Teen Rape Victim Speaks Out: “Violence Is Always the Wrong Choice”

The 15-year-old Richmond High School student who was allegedly gang raped outside her school’s homecoming dance sent a written message last night to hundreds of people gathered in protest of the attack.

"We realize people are angry about this," the young victim said in a statement read by her church pastor. "But let the anger cause change, change that is necessary to keep our children, our neighbors and our friends safe."

Her statement is in response to some local people who have talked of exacting vigilante violence against the young men who either took part in or watched the attack on Oct. 24.

The pastor, Jim Wheeler of the First Presbyterian Church of Richmond, praised the assembled 500 students, parents and area residents for their "heart and emotion" in support of the victim. He added that he believes she is recovering well, "but she will have a long way to go," the SF Gate reports.

Members of the girl’s class held a candlelight vigil for their friend as they listened to speeches and watched performances in her honor.

In an attempt to make Richmond High safer, school officials are rushing to implement stricter safety codes, security measures and counseling programs. Students are even talking about ways to combat violence against women.

"Hopefully, we will all be safer eventually after this," said Kami Baker, a junior who is a close friend of the victim.

Police currently have six suspects in custody, but are still searching for others. The latest defendant to be arraigned, Jose Carlos Montano, 18, was close to tears during his court appearance. He is charged with rape in concert with force and penetration with a foreign object in the attack. He said nothing as he was led away to county jail, where he is being held without bail.

"The people we've arrested represent the most significant role-players in the gang rape," police Lt. Mark Gagan said. "We're still analyzing the physical evidence and taking witness statements, so this investigation is far from over. "

Authorities say the defendants are among as many as 10 young men who raped the girl over two hours, while up to 20 others watched.