Rape victim receiving national attention

November 5, 2009 7:33:38 PM PST
Much more is being revealed about the young victim gang-raped at Richmond High School. Police say the 16-year-old is ready to do her part to see that justice is served.

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"Every time she's having a flashback or a nightmare, or every time she can remember, she's making sure she keeps in touch with us," Richmond Police Sergeant Lori Curran said.

As the lead detective, Curran has spent many hours with the 16-year-old victim (who had previously been said to be 15-years-old) in the Richmond rape case.

"She's a very humble young girl; she's very appreciative of what the community and police department have done on her behalf, but there's also a side to her that is very saddened," Curran said.

RAW VIDEO: Rape investigator speaks

Curran screens all the cards and gifts that have come in from around the country for the victim; she says the girl knows someday she will have to testify.

"Her emotions are so raw, so we don't speak a lot about this; she's voiced her willingness to cooperate and understands and knows that she will be supported by the community and by the police department," Curran said.

Rape Suspects Make Court Appearance

Thursday, three of the six suspects charged in the case made a brief court appearance.

Fifteen-year-old Cody Ray Smith, 16-year-old Ari Abdallah Morales and 17-year-old Marchelles Peter James are all being charged as adults.

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James' brother and friends defended him outside of court.

ABC7: "Did he have anything to do with the rape?"

Marvin James: "I wasn't there, but I know he didn't. I know he didn't. No one can convince me that my brother did anything else."

ABC7: "What did he tell you happened?"

Thalia Aguilar, suspect's friend: "He told me everything that happened. He just passed by, he left and he came to my house right after that."

"I don't think he should be in adult court; I think the limited nature of the accusations against Ari clearly reflect how youthful he is," Morales' attorney Ernesto Castillo said.

West Contra Costa School Board member Charles Ramsey attended the hearing.

"It's an eye opener to sit in there and see the defendants who've been charged and see how young they are," he said.

Police Release 911 Recording

Richmond police Thursday released a recording of the only 911 call that came in that night.

AUDIO: Listen to the 911 call

The woman tells the operator only that her friends saw the victim lying naked in a dark courtyard -- there was no report of a sexual assault at the time, so police did not know they were answering a rape call until they arrived on the scene.

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