Gang rape suspects plead not guilty

Dec. 2, 2009 at 1:31 AM
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RICHMOND, Calif., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The six suspects in the gang rape a 15-year-old girl in California pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

The defendants, males ages 15-21, are all being tried as adults on various sex-related felonies for their alleged roles in the Oct. 24 assault on the girl outside Richmond High School.

The suspects, who wore orange jumpsuits during their brief appearances in a courtroom packed with friends and relatives, were kept behind a bullet-proof glass barrier while their attorneys entered their pleas on their behalf, San Francisco's KGO-TV reported. No cameras were allowed in the courtroom.

The six suspects are to be back in court Jan. 21 when the judge may set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Contra Cost Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said the victim probably won't testify in the preliminary hearing. Prosecutors can call detectives to testify on her behalf.

Authorities say the defendants were among 10 males suspected of taking part in the two-hour assault outside the school's homecoming dance. The gang rape, that included kicking and beating, was witnessed by 20 people who watched without doing anything to help the girl. Some onlookers allegedly took photographs on their cellphones.

Some witnesses told KGO they didn't call police because they didn't want to be called snitches.

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