Six suspects have been arrested and four of them made their first court appearance yesterday:
Three defendants, all of them juveniles charged as adults, were wearing bulletproof vests when they were led into Superior Court by a corps of Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies.I'm very unhappy with myself for the resentment I feel at reading about their being afforded this consideration for their lives. It's not that I want them to not have those vests (especially given they've not been convicted of anything yet); I actually feel sick that they need them. I'm just irrationally pissed at the symbolism of their being shown concern they did not show to their victim.
The three - one of whom had a black eye - looked morose and said nothing as relatives wept in the gallery.No, it really isn't.
Only one, 15-year-old Cody Ray Smith of San Pablo, entered a plea - not guilty - during the brief arraignment in Richmond.
...A fifth suspect, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond, has been arrested but has not been charged.
...Richmond police arrested a sixth suspect, Jose Carlos Montano, 18, Thursday afternoon near his San Pablo home. Montano was booked on felony charges of rape, rape in concert with force, and penetration with a foreign object. His bail was set at $1.3 million.
Smith and two other defendants, Marcelles James Peter, 17, of Pinole and Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, of San Pablo, are juveniles being charged as adults. They all face felony counts of rape in concert, otherwise known as gang rape, and penetration with a foreign object. Morales also is charged with felony robbery for allegedly stealing the girl's jewelry.
The boys are being held at juvenile hall in Martinez on no bail.
The fourth suspect, 19-year-old Manuel Ortega of Richmond, is charged with rape in concert, robbery and assault causing great bodily injury. He is being held on $1.2 million bail.
All four face potential sentences of life in prison if convicted.
..."This is a horrible tragedy," [Morales' attorney, Ernie Castillo] said of the gang rape. "It's hard to understand how something like this could happen at an American high school."
Richmond High School is accepting cards and donations for the victim and her family, which should be mailed to the school at 1250 23rd Street, Richmond, CA 94804-1011. Checks should be made out to the Richmond High Student Fund, with "For sex assault victim" written in the memo line.
[H/T to Shaker Julia.]