California police investigating the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl have arrested five people, a police spokesman said Wednesday.
Charles Ramsey, a member of the Richmond school board, said the school district bears some responsibility for the attack. School administrators and police apparently weren’t watching the area as they should have, Ramsey said. The school said it would hold a safety meeting for parents and students Wednesday evening to address the alleged assault. The victim was found unconscious 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. The girl was flown by helicopter to a hospital, where she was admitted in critical condition. She was in stable condition Tuesday, police said. Investigators canvassed the community with fliers, which included the reward offer, hoping to identify more suspects Tuesday. “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. Other arrests followed. “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. “As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated,” Gagan said. The attack occurred on school grounds as the annual homecoming dance was under way inside the school Saturday night, authorities said.