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Calif. Homecoming Gang-Rape Defendant Threatened to Kill Arresting Officers, Cop Testifies

Gathering Held To Show Support For 15-Year-Old Victim Of Gang Rape
Richmond High School (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

MARTINEZ, Calif. (CBS/AP) A police officer testified Tuesday that the first man arrested for the gang-rape of a teenage girl outside the 2009 Richmond High School homecoming dance was beyond belligerent and claimed that the sex was consensual.

Manuel Ortega was spotted fleeing the Northern California school campus moments after other officers radioed that they had seen as many as seven young men in dark hooded sweatshirts running from the rape scene, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.

When Officer Gary Lewis caught up to Ortega, he claims the 20-year-old fought back and threatened to kill all of the officers involved in his capture.

"He said he was going to stab us all, going to kill us all," Lewis said in court. "He was resisting arrest from the moment I contacted him."

Ortega allegedly interspersed his drunken expletives for his captors with claims that he had done nothing wrong and that the 16-year-old victim who was found half-naked and bleeding wanted to have sex with him.

At one point, Lewis said Ortega told the arresting officers, "Just shoot me in the head, I won't judge you...I've been alive 19 years, and nobody don't care about me."

Officer Lewis testified Tuesday during a preliminary hearing in Contra Costa County Superior Court to determine whether Ortega and six other defendants will be held for trial in the Oct. 24, 2009 incident.

Six of the defendants could be sentenced to life in prison: Ortega, who lives in Richmond; Cody Smith, 16, of San Pablo; Ari Morales, 17, of San Pablo; Jose Montano, 19, of Richmond; Marcelles Peter, 18, of Pinole; and John Crane Jr., 43, of Richmond says The San Francisco Chronicle.

The seventh defendant, 23-year-old Elvis Torrentes of Richmond, faces charges which include aiding the act of rape, that could put him in prison for 26 years.

Investigators say as many as 20 people watched without reporting the crime.