East Bay News
Community rallies after Richmond gang rape
RICHMOND, CA (KGO) -- Religious leaders in Richmond are calling for the community to take action in the wake of a brutal gang rape of a Richmond High School student.
They prayed for change, they prayed for healing, they prayed not far from the spot where the unthinkable happened -- the brutal gang rape of a 15-year-old girl outside her homecoming dance.
"The truth of the matter is this is not the chief's problem, it's not the superintendent's problem, it's the community's problem," Baptist Ministers Union President Lawrence Van Hook said.
Pastors Monday called on the community to do something about it.
"We're calling on 100 volunteers to come forth that will go down and have they fingerprints taken so that they can volunteer on this campus," the Reverend Andre Schumake said.
Four teens being tried as adults face life in prison, including 15-year-old Cody Ray Smith, whom investigators say attended Richmond High with the victim. He is the only one who has entered a plea; not guilty.
Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus says investigators are working around the clock.
"We're really taking it very carefully, one step at a time; (we) want to do it right, want to make sure that the individuals who are arrested are folks we can get charged and ultimately convicted for these crimes," Magnus said.
Police could get DNA test results back from the crime lab any day now and investigators say the results may link even more suspects to the crime.
In the usually dark area where the attack occurred, new lighting went up over the weekend.
But the school district superintendent concedes more changes may be in order. No chaperones or police officers on duty at the homecoming dance patrolled the area during the two and a half hour attack.
"That was not part of our procedures to supervise the perimeters of the campus, so clearly that's something we're going to have to rethink as we enhance our security as well," Bruce Harter said.
east bay news, cecilia vega
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