Friend of gang rape victim blasts school officials over safety

<div data-recalc-dims=Police say this area behind Richmond High School is where an alleged gang rape took place.

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She had come alone to the Richmond High School homecoming dance, gorgeous in a sparkling purple dress and faux diamond baubles. The DJ played salsa, meringue, rap. When the teenager disappeared, her friends thought she had gone home early.

“I looked outside of the gym and I saw 12 to 15 guys, sitting there, with no IDs,” Baker said at the hearing. “The officers — not only did they not check the IDs of those students or men sitting outside of of our campus, but the security officers who are employed here did no … checking either. The assistant principal looked outside and actually saw those men, and did nothing about it.” Baker took the podium with her younger sister, Barbie, a freshman at the school, who had spent a chunk of Saturday evening with the rape victim. “This story has disrupted the school’s morale greatly, including my own. I am friends with the girl,” Baker said. “When I started here, I felt extremely unsafe and so did she, due to the lack of police officers and security officers.” Baker later described the 15-year-old girl as a churchgoer who struggled to fit in at Richmond High. Police investigating the rape have arrested five people — two adults and three minors, who will be charged as adults, said Lt. Mark Gagan, the Richmond police spokesman. As many as 10 people were involved in the assault in a dimly lighted back alley at the school, police have said. Another 10 people watched, without calling 911. The victim was released from hospital Wednesday, Gagan said. Baker took heart in her friend’s progress as she recalled how a night of joy for carefree teenagers turned into one that no one wants to remember.