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Police: People Watched Gang Rape Of Teen And Did Nothing To Help

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RICHMOND, Calif. -- Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that onlookers laughed, took pictures and even joined in the crime.

Two suspects were in custody Monday, but police said as many as five other men attacked the girl over a two-hour period Friday night outside Richmond High School.

"She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other's presence," Lt. Mark Gagan said. "What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it."

The victim remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Manuel Ortega, 19, was arrested at the scene and was being held on $800,000 bail for investigation of rape and robbery. He is not a student at the school.

Richmond police Sgt. David Harris said he did not know if Ortega had retained an attorney.

A 15-year-old student also was booked late Monday on one count of sexual assault, Gagan said.

Police said the girl left the dance and was walking to meet her father for a ride home when a classmate invited her to join a group drinking in the courtyard. The victim had drank a large amount of alcohol by the time the assault began, police said. The girl's father was looking for her during the attack, according to the LA Times:

Police were finally called after a female student overhead people talking about the rape. She called 911 and told dispatchers what she had heard, Gagan said.

When officers arrived on the scene, the assault was still going on. Several suspects fled as officers found the girl naked from the waist up, Gagan said.

The victim was semi-conscious near a picnic table, police said.

Marin Trujillo, a spokesman for the West Contra Costa Unified School District, said there were four police officers and three school administrators monitoring the dance, but the assault happened away from the gym.

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