Wednesday, October 28, 2009



Rape and robbery charges were filed this afternoon against four suspects in the gang rape of a 15-year-old Bay Area student who struggled against her attackers as more than a dozen people passed by but did nothing.

The girl was repeatedly raped, beaten and eventually robbed Saturday night at Richmond High School after she left a homecoming dance, according to police. The crime has sparked outrage and focused national attention on Richmond, a city of 104,000 northeast of San Francisco. City of Richmond

Manuel Ortega, 19, was charged with assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and rape with a foreign object while acting in concert, said Dara Cashman, Contra Costa County senior deputy district attorney.

She said three minors were also charged but declined to release their names. Two of them, 15 and 17, were charged with rape with a foreign object while acting in concert. A 16-year-old was charged with robbery and rape by a foreign object while acting in concert, Cashman said.

All four suspects were also charged with special enhancements that could result in life sentences if they are convicted, according to Cashman.

In fact, the people did not just pass by and do nothing. Some of them joined in the fun:

As hundreds of students gathered in the school gym, outside in a dimly lit alley where the victim was allegedly raped, police say witnesses took photos. Others laughed.

"As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated," Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police Department told CNN.

That quote comes from a piece which speculates about why it took so long for someone to call the police. The Kitty Genovese effect was mentioned and so was the idea that teenagers have brains like crocodiles might: incapable of making judgments or feeling empathy for the victim. What wasn't mentioned at all is whether these teenagers were male or female. Neither does the piece discuss the misogyny evident in all this or what has gone wrong in a society where this happens.

P.S. It was a female student who called the police.