Posted on June 4, 2013

Horror at the School Homecoming Dance: Girl, 16, ‘Gang-Raped by up to Twenty Men and Left for Dead’ in Brutal Attack

Rachel Quigley, Daily Mail (London), June 4, 2013

The trial began yesterday in the grisly and brutal 2009 gang rape of a 16-year-old California girl who was sexually assaulted and left for dead by up to 20 different men after her homecoming dance.

Marcelles Peter, 20, of Pinole, faces life in prison without parole if convicted for his role in the brutal assault.

Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney John Cope delivered a graphic opening statement yesterday in which he described how police found the girl propped up by a metal beam under a picnic table half-naked and bloodied.

She was ‘incoherent and barely conscious’ and covered in alcohol, urine and dirt. Cope said Peter took part in the more than two-hour assault on the girl after she was plied with alcohol.

She had a blood alcohol level of .35 and has no memory of the attack.

Opening statements are scheduled today for another defendant in the case, Jose Montano, 22, from Richmond. Both men are being tried in front of dual juries.

Peter is charged with three criminal counts of forcible rape, rape by foreign object and forced oral copulation. Each count alleges that he acted in concert with others and inflicted great bodily injuries on the victim.

Montano faces similar charges.

Cope described the series of events that unraveled on October 24, 2009. The victim, feeling bored and hot, left the school dance and went outside to phone her father when she encountered a male classmate who asked her if she wanted to come and ‘party’ with them.

After drinking brandy with the boys, things took a turn for the worst, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Witnesses will testify that the victim was punched, kicked and dragged around the area. She was assaulted with a walkie-talkie and someone urinated on her. Others watching were invited to join in.

As many as 20 men are thought to have participated in the attack, Cope told the jury, with one even answering the girl’s cell phone and telling her father how good his daughter was at sexual acts.

Peter’s attorney Gordon Brown told the jury in his opening statement that DNA evidence found in a condom at the scene was unreliable and that the crime scene had been compromised.

‘I don’t think we will ever know all that happened,’ Brown told the jury.

Manuel Ortega and Ari Morales agreed to plea deals and are serving 32 and 27 years, respectively. They are expected to testify against Peter and Montano.

Two others, John Crane Jr and Elvis Torrentes, still await trial.

[Editor’s Note: Photos of several of the suspects are available at the original article link below.]