Two suspected gang members have been ordered to stand trial on kidnapping, gang rape, carjacking and numerous other felony charges in connection with a 2008 attack in which a Richmond woman was left beaten, bloodied and naked.
Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 34, and 18-year-old Robert Ortiz were each held to answer at a preliminary hearing Wednesday to 14 felony charges, as well as numerous charge enhancements that allege they raped the woman for the benefit of a gang and caused great bodily injury. Both men face life in prison if convicted.
Salvador is also charged with a hate crime enhancement for making numerous references to the lesbian victim's sexuality during the rape, prosecutor Dana Filkowski said. Two other defendants have already taken plea deals in the case and are scheduled to be sentenced in May.
The woman had just gotten off work and parked outside her home on Richmond's Visalia Avenue about 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2008, when four gang members who had been looting cars on the street approached and attempted to rob her, Filkowski said.
The woman's head was busted open with a Maglite flashlight before she was ordered to strip naked and the rapes began on the sidewalk, Filkowski said.
"She was crying and screaming 'No,' " Filkowski said. "It was her neighborhood, and no one came out to help."
The men then put the victim in her car and drove it some five blocks away to a dead-end street near the railroad tracks, Filkowski said. There, three of the men took turns raping her under the stairs of an apartment complex. After they left her with no clothes, the victim got help from residents of the nearest house with a porch light on, according to the prosecutor.
News of the assault captured national attention as people in the community held a candlelight vigil and set up a trust fund for the woman. Both Ortiz, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, and Darrell Albert Hodges, who was 16, were charged as adults.
Hodges, now 19, pleaded guilty last month to one felony count of oral copulation in concert. The fourth defendant, 24-year-old Josue Gonzalez, was the only participant who didn't sexually assault the victim, Filkowski said. He pleaded guilty in September to carjacking and three counts of second-degree robbery.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.