A 15-year-old girl was gang raped by up to 10 teenagers outside a California high school homecoming dance as others laughed and took photographs.
In a crime that has shocked America up to two dozen passers-by were said to have seen the crime happening and failed to report it as the girl was subjected to an ordeal lasting two-and-a-half hours.
Police Lieutenant Mark Gagan said a “mob mentality” had taken over. He said: “This was a barbaric act. I still cannot get my head around the fact that numerous people either watched, walked away or participated in her assault.
“These suspects are monsters. I don’t understand how this many people capable of such atrocious behaviour could be in one place at one time.
Many of the students feel like the people who committed such an awful crime are still among them in class.” Five suspects, aged from 16 to 21, have been arrested over the attack at Richmond High School, near San Francisco, over the weekend.
The crime was only discovered when a woman at a nearby party telephoned police to say that two of the suspects were bragging about their role in the attack, which was still going on.
The victim was then found near a picnic table close to the school. She remains in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Richmond, which has a population of 120,000, is considered one of the most violent cities in America with a murder rate higher than Los Angeles.
Some students have already transferred out of the high school. One of them, Jennie Steinberg, 16, said: “It’s not safe there at all. I’m not going back.”
By Nick Allen in Los Angeles
Published: 11:30PM GMT 28 Oct 2009
Source: The Telegraph