NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Even as Richmond, Calif., police interrogated a sixth suspect in the October 24th gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside a homecoming dance, prosecutors let one go.
Contra Costa prosecutors declined to file charges against 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez, who had been arrested previously, citing insufficient evidence. Rodriguez was released from County Jail, in Martinez, Calif., on Friday.
Authorities say as many as 10 young men raped and beat a 15-year-old girl over two hours in a courtyard on campus while as many as two dozen others watched and took photos with cell phones.
Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan told The Mercury News, that while there didn't appear to be enough evidence to charge Rodriguez at this time, the investigation was still ongoing, "the forensic evidence is still being examined."
Police on Thursday night arrested a sixth suspect, Jose Carlos Montano, 18, near his San Pablo home. Gagan said police will request felony charges of rape, rape in concert with violence, penetration with a foreign object and a special enhancement requesting life in prison. Gagan called Montano's role in the rape "significant" and said "the charges accurately reflect the severity of [Montano's] actions".
Dana Cashman, head of the District Attorney's Family Violence Prevention Unit, will meet with police late Monday to discuss the charges against Montano. Meanwhile, Montano is being held in County Jail in lieu of $1.3 million bail.
Four other suspects are still being held without bail.
Cody Ray Smith, 15, of San Pablo; Marcelles James Peter, 17, of Pinole; and Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, of San Pablo are all charged with felony counts of rape in concert and penetration with a foreign object, and Morales is also charged with felony robbery for allegedly stealing the victim's jewelry.
Prosecutors cited the brutality of the crime as reason to charge the minors as adults.
A fourth man, Manuel Ortega, 19, of Richmond, is charged with rape in concert, robbery and assault causing great bodily injury.
They were all arraigned Thursday but only Smith entered a plea of not guilty.
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