Jurors reached a verdict Tuesday for one of two men on trial for their roles in the savage 2009 gang rape of a teenage girl outside the homecoming dance at Richmond High School.
However, the judge ruled the verdict in the case against 20-year-old Marcelles Peter of Pinole would remain sealed either until Thursday afternoon or released earlier if a second jury reached a decision in the case against 22-year-old codefendant Jose Montano.
In the unique case, the two men were tried together in a Martinez courtroom but in front of two juries.
Montano and Peter are on trial on charges of rape in concert, oral copulation in concert and sexual penetration with a foreign object in concert with allegations that the acts inflicted great bodily injury.
The charges stem from the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in a dark courtyard on the Richmond High campus during a homecoming dance in October 2009.
Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney John Cope said Montano and Peter were among at least six perpetrators of the more than two-hour-long attack that badly injured the victim and shocked the community.
Referred to in court as Jane Doe, the teen was only rescued by first responders after a passerby called 911, according to Cope. By that time, she was comatose and suffering from bone fractures, severe head trauma and a .35 blood alcohol level, according to prosecutors.
Two co-defendants in the case, 22-year-old Manuel Ortega and 19-year-old Ari Morales of Richmond, are serving 32 years and 27 years in prison, respectively, after reaching plea deals with the district attorney's office.
Two more await trial on lesser sexual assault charges stemming from the vicious attack.
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