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7th Suspect Arrested in Calif. Gang Rape

A seventh suspect was arrested Tuesday in the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside a high school homecoming dance while as many as 20 people watched without calling police.

Police arrested an unidentified 21-year-old man from Richmond on suspicion of rape, rape in concert with force and other charges that could lead to life in prison if he is convicted, police Lt. Mark Gagan said.

The man was being held on $1.2. million bail.

"We are actively pursuing more suspects," Gagan said. "There is still a lot more work that has to be done."

A healing rally and candlelight vigil for the victim was planned later Tuesday at Richmond High School, the scene of the rape in the low-income Northern California city.

Prosecutors have filed charges against five other suspects in the Oct. 24 attack, including 18-year-old Jose Carlos Montano of San Pablo late Monday.

Cody Ray Smith, 15, pleaded not guilty to charges, while Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, and Marcelles James Peter, 17, did not enter pleas during their arraignment last week as adults in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

Salvador Rodriguez, 21, of Richmond was released after prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

Gagan said investigators believe as many as 10 people ranging in age from 15 to the mid-20s may have attacked the girl for more than two hours in a dimly lit campus courtyard.

Police said the victim left the dance and was walking to meet her father for a ride home when a classmate invited her to join a group that was drinking.

The girl had consumed a large amount of alcohol by the time the assault began, police said. Her father tried to call her cell phone, but no one answered.

Police said they received a tip about a possible assault from a former student, who heard two males bragging about it.

For those who watched and did nothing, it may be morally reprehensible, but it's not illegal, reported CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes.

"Although this is a very difficult crime to hear about, the fact is California law does not impose an affirmative obligation on anyone to do anything when you are watching a crime," said Trent Copeland, a legal analyst.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER

November 2, 2009 - Gang-Rape Suspect Salvador Rodriguez Released
October 30, 2009 - Richmond High School Gang-Rape: Police Make Sixth Arrest
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

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