Emotional testimony at Richmond gang rape hearing

November 15, 2010 8:18:18 PM PST
The first officer called to the scene of last year's gang rape outside Richmond High School's homecoming dance cried on the stand as he described finding the 16-year-old victim following the attack.

In the first day of a preliminary hearing to determine whether seven suspects will stand trial for the Oct. 24, 2009 rape, Richmond police Officer Todd Kaiser said the girl was half-clothed, battered and cut when he found her underneath a picnic table in a dimly lit area of campus.

"I thought she was dead when I first saw her," Kaiser said.

It was only after he shook the girl, did she moan and he realized she was still alive.

Nearby, officers found open condom wrappers, a silver high heel shoe, the girl's school ID and an empty bottle of brandy.

Kaiser revealed new details about the brutal attack, which made national headlines after police said dozens of people stood by and did nothing while the rape lasted for about two hours.

He said the girl's father had been calling her cell phone that night, but she never answered. Eventually a male answered the phone, and taunted the victim's dad about having sex with his daughter.

She had cuts on her back and was non-responsive. She had to be flown to the hospital in a helicopter.

Officer Gunner Googins described the scene saying, "I saw a female hunched over a table. Her dress was pulled up above her waist."

The suspects ran when they saw police. Police testified that Manuel Ortega shouted when police caught him.

"He said, 'I just wanted to pimp her out,' then he told officers, 'Just go ahead and kill me,'" one of the officers testified.

Ortega's lawyer pushed Richmond police on the stand to talk about the girls' level of intoxication saying, "I believe the level of intoxication is highly relevant on the question of participation or consent in the charged that are alleged here."

Because of the number of suspects this case is expected to run through next week. The district attorney has about 20 witnesses to call.

The suspects range in age from juveniles, who are being charged as adults, to a 43-year-old man. All remain in custody and face life in prison.


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