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Officer Recalls Horrific Details During Testimony in Teen Gang Rape Case

Officer Recalls Horrific Details During Testimony in Teen Gang Rape Case

Three of the alleged rapists are led from court. Six of the suspects face life in prison if convicted [AP]

San Francisco Chronicle via YellowBrix

November 17, 2010

MARTINEZ — The first man arrested in last year’s Richmond gang rape was the essence of belligerence, telling police that the 16-year-old victim wanted to have sex and threatening to kill the officers involved in his capture, a police officer testified Tuesday.

Manuel Ortega, 20, cut loose with a string of drunken expletives and fought with officers when police arrested him near where the girl was raped by numerous men outside a homecoming dance at Richmond High School, Officer Gary Lewis testified.

Ortega loudly insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong and said “that bitch wanted me” to have sex with her, Lewis said.

“He said he was going to stab us all, going to kill us all,” Lewis said. “He was resisting arrest from the moment I contacted him.”

Lewis’ testimony came on the second day of a preliminary hearing in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez to determine whether Ortega and six other men will be held for trial in the Oct. 24, 2009, incident.

Six of the defendants could be sentenced to life in prison: Ortega, who lives in Richmond; Cody Smith, 16, of San Pablo; Ari Morales, 17, of San Pablo; Jose Montano, 19, of Richmond; Marcelles Peter, 18, of Pinole; and John Crane Jr., 43, of Richmond.

The seventh defendant, 23-year-old Elvis Torrentes of Richmond, faces charges including aiding the act of rape that could put him in prison for 26 years.

The hearing before Judge Gregory Caskey is expected to last one to three weeks.


Officer Gunnar Googins

Lewis told the court that he had stopped Ortega after spotting him sprinting south on 24th Street near the Richmond High campus moments after other officers radioed that they had seen as many as seven young men in dark hooded sweatshirts running from the rape scene. Ortega was wearing a gray hoodie, Lewis said.

As he began to question him, Ortega suddenly took off running, the officer testified. He caught Ortega after a 30-yard chase and handcuffed him after wrestling him to the ground.

Ortega, who was drunk, insisted the girl herself was inebriated and wanted to have sex, Lewis said.

He added that Ortega had referred to the victim – called Jane Doe in court proceedings – by her actual first name.

At one point, Ortega told the arresting officers, “Just shoot me in the head, I won’t judge you,” Lewis testified.

The suspect screamed and flailed at the officers the entire time they dealt with him, and said at one point, “I’ve been alive 19 years, and nobody don’t care about me,” Lewis said.

Police who arrived at the rape scene in a courtyard on the north side of the school found the victim, bleeding and vomiting, draped over a bench with her purple dress pulled up above her waist, two officers testified Monday.

One, Officer Gunnar Googins, testified that Ortega said of the victim, “’I just wanted to pimp her out.”

Throughout Lewis’ testimony Tuesday, Ortega and his co-defendants sat impassively – except for one moment. When Lewis stood to identify the man he arrested by pointing at him, Ortega smirked.

Also testifying Tuesday was Joanna Grizetti, a Richmond police crime scene investigator, who became tearful as she identified the photos she took of the victim at the scene.

The photos showed the girl had scrapes on her back, knees and feet, and signs of a probable beating on the left side of her face.

Regaining her composure, Grizetti testified that she had found a used condom, several opened condom wrappers, and pink glitter and vomit alongside a fence several yards from the bench.

The victim’s dress had pink glitter on it, and Ortega had pink glitter on his crotch area, Grizetti testified.

  • Car6_max50


    almost 3 years ago


    death penalty no problem.

  • Me_and_lujean_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Platter25, same here.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago



  • Aaa_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Drop the hammer on them.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Erase all of these pos's and get on with life. They deserve no better than death.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    i agree with ak angel. except id let the girls kinfolk handle their punishment. there filth.

  • Tigerstripe_002_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Bikecop45, thats a great story and exactly what we need to start doing. Thou I dont think the media will do it for any case unless theres a media frenzie around the case. It feels like the $$$ driven media these days are against the population. Theyd rather there be more murders And attacks on cops to make news for them to sell. Than help prevent crimes by taking part in such an execution as you spoke of.
    Just look at how they give you the life story of massmurding gunmen.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    Good article.. Thumbs down for evil, sick minded individuals who prey upon society's weak. If I were her family, I don't know what I could do. I believe rapists deserve the death penalty. Guys (can't say men) like this don't deserve to continue living amongst society! If we as a nation condemned those who preyed as these rapist did, by putting them down like the monsters they are, we would have a lot of criminals second guessing their disturbed actions. Can't beat around the issue here, evil must be fought with a heavy hand.

  • Idf_soldier_and_kittyimage2_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I'd be interested to know how many counts the DA's office came up with. (There are some very creative assistant DAs out here.) So if the Judge can do 20 years for each count, served consecutively of course, there'd be no problem. And if I am not mistaken, Cuba has the death penalty for rape. (Not that Cuba is a good place to live mind you.)

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    This why legislators and voters need to increase the penalties and prison time for these crimes. I remember in the late 1970's in the Philippines, then under the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos, a rape case involving 5 prominent sons of celebrities. They gang raped an actress. They were all convicted and soon thereafter, they were shaved bald, executed one by one on live TV, via electrocution. Safe to say, the crime of rape reduced nearly 300% afterward. Now THAT is the way handle these creeps and monsters!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    Typical "its all about me" attitude from Ortega which seems to be the norm nowadays. I hope these 'creatures', because they definitely are not human will receive their just rewards in the courts and it is life without parole. None of them belongs on the streets again. Sadly tho, I can see the liberal court system of California only giving them a few years at the most and probably letting any teens "walk" with a "time out" in Juvie. How about this for part of the sentence. Allow the parents to set up a "Run" where they get to use baseball bats, chains, pipes or whatever on the perps as they go through the "Run". Maybe if they survive it, then they can go off to prison for many, many years.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    God hold and keep this child in your arms, She will need you through her healing.
    All the POS should be thrown to the animals in GP...

  • Pl_avatar_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Top_Cat said, "This damn sick stuff here." Certainly is, but it's also a very scary commentary on the morals of a large population segment. We're gonna see more of this, not less.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    This POS needs the big sleep.

  • Littlegirltongue_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Topcat ... did you say as many as 13 are still at large????

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