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Rape suspect John Crane

MARTINEZ -- DNA from four of the seven defendants in the Richmond High School gang rape case was recovered from the victim and objects found at the crime scene, according to preliminary hearing testimony Wednesday.

Investigators also obtained DNA profiles from four males who have not been identified, as well as numerous samples of trace DNA too weak to create DNA profiles, said Dave Stockwell, forensic supervisor at the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office crime lab.

Stockwell is the 19th witness to testify at the preliminary hearing for seven men and teen boys charged in the Oct. 24, 2009, assault in which the unconscious victim was raped, beaten and robbed for about two hours in a dark courtyard during a homecoming dance. The victim told police she last remembered drinking alcohol with a group of young men and then collapsing.

Police obtained DNA samples from 14 people, including the victim, the defendants, and six other young men who admitted to being at the scene.

The strongest DNA evidence in the case is connected to defendant John Crane, a 43-year-old Richmond man who was arrested two months after the assault based on a cold DNA hit. None of the more than a dozen young men interviewed by police, however, described seeing a man in his 40s that night, according to testimony.

Crane's sperm was recovered from seven areas of the victim's body, her dress, one used and broken condom, a walkie-talkie, a brandy bottle and two shirts that one man used to cloak the victim before police arrived, according to Stockwell. Crane's non-sperm DNA was found on the handle of the victim's purse.


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A trace component of DNA linked to Marcelles James Peter, 18, of Pinole, was found on the same condom, Stockwell said. Peter admitted in his police interview to fondling the girl.

Sperm DNA belonging to Manuel Ortega, 20, of Richmond, was found twice, on the victim's body and on the brandy bottle. He admitted to sexual contact with the victim, and numerous people described him beating the victim and egging on others to assault her.

Degraded DNA samples obtained from two condom wrappers found at the scene likely belong to Jose Carlos Montano, 19, of Richmond, according to testimony. Numerous people described Montano as the first person to rape the girl.

There is no DNA evidence pertaining to defendants Cody Ray Smith, 16, of San Pablo; Ari Abdallah Morales, 17, of San Pablo; or Elvis Josue Torrentes, 23, of Richmond.

Morales told police he fondled the victim, urinated on her and stole her ring. Torrentes said he touched her before she passed out, but it was consensual. Police found the victim's phone at Smith's house, but there has been no testimony as to his police interview. Smith's attorney, David Headley, has made a motion to suppress that interview, which will be heard by Judge Gregory Caskey before final oral arguments.

The hearing continues today with further testimony from Stockwell. Once he is dismissed, the final witness, lead investigator Lori Curran, takes the stand.