7th suspect arrested in Richmond gang rape


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With the arrest of 21-year-old /*Elvis Joshue Torrentes*/, police say their hunt for the main attackers in the brutal /*gang rape*/ outside Richmond High School's homecoming dance is now over.

Police say Torrentes played significant role in the attack. Tactical officers arrested him early Tuesday morning on suspicion of felony gang rape, sexual battery and penetration with a foreign object.

"With this arrest I believe that we have the people who played the most significant role in this sexual assault, now the focus will be on those individuals who were there and their involvement was unknown," Richmond Police Lieutenant Mark Gagan said.

Authorities say as many as 20 others may have watched the attack and done nothing.

Five other suspects are in custody. All face life in prison, including three minors being tried as adults.

/*Jose Carlos Montano*/ made his first court appearance and cried as he watched his family in the court room. His lawyer asks people not to rush to judgment.

"You can see that he's a sensitive 18-year-old young man," attorney Mary Carey said.

Community Focuses On Healing

The horrific attack that shocked the nation has been a rallying cry for Richmond High students. They are calling for healing and an end to the violence that plagues their city.

They wore white bands to show support for the victim.

"We the people who are here today to show that we do sincerely care and will no longer tolerate what has come to be everyone's nightmare," student Abel Pineda said.

At the vigil also came the first public statement from the victim. She did not appear at the vigil, but asked a victim's advocate from the Rape Crisis Center to share her message with the vigil attendees. She wrote, "Silence is always the wrong choice. We realize people are angry about this, but let the anger cause change that is necessary to keep our children, our neighbors and our friends safe. We thank everyone for their love support and ongoing prayers."

"Today we ask all of you to get involved, to not look the other way, to say I'm my brother's keepers and my sister's keepers," /*Richmond High School*/ Principal Julio Franco said.

While the vigil, which was mainly organized by students, took place on campus, the school board will vote Tuesday night on a contract to install a surveillance system at the high school. The City Council is also discussing the attack at their meeting.

Donations for the victim

A fund has been specifically set up to benefit the young woman and her family. Parties may send a check to Richmond High School, 1250 23rd St., Richmond , CA 94804. Checks should be made out to "Richmond High School Student Fund" with "Sex assault victim" on the memo line.

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