Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

“Jane Doe” Lesbian Rape Hearing Set A Year After the Crime

Josue Gonzalez, suspect in "Jane Doe" Rape Case

Contra Costa County, California – According to The Bay Area Reporter, an out lesbian known only to the public as “Jane Doe” was brutally raped by four men who attacked her because of her sexual orientation.  The first preliminary hearing on the case is scheduled to be held in January 2010, over a year after the savage rape incident that nearly took her life.  On December 13, 2008 at about 9:30 p.m., “Jane,” 28 at the time of the attack according to an AP wire service report,  was sexually assaulted by the men who watched her get out of her car in Richmond’s Belding-Woods neighborhood.  They had noticed a rainbow pride sticker on the car window, which police allege aided them in targeting the lesbian.  They forced her back into her car after being disturbed by someone approaching the scene of the crime, and drove her seven blocks to another location near an apartment complex on Burbeck Avenue where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and beaten with a blunt object.  During the assault, the rapists allegedly taunted her for being a lesbian.  They stole her wallet, dumped her naked on the street, and drove away in her car, which was later identified by a rainbow sticker on the windshield.  Wounded and bleeding, “Jane” crawled to one of the apartments, and found help from the residents, who called the Richmond police.  She was transported to the hospital where her injuries were treated, and evidence of the rapes was collected with a rape kit.  “Jane’s” car was located in Richmond the next day.  Four suspects were arrested two weeks later, Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 32; Josue Gonzalez, 22; Darrell Albert Hodges, 16; and Robert James Ortiz, 16.  Salvador, Gonzalez, and Hodges pleaded not guilty earlier this year to felony kidnapping, carjacking, forcible rape, and forcible oral copulation.  Ortiz will enter a plea on similar charges January 7, according to documents of the court.  Bail for Ortiz is $3.5 million, bail for Salvador is $2.2 million, and bail for Gonzalez and Hodges is $1.9 million.  The Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney, Danielle Douglas told BAR reporters that the victim, who is partnered and has an eight year old child, is “coping” the best she can.  “That’s really all I can say,” Douglas said. “She’s doing her best to try to move forward.”  Richmond Police spokesman Lieutenant Mark Gagan commented to the BAR on the brutality of the crime:  “What’s difficult in this case is the level of aggression that the suspects showed was so immediate and over the top I don’t think that there was anything that our victim could have done to avoid being victimized,” said Gagan. “From what I understand, it was an immediate, extremely aggressive attack without provocation and without really any warning.”  District Attorney Office spokespeople say that the complexity of this case makes it move so slowly through the court system.  Since serious jail time is involved for all the suspects if proven guilty, each one of them has secured separate counsel, and all the defense attorneys are asking for maximum time to prepare for the trials, which will probably be split among the defendants rather being done as a single trial for all four men.  “Jane Doe’s” legal counsel, Gloria Allred, who represented the mother of slain transgender woman Gwen Araujo, is not pressing the court dates, given the level of trauma her client sustained from the multiple rapes and the viciousness of the attack.  A preliminary hearing is set for early January 2010, a usual legal procedure in California law in rape cases.  If the preliminary hearing uncovers evidence enough for a trial in the case, then the wheels of justice will turn toward days in court for the four defendants and the victim of one of Richmond’s most brutal anti-LGBT hate crimes.

December 11, 2009 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Bludgeoning, California, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Lesbian women, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, rape, Slurs and epithets, transgender persons | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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