Yesterday, when I first wrote about the story of a 15-year-old girl who was gang-raped for more than two hours during a high school homecoming dance, police thought she had at least four attackers and the act was witnessed by as many as 15 young men.
Today, the police have revised those numbers. They now suspect there were as many as 10 assailants with at least 10 more who watched.
Police have posted a reward for information leading to arrests, and Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan said: "We will be making arrests continually as we develop probable cause. With this number of people implicated in the incident we're going to be making arrests on an ongoing basis."
He also noted that there is no duty to rescue law in California that legally obliges witnesses to a sexual assault to report the crime, unless the victim is younger than 15. So the witnesses to the assault are unlikely to be prosecuted, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, a member of the Richmond school board has said that the school district must bear some responsibility: "School administrators and police apparently weren't watching the area as they should have, [board member Charles Ramsey] said."
So far, the school has only promised to "hold a safety meeting for parents and students Wednesday evening to address the assault," which, as Shaker ClioBluestocking pointed out in comments, is not what's needed here: "This girl wasn't brutalized because she wasn't practicing good 'safety' techniques. She was brutalized because at least 20 young men thought rape was a sport. The school should be having meetings with parents about that: how not to raise misogynists, rapists and rape apologists."
On a similar note, I will reiterate what I said in comments to parents who are quite understandably questioning where best to direct their teaspoons on behalf of their kids in the wake of this incident:
What you can do...is vociferously advocate that rape awareness be part of your kids' school curricula as soon as any level of sex education is introduced. There is age-appropriate rape awareness just as there is age-appropriate sex ed.DoorbellQueen gives us a great example of talking to a young child about consent and rescue in an age-appropriate way.
"Shout and say NO! if someone touches you in any way you don't like" and "NEVER touch someone else if they don't want you to" can be taught at any age.