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Richmond High School Gang-Rape: 4 Teens Charged Could Face Life in Prison

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

RICHMOND, Calif. (CBS/AP) Four teens, so far, have been charged with the savage gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside her high school homecoming dance in Northern California.

The four alleged attackers, ages 15, 16, 17 and 19, could appear in court as early as today and face life in prison after the rape charges, which were enhanced because they "acted in concert."

A fifth suspect arrested this week is still in jail but he hasn't been charged.

"These are people who played a significant role in the incident," Police Lt. Mark Gagan said. "I'm confident that more arrests will be made."

Besides rape, 19-year-old Manuel Ortega was charged with robbery and assault causing great bodily injury. It was unknown if he had an attorney.

The other three face one count each of felony rape with a foreign object. They were charged as adults because of the severity of the crime, Gagan said. The 16-year-old also faces robbery charges.

All four remained in custody Wednesday. A fifth suspect arrested Tuesday, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez also remained jailed but had not been charged.

The alleged gang rape and beating Saturday night at Richmond High School have rattled the city of about 120,000 in the San Francisco Bay area.

(AP Photo/Richmond Police Department)
Booking Photo: Manuel Ortega, 19, in undated image provided by Richmond Police Department.

Police believe as many as 10 people ranging in age from 15 to mid-20s attacked the girl for more than two hours in a dimly lit area. As many as two dozen people witnessed the rape without notifying police.

Police hope a $20,000 reward will bring more people forward with information.

Gagan said the victim, a sophomore, left the dance and was walking to meet her father for a ride home when a classmate invited her to join a group drinking in the courtyard. The girl had consumed a large amount of alcohol by the time the assault began, police said.

Gagan said the girl's father tried to call her cell phone, but no one answered.

She was released from the hospital Wednesday.

MORE ON CRMESIDER
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

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  • Ryan Smith

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