Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Outrage At What Happened At A High School Dance - Updated

I must warn you, this is a difficult story to read. Honestly, I had to stop a few times to compose myself. My comments will be limited as the horrific nature of this story is overwhelming. I will bold aspects of particular importance. And I know this introduction is a bit dry, but it is only because I am trying not to cry as I work on this.

Okay, here goes: Police: Gang Rape Outside School Dance Lasted Over Two Hours.

That pretty much says it all, but believe it or not, it is even worse once you see all of the facts of the case. If you choose, you can watch this video with the Police giving the basic outline of this case:



Yes, you heard that right. She had to be airlifted out:
A California high school student who police said was gang raped in a two-and-a-half-hour assault outside a homecoming dance remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday, two days after she was flown from the attack scene in critical condition.

As of late Monday, two suspects had been arrested in the case and a third was being questioned.

"There is one individual in custody who has made some spontaneous statements that have led me to believe that he is culpable for what happened," Richmond police Lt. Johan Simon said.

Nineteen-year-old Manuel Ortega, described as a former student at the school, was arrested soon after he fled the scene and will face charges of rape, robbery and kidnapping, police said.

A 15-year-old was later arrested and charged with one count of felony sexual assault. A third teenager was being interviewed, according to Lt. Mark Gagan of the police department in Richmond, California.

"Based on witness statements and suspect statements, and also physical evidence, we know that she was raped by at least four suspects committing multiple sex acts," Gagan said.

If you think this couldn't get much worse, it does:
Investigators said as many as 15 people, all males, stood around watching the assault, but did not call police or help the victim, a 15-year-old student at Richmond High School in suburban San Francisco.

"As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated," Gagan said.

Authorities had interviewed the victim, and the search for other attackers and bystanders who watched and did not report the rape was in "full-court press," according to Gagan.

"We have checked Facebook and YouTube to try to find any revealing evidence," he said. "We're looking in particular to see if anyone posted any video of the incident."

Several other individuals were detained at the scene but not arrested, Simon said.

The attack occurred on school grounds as the annual homecoming dance was under way inside the school Saturday night, authorities said.

One moment, please...Alright. Here is the conclusion:
The victim was found unconscious and "brutally assaulted" under a bench shortly before midnight Saturday, after police received a call from someone in the area who had overheard people at the assault scene "reminiscing about the incident," Gagan said.

"She ended up with those guys under her own will because she knew one of the boys who had gone to the high school before," Gagan said. "Right now, we're looking at toxicology reports to determine her blood-alcohol content and to determine if she was drugged."

According to authorities, the victim was flown to an area hospital in critical condition. She was in stable condition Monday, police said.

"This just gets worse and worse the more you dig into it," Gagan said. "It was like a horror movie after looking at the evidence. I can't believe not one person felt compelled to help her." (CNN's Sara Pratley contributed to this report.)

Neither can I.

Not one person helped this girl. No one, NO ONE, called the police for her.

Observers joined in.

There are no words for what happened to this poor young girl. There are no words to describe the actions of these young men, participants and observers alike. I pray that this girl will recover fully from her assault, though physically is the only area in which I can see full healing to take place. Of course, I hope she will heal emotionally and psychologically, in time. But it will take a lot of time, a lot of work on her part, a tremendous amount of support, and a very good therapist. Even then, it may not be enough...

I do know that this girl will never be the same. Never.

UPDATE: This Link provides more information about the level of security at the school, the girl who was raped, and the four perpetrators arrested so far (though they think it was up to TEN perpetrators). H/t to NQ reader, "ImaLindaToo."

8 comments:

SFIndie said...

My heart is breaking for that poor child. Unfortunately, because she's 15, she does not fall under the protection of the Sherrice Iverson Child Victim Protection Act which makes it illegal not to report a witnessed crime against a child - the law applies only to children 14 and under. So, all those animals who stood by and watched her being attacked over and over again get to walk away free. I hope the police are able to get their names, and "leak" them to the press, so everyone knows who they are. Maybe the friends and family of this child who was so brutally assaulted will take justice into their own hands.

My prayers go out to that young girl.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Oh, SF - you have got to be kidding me! That makes it even WORSE! I guess that's the difference one year can make. Horrifying.

Wow. Just wow, SF. That is incredible. I do hope justice will prevail...

I'm shaking my head in dismay and disgust...

Mary Ellen said...

I can't even imagine how that young girl will ever heal from that ordeal.

About ten years ago I witnessed a kid getting beat up in the middle of our street (quiet suburban neighborhood). This was at about 3:00 in the afternoon with adults outside with their young kids as they were coming home from the school which is down the street from us. I was the only one who stepped in to put a stop to it as all those parents sat by and watched. I couldn't believe that no one would help!

Anyway, I told the kids to let him go and that I was on the phone calling the police (cell phone) I gave the police the car license number. When the police showed up to get witness accounts, no one in the neighborhood would talk to him. That's not all...they found out one guy was videotaping the kid getting beat from his window! And wait for it...refused to give the video to the police because he said he just wanted it in case it ended up on the news he could give it to a television station.

I couldn't believe it! These were my neighbors watching a young kid get beat up! If it were their child, how would they like it if no one stepped in to help?

I learned a lot about human behavior that year...it's worse than animal behavior. Even wolves would protect a member of their pack from being attacked.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Mary Ellen, wow. First of all, good for YOU for stepping in to protect that child. That says so much abt your courage and spirit. You are a wonder, ME, truly.

These so called "adults" who sat by and watched some little kid get the crap beat out of them with their OWN children by their side watching the kid, and the parent sitting idly by, paints an incredibly disturbing picture.

I cannot BELIEVE the person who videotaped it refused to give it to the police.

Dang, Mary Ellen - that, along with what happened to that young girl - is quite an indictment of human nature...

Honestly, I cannot imagine that child ever really getting over this, but I have to hope for HER sake that someday, some way, she will have peace in her soul...

Mary Ellen said...

I have to hope for HER sake that someday, some way, she will have peace in her soul...

Amen to that!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Yes, yes...Amen and amen.

And then there are the boys who stood there and watched...How disturbing is that, ME? How will this affect their lives and the women's lives with whom they get involved as they grow??

Just breaks my heart.

nazareth priest said...

This just makes me SICK!...SICK!
My first thought when I saw this was that this is the consequence of violent tv, video games, and that awful pornography that makes it look like violating anyone (especially women) is a recreational activity.
I don't want to sound like a total rejector (is this a word?) of modern culture, but gol' darnit, I am more convinced that the respect and reverence for the rights of women and men is becoming a thing of the past in many circles. God help us!

And Mary Ellen, God bless you for intervening in that violent episode.
You are truly a courageous woman (Mulier Fortis!).

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Isn't Mary Ellen just amazing?? Wow, such a brave woman.

Nazareth Priest, it is a sad, and dangerous, time in which we live.

If anyone had said to me two years ago that the kind of misogyny we saw in the election would happen, I would have discounted it out of hand. But now? It is clear that this kind of mentality was merely simmering under the surface. Now it has broken through in a big way.

What happened to that young girl is horrible beyond words, but the MENTALITY of those young men seems to be all too accepted. That is what really scares me. They think nothing of treating women like nothing more than things to be used and abused.

Makes me sick, too...