Four teens were arraigned yesterday in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl on her high school campus:
• Ari Abdallah Morales, 16, did not enter a plea.
• Marcelles James Peter, 17, did not enter a plea.
• Manuel Ortega, 19, did not enter a plea.
The four teenagers are charged as adults. Another person, an adult, has also been arrested. His arraignment will take place on another day.
Smith, Peter, and Morales wore bulletproof vests at the hearing. The four teenagers are accused of participating in a 2 ½ hour gang rape of the victim on Saturday outside a Richmond, California high school.
Police claim that up to 10 people sexually assaulted the young girl, while 10 other people watched. None of them contacted 911. According to a 1999 state law, not reporting a crime that one has witnessed is only illegal if the victim is younger than 15. This means that police do not have the authority to arrest the people who were watching the assailants who raped the girl.
The victim, who was in critical condition following the assault, was released from the hospital yesterday. Police found her under a bench and unconscious after they responded to a 911 call from someone who heard people who were allegedly at the rape scene talking about what they’d witnessed.
Massachusetts Rape Crimes
Allegations of rape are very serious-especially when there are multiple parties involved. It is important that you retain the services of an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer who can look through all the evidence and provide you with the best defense possible.
Police have been known to arrest the wrong person or get their facts wrong. Evidence may have been tampered with or a suspect’s rights may have been violated during the arrest.
4 arraigned in California gang rape case, CNN, October 29, 2009
No one called cops during gang rape, but some took pictures, ABC, October 27, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Massachusetts Law About Rape and Sexual Assault, Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries