2 men convicted in Calif. high school gang rape

MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) — Two more men have been found guilty for their roles in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl outside a Northern California high school.

Contra Costa County jurors on Thursday convicted 20-year-old Marcelles Peter and 22-year-old Jose Montano of forcible rape, sexual penetration and forced oral copulation.

The charges stemmed from a 2009 assault outside Richmond High School’s homecoming dance that attracted national attention.

Peter and Montano are among six men accused of raping the victim. Authorities say she was beaten, robbed and sexually abused over two hours while as many as 20 people watched.

Two of the men were convicted earlier of gang rape in the case. The other two are awaiting trial on lesser sexual assault charges.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Jurors have reached verdicts for two of the men charged with gang raping a 16-year-old girl at a Northern California high school.

The Contra Costa County jury is scheduled to render a verdict Thursday in the case against Marcelles Peter, 20 and Jose Montano, 22, the Contra Costa Times reported (http://bit.ly/14ZR0gp).

Peter and Montano were among six people accused of raping the victim in October 2009 in a dark courtyard outside a homecoming dance at Richmond High School.

Both are charged with gang rape, forced oral copulation in concert and penetration with a foreign object, but their respective juries were instructed to consider lesser offenses. They face life in prison if convicted.

Authorities said the girl — a sophomore at the time of the attack— was beaten, robbed and sexually abused over two hours while as many as 20 people watched the attack that drew national attention.

Police found the 16-year-old girl partially nude and unconscious under a picnic table. She had been suffering from a near-fatal blood alcohol level and head trauma.

“My head really hurt, and I saw five of everybody staring at me,” the victim testified last month about waking up in the hospital after the assault. “I felt very nauseous, as if someone had taken out my insides and stabbed them and put them back in.”

In the nearly four years since the assault, the victim said her right shoulder and hips regularly pop out of socket. She also said she now suffers from migraines regularly and has trouble learning.

Over six weeks, two juries heard from about 30 witnesses, including two men who already have been convicted of gang rape in the case.

Peter’s jury deliberated for about seven hours before announcing Tuesday that it had reached a verdict. Montano’s jury deliberated for about 11 hours before reaching a verdict Wednesday.

Another two men are awaiting trial on lesser sexual assault charges.


Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com

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