I’m sure by now you have heard about the horrific rape that is being reported all over the networks. Since the incident occurred last Saturday night, national attention has been focused on Richmond, CA over what police describe as a gang rape of a 15-year-old student. She reportedly struggled with attackers — some of whom allegedly took photos and laughed — as more than a dozen witnesses passed by and did nothing. As I write this, police have arrested 5 people, and say that as many as 20 people witnessed the attack — some might have even shot video on their cellphones. The victim and the attackers were attending a homecoming dance that night.
Four of the five suspects arrested — ages 15, 16, 17 and 19 — were charged Wednesday with rape and enhancements that they acted in concert, which could make them eligible for life in prison.
“These are people who played a significant role in the incident,” Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan said. “I’m confident that more arrests will be made.”
Besides rape, the 19-year-old, Manuel Ortega of Richmond, was charged with robbery and assault causing great bodily injury. It was unknown if he had an attorney.
The other three face one count each of felony rape with a foreign object. “They were charged as adults because of the severity of the crime,” Gagan said. The 16-year-old also faces robbery charges.
All four remained in custody Wednesday. A fifth suspect arrested Tuesday, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond, also remained jailed but had not been charged.
As horrific and inexcusable as this crime is, I hope it is true. Why?? Because we are reporting it like it is. The media is running with this and NO one in the media is questioning the validity of this story. It’s been less than a week since the entire nation was duped by the balloon boy hoax. You would think that we would have learned a lesson and be a little more cautious. Apparently not; roll the dice and hope it’s true. Cue scary music.
What disturbs me most about this reported crime is it allegedly went on for over 2 1/2 hours, and not one of the more than 20 people who witnessed this did a thing to stop it. Why?? I just can’t understand how, even if people perceived it to be consensual, no one said “stop.” Even if it WAS consensual, it was inappropriate behavior for high school students. Either way, something is terribly wrong with this story. If it’s true, we need to ask ourselves — what has happened to the youth of this nation?
Just last month, a young NY student admitted that her claims she was gang-raped in a dormitory bathroom by five men were false once she found out they had been caught in the act on camera. Again, the story turned out to be not what we originally reporterd..ooopps, sorry five guys were tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. But the problem remains, their actions, although consensual were highly innapropriate. I’m not saying that is what happened in the Richmond case, but I’m saying we need to at least proceed with caution. We don’t know the whole story. The rush to judgment has to stop. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Whatever happened to journalists questioning a story?? I’m probably wrong, and I’m ready for the attacks on me to begin, but at least I seek solice that I asked the question. We don’t have the whole story, we don’t even have the half story. But we have a story, and sadley, it seems that’s all that matters. Stay tuned.