MARTINEZ, Calif. —
Jurors heard disturbing testimony Wednesday from police officers who were among the first to see the aftermath of a 2009 gang rape following a homecoming dance at Richmond High School.
One officer said that at first, he wasn’t even sure the victim was alive.
Even defense attorneys in the case don’t dispute how horrible the crime was: a 16-year-old girl who had gotten dangerously drunk was kicked, beaten and raped repeatedly in the brutal October 2009 incident at Richmond High.
That night, someone nearby made the only 911 call about the attack. On Wednesday, a recording of the call was played in court.
“She’s probably intoxicated. She’s naked. She’s back by the Dumpster,” a woman’s voice is heard saying on the tape. “We don’t want to go back there because we’re scared.”
Police rushed to the school. Detective Todd Kaiser testified that he saw four to six Hispanic and black males running from the scene as he arrived.
Kaiser then found the victim under a picnic bench, mostly naked.
“She kind of moved her head and let out a little moan. And I knew she was alive,” said Kaiser.
Officer Peter Martin testified about Manuel Ortega who was detained nearby shortly after the incident and later pleaded guilty.
“He was very animated, very agitated [and] screaming various obscenities at the officers,” said Martin.
Officer Jeff Whitson said he transported Ortega to the station and that the suspect talked in a rambling fashion about the victim.
“She was so drunk she didn’t know what was going on,” Whitson recalled Ortega saying. “I wasn’t the only one. There was hella people. She wanted it.”
Kaiser testified that at the scene, he had to tell the victim’s father what happened.
“I let him know that, in my opinion, his daughter was raped,” recalled Kaiser.
The officers all testified in a formal fashion and none was asked about either of the suspects currently on trial.
The prosecution is laying the groundwork in this double jury case against 20-year-old Marcelles Peter and 22-year-old Jose Montano.
Their attorneys say they are not guilty.
There will be just a half day of testimony Thursday. On Friday, the court will be off.
The victim is expected to testify.