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Richmond High Gang Rape: Six Plead Not Guilty to Raping Teen While Others Watched

(AP Images)
Photo: Police cars sit parked outside Richmond High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, in Richmond, Calif.

RICHMOND, Calif. (CBS/AP) Prosecutors say at least six young men, some not even old enough to drive, raped and beat a 15-year-old girl outside Richmond High School in California while others watched, laughed, and took cell phone pictures.

Now, the six defendants, ranging in age from 15 to 21, have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They entered their pleas to rape and other charges Tuesday morning in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

(AP Photo/Richmond Police Department)
Photo: Manuel Ortega, 19, one of six who pled not guilty to gang-raping teen.

The juveniles — 15-year-old Cody Ray Smith, 16-year-old Ari Morales and 17-year-old Marcelles Peter — are being charged as adults. The other defendants are Jose Montano, Manuel Ortega and Elvis Torrentes.

Authorities say they participated in the gang rape outside Richmond High School's homecoming dance on Oct. 24, 2009.

Investigators believe as many as 10 people raped the victim, while another 20 or so watched without calling police.

The victim of the homecoming gang-rape spoke out Nov. 3 in a written statement, which was read at a rally and candlelight vigil.

"We realize people are angry about this," the statement said. "But let the anger cause change; change that is necessary to keep our children, our neighbors and our friends safe. We thank everyone for their love, support and ongoing prayers."

All defendants are due back in court on Jan. 21 to set a date for their preliminary hearings.

MORE ON CRMESIDER
November 5, 2009 - While Dozens Gawked at Richmond Rape, One Brave Girl Called 911
October 30, 2009 - Will Richmond High Gang Rape Gawkers Go Free?
October 29, 2009 - Richmond High School Gang-Rape: 4 Teens Charged Could Face Life in Prison
October 28, 2009 - Richmond High School Gang Rape: Three More Arrests in Homecoming Attack
October 27, 2009 - Richmond High School Gang-Rape in California: Others Watched and Did Nothing, Say Cops

  • Edecio Martinez

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