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Long Prison Sentences In Richmond Rape Case As Victim Forgives

| August 15, 2013
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Contra Costa County Courthouse (MansleyFlickr)

Contra Costa County Courthouse, where today’s sentencing took place. (MansleyFlickr)

Two men received long prison sentences for their roles in a brutal 2009 gang rape in Richmond.

The victim, who was 16 at the time, was robbed, beaten, raped and abused for more than two hours in a dark courtyard of Richmond High School during a homecoming dance.

Jose Montano, 22, of Richmond, received a maximum prison sentence of 33 years to life. Marcelles Peter, 20, of Pinole, received 29 years to life — a shorter sentence, said Judge Barbara Zuniga, because he was a minor at the time.

The victim, now 20 and known as Jane Doe, was not in attendance. In a letter read in court by a victim’s advocate, she wrote that she’s still “struggling and fighting” for her high school diploma. She continues to suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, body aches and migraines, and has trouble trusting people. But she’s trying her hardest to move forward with her life, she said.

“You both took a lot from me, more than you will ever know. But I just want to say to the both of you, I forgive you,” Jane Doe wrote. “I forgive you because I deserve to be at peace, but no matter how hard I try and wish I could, I’ll never forget and there are parts of me that will never be healed.”

Two other men already have pleaded guilty to the crime. Ari Morales and Manuel Ortega are serving 27-year and 32-year prison terms, respectively. Two other men, John Crane and Elvis Torrentes, are still awaiting trial.

Jane Doe received $4 million from the West Contra Costa County Unified School District through a civil claim in the case.

Earlier stories from KQED:

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Category: Law

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