Wanted: 3 Latino Males and 1 Black Male in Connection with Raping of No. California Lesbian

While a lot of energy and focus has gone into making marriage between same-sex couples legal here in California, less attention has been focused on ending hate crimes and sexual violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, which still occur on the daily and in my opinion should be at the top of the LGBT agenda along with combating homophobia and racism.

Maybe that will change in light of today’s news that a lesbian was raped and assaulted in Northern California.  And unlike those three young Black men who were found murdered in New Orleans who were  reportedly gay and one possibly transgender, where you haven’t heard a peep from gay civil rights groups, something tells me that won’t be the case with this possible hate crime.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE — Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of four men who allegedly kidnapped and gang-raped for nearly an hour a 28-year-old Richmond woman, who was left naked when they fled in her car.The crime, which occurred on Dec. 13, is being investigated as a hate crime because of comments the suspects made about the victim’s sexual orientation, police said. The woman is openly lesbian and had a rainbow sticker on her license plate, a symbol of gay pride.

“The emotional impact has changed her life,” said Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond Police Department. “It is an absolute nightmare for her to have gone through. For 45 minutes, four strangers brutalized her.”

The ordeal began around 9:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Visalia Avenue in Richmond’s Belding-Wood neighborhood, said Gagan.

The woman was sexually assaulted in that location after she got out of her car, police said. Then she was forced back into her vehicle after the suspects noticed someone approaching. She was driven seven blocks away to the 1300 block of Burbeck Avenue, where she was repeatedly sexually assaulted near an apartment complex, Gagan said.

After the attack, the men drove off in her car, police said. She sought help from a nearby resident who called police.

She was taken to a local hospital and treated for her injuries. Her car was recovered the next day in Richmond.

The attackers are being sought on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking and sexual assault. The charges carry a hate crime enhancement.

Police described the first suspect, believed to be the group leader, as a Latino man in his 30s, who stands 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds, and has black hair, brown eyes and a mustache.

The second suspect is described as an African American man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches, 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He is known by the nickname “Blu,” police said.

The third suspect is described as Latino, 18 to 20 years old, who is nicknamed “Pato.” The fourth suspect is described only as a Latino man 18 to 20 years old.

“Everybody in our community has an interest in making sure these people are apprehended and brought to justice,” said Gagan.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ysenia Rogers at (510) 672-1718.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Not Fooled

    Cannick, you’re on your own. Why should I give a shit about anything you care about. STFU, bitch.

  • Shannon

    @ Not Fooled,
    Then stop coming by her website to leave stupid messages. If you don’t care then you wouldn’t support her site by giving her hits. You’re the one looking like a jackass. LOL.

    Keep giving it to them raw. They can’t stand the truth, damn ‘internet’ bullies…

  • Bob

    Why is this or any other GLBT-victim crime automatically considered to be a “Hate Crime”? These crimes occur because the offenders found a victim who was accessible and vulnerable. The same crime would most likely had occurred had a hetero female been in the same place at the same time. Don’t read more into this than is legitimately there.
    The “Hate Crime” movement is an abomination to anyone familiar with violent crime victims. It is fundamentally wrong to prioritize violent crime victims or to ascribe harsher penalities to the offenders in such crimes.

  • There is a possibility that the rape was an after thought because they deduced she was a lesibian, it is possible that this is a hate crime, why do people get so bent out of shape at the possibility that people MOTIVE for a crime be taken into consideration?

  • Hell Yes

    And exactly what are you and our other black gay “leaders” doing down in New Orleans to get the word out and help those victims’ families?

    Yeah, I thought I heard crickets.

  • That’s fucked up. Rape is traumatizing, no matter if your a lesbian woman or a straight woman. It is a brutal violation. I hope with counseling, family, and friends this victim is able to get through this ordeal. Let’s all pray for her.

  • The idea behind hate crime legislation is that specifically targeting a person because of his or her race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, gender expression, etc. is even more heinous than crimes of opportunity.

    To be convicted of a hate crime, the prosecution must prove that the defendants intended to harm the victim, at least in part, because of her sexual orientation. Thus, even if a jury believes that the accused have committed the crime of rape, they must decide separately if the criminals chose to assault this victim because she is lesbian.

    Some argue that we should not “prosecute people for their thoughts.” While on the surface this sounds likes it might be a good idea–with visions of Big Brother playing in your head–a moment of reflection reveals the ridiculousness of this argument.

    For example, if we cannot consider an alleged criminal’s thoughts then we will need to eliminate the crime of First Degree Murder. In most jurisdictions, a conviction on 1st degree murder requires the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant killed the victim after a period of “premeditation and deliberation.” If we cannot consider a defendant’s thoughts then there can be no “premeditation and deliberation” and the most serious charge one could level against a murder suspect would be Second Degree Murder.

    Thus, we already prosecute people for their thoughts–in conjunction with their actions, as is the case with a hate crime. First degree murder is but one example; the “aid and comfort to the enemy” aspect of a treason charge is another.

    There are other more sophisticated and nuanced arguments to be made against the concept of hate crimes that are beyond the scope of this blog comment. I wanted to mention the “we should not prosecute people for their thoughts” argument because you hear it a lot when conservatives object to including sexual identity and gender expression in hate crimes legislation.

    Note also, that very few, if any, of those conservatives campaign for the abolition of all hate crime laws. They focus their time and energy only on opposing the inclusion of gender expression and sexual orientation.



  • Been there, etc.

    If these are accurate nicknames and descriptions? They will be found… but perhaps not by the police.

  • Not Fooled

    I hit “send” on posting #1 in this thread at 11:11 a.m. Dec. 23rd, and I think my conscience started bothering me at 11:12 a.m. It’s been eating at me ever since. I am angry at Jasmyne Cannick, but my anger does not begin to justify what I wrote. It was wrong, and I sincerely and completely apologize.

    I hope 2009 will bring a measure of progress, peace, and understanding among all of us.

  • sloane

    @not fooled- you’re right, there IS absolutely no excuse for what you wrote you sack of shit. i personally hope that you’re attacked in EXACTLY the same way this woman was attacked so that someone, preferably me, can make light of it in the same fashion. then maybe you’ll begin to understand what a nefarious shitty little troll you look like. DON’T come back to this website to deal with your anger issues, i suggest you deal with them in psychotherapy

    happy new year motherfucker!