The verdicts have been delivered in the cases of two of the men accused in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl on the Richmond High School campus in 2009. After a six-week trial, two parallel juries who heard arguments simultaneously in an unusual dual trial found both the defendants, Marcelles Peter, 20, of Pinole and Jose Montano, 22, of Richmond, guilty of of rape in concert, sexual penetration in concert and oral copulation in concert. The jury for Peter's case reached a verdict Tuesday, but the jury for Montano took an extra day.
The defendants did not react when the verdict was read, although the mothers of both men were present and began to cry. The two men face 33 years to life when sentenced on August 15.
Peter and Montano were just two of the group of men who took part in the brutal assault, which took place over the course of two hours outside the girl's homecoming dance. The men had been denied entry into the dance and were allegedly all drunk or high. The girl, who suffered a head trauma and had a near-fatal blood-alcohol level of .355, testified that she remembers nothing after she went over to the school's courtyard after hearing a male classmate call out "Hey, you want to come party with us?"
Two other men, Ari Morales and Manuel Ortega, pleaded guilty and are serving 27-year and 32-year prison terms, respectively. Two more men, Elvis Torrentes and John Crane Jr., are facing lesser sexual assault charges.