They all face felony counts of rape in concert, otherwise known as gang rape, and penetration with a foreign object. Morales also is charged with felony robbery for allegedly stealing the girl’s jewelry.

The boys are being held at juvenile hall in Martinez on no bail.

The fourth suspect, 19-year-old Manuel Ortega of Richmond, is charged with rape in concert, robbery and assault causing great bodily injury. He is being held on $1.2 million bail.

All four face potential sentences of life in prison if convicted.

The hearings began at 9:50 a.m., when the three boys were walked into court by an uncharacteristically large contingent of five deputies. The defendants’ hands were shackled to their waists, and their chests bulged from the bulletproof vests.

Court officials said the vests were needed because of the potential for vigilante violence.

The newest revision on what happened: It was probably Cody Ray Smith, the white teen, who beckoned to the victim and lured her over to the area where the drinking was occurring. Smith was an acquaintance and a student at Richmond High. Ortega, however, dropped out of Richmond High in 2007. Morales was attending continuation school.

They were getting the girl high, but then she refused or rebuffed their advances to result in sex. That’s how the rape began.

Meanwhile, students at Richmond High are undergoing counseling and are part of discussion groups designed to ‘let students vent their despair over the crime and the damage they feel it has done to their community’s reputation.”

The district”s Safety Subcommittee moved its meeting to the auditorium at Richmond High to accommodate the public and a large contingent of regional and national media that have focused on the school since Saturday”s gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl outside the homecoming dance.

Many who attended Wednesday cited ongoing deficiencies in campus facilities and security, in particular the lack of a secure fence around the school and inoperative security cameras that already have been brought to the attention of the district.

“Why has Richmond High School been waiting four years and why does blood have to be spilled before you give it to us,” teacher Lorna McClellan said. “If students aren”t safe, students can”t learn.”

Teacher Jessica Price was “not surprised that something horrific” occurred in the secluded and poorly lit campus courtyard, telling the subcommittee, “Something horrific has happened before.”

There is a climate of fear on campus, she said, adding, “I have students being threatened for coming forward and speaking the truth.”

Richmond High students Kami and Barbie Baker are friends of the victim. Kami Baker said she looked outside the dance in the gymnasium Saturday night “and saw 12 or 15 guys sitting there with no IDs.” None of them was checked by police or campus security, she said.

The girls” mother, Linda Baker, said, “They noticed that (the victim) disappeared “” nobody else did.”

Linda Baker also addressed the way the victim”s reputation has been treated following the attack.

“Do you realize how much derogatory comments have been said about this young lady?” she asked. “She”s a beautiful young lady, and it has to stop.”

I just wonder, though, was she looking for Smith or looking for her father? Why would she disappear from the dance without telling her friends where she was going?

About kids threatening kids about security concerns and possibly other misbehavior, and about derogatory comments about the girl and her reputation, let me say that, while shaking my head, I figured this was going to happen, and that it’s only the beginning. Only just the start.

~ by blksista on October 30, 2009.

3 Responses to “Richmond High Gang Rape Case: Sixth Suspect “Played a Significant Role””

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  2. I love this blog! I’m so consumed with this news, because this girl is like every woman right now… and how it’s dealt with means a lot. It’s so unfair that people would blame her. Hindsight is 20/20. Even if she was being ‘naughty’ whatever – she wasn’t asking for this. And those boys should get life. There should be a support group out there for people dealing with this news. It makes me so angry/sad that it really happened.

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