Richmond Gang Rape 911 Caller Speaks: Margarita Vargas Heard About Attack, Reported It
A 15-year-old girl who was raped, robbed and beaten by multiple attackers outside of her high school homecoming dance was found by police after 18-year-old Margarita Vargas, undaunted by pressure to keep quiet, called 911.
Vargas called police after her brother-in-law told her about an attack at Richmond High School in Richmond, Calif. CBS:
"I was watching a movie, and my brother-in-law came in and he told me 'I don't know what to do, because there is a girl back there and she has been raped. I'm scared,'" 18-year-old Margarita Vargas said.
"I'm like 'We should call the cops because that's the right thing to do.' I didn't think about it twice."
Relaying what she knew, Vargas called police without even witnessing the crime. She arrived after police and saw the victim being taken away. Vargas told CNN that she was proud of herself. Referring to a culture of silence, Vargas told CNN that there's a common saying around Richmond "snitches get stitches."
Police believe up to 10 people participated in the Oct. 24 assault and that as many as a dozen people watched, laughed and took pictures while it happened. Seven suspects have been arrested, though 1 has been released. According to a report by KTVU News, at least 4 of the suspects are teenagers and face life in prison. One suspect is 21.
The victim released a statement last Tuesday, urging supporters to look past their anger and work for change to keep people safe.
According to police, the 15-year-old who was attacked, left her high school dance Oct. 24 and was expected to meet her father. He was looking for her while the attack took place.