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October 29th, 2009
04:17 PM ET

Silent Witnesses

It's one of the biggest stories of the week: What police call the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl in Richmond, California outside her high school homecoming dance.

Six people have now been arrested in what a Richmond police lieutenant calls one of the most brutal crimes he's seen in his 15 years on the job.

Four of the suspects, all teenagers, were arraigned Thursday. One pleaded not guilty. The others did not enter a plea.

Police say many people stood around and watched while the girl was raped, and did nothing.

At the moment, it doesn't look like the bystanders will be charged. Do you think they should be?

Right now, it doesn't look like the bystanders will be charged with anything, but do you think they should be?

This Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, we're dedicating a special hour to explore why someone would stand by and watch a heinous act like this and remain silent.

We would like to hear from you, so please leave us your questions and comments.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Gayle

    Castration of those found guilty would be the only true justice.
    Police and security that did not do their jobs should loose their jobs.
    School officials that there and did not do their job should be liable in civil court.
    Jail is not the answer
    The SPCA believes it is more feasible to spade and neuter than house strays. then the same should apply to those who think this is OK to do to helpless individuals.
    Bet that would put the breaks on these kind of crimes. Put the vote before the People.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  2. lisa

    this was so unspeakable, it's hard to comment. the best i can muster up is that these ANIMALS (let's call them for what they are), in a perfect world, would never see the outside of a prison cell for as long as they live. of course, we live here in the land of "forgiveness" and making excuses for the criminals. it all makes everyone sick and disgusted!

    October 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  3. Sandy

    what a tragic and disturbing story to hear...imagine how painful and dehabilitating this incident was for this poor young victim. I am so disbelieving that these kids moral value system is so incredibly non-existing that they think this is ok...to watch and participate. I want to see all of them, ALL (participants included) get thrown the book on this one. The laws are way too lenient for kids under 16 even witnessing so many incidents of juvenile crime. Print their names in the media, if you can't go after them, go after the parents.

    I had my car stolen by 16 and a 15 year old and my point is...the 16 year olds had the younger steal it for them and paid him because they knew he wouldn't be prosecuted as an adult! These kids think they can snub and make a mockery of crime and that they are untouchable under current protection. Imagine the victim's pain... once physically healed she will deal a lifetime of emotional turmoil...unbelievable.

    I drove with my sister once through Richmond, late at night, returning to Marin and she said "roll up your window, lock your door and don't you dare look at anyone, I mean it !..." Richmond should take a lesson from NYC and get serious about their crime.

    October 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  4. Sandy

    go after each and every parent too!!

    October 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  5. Erin

    Of course the bystanders should be charged! Do we want to show that it is okay to watch horrible acts like this, that it is acceptable as long as we didn't have an active hand in it? What happened to that girl is unspeakable, awful. I hope the American justice system does not let her down. We all need to put ourselves in her shoes...how would we want this handled?

    October 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  6. Mike

    Some might say that the witnesses "froze up" when they saw the rape taking place. however, not only did they not do anything, but they stood there and watched. They are as guilty as the rapists.

    October 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  7. dennis linville

    first let's clairify who the bystanders are. If you mean the children that watched or knew and did nothing? In not just a perfect world but a reasonable one yes. It is horrible to imagine someone watching and not caring enough or being to scared to do anything to stop it.
    But if ,when you say standbyers, you are referring to the adults that allowed the school system to get in this kind of shape,where drugs and gangs run the schools, then my answer is yes. Punish them ! This entire thing and many other situations like it could have easily been avoided if Americans would eliminate the drugs and gangs instead of trying to leagalize it and cater to them. Maybe california needs a governer instead of a party boy!

    October 30, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  8. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I think the whole bunch of them are nothing but cowards and should be deemed as cowards and the little S.O.B's should be charged as adults for there crimes.

    October 30, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  9. fletch

    I have a simple solution: castration! If this punishment was administered quickly and made public, I guarantee it would curb this kind of crime. But of course few (politicians, etc.) really have the backbone to what it takes deter such crimes. So we go on...

    October 30, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  10. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Fletch thats a good idea for adults but these are stupid pimple popping kids who dont have a clue that other people have feeling and can be hurt just like them there just out of touch with civility.

    October 30, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  11. Marion McMillan

    The prisons have been bulit.The law enforcement team such as judges,police,dist attorneys,probation officers,halfway houses are running full blast.To date these things have not deterred these thugs.What is missing is a strong pubilc aversion to these occurrences.Only when that happens will this stop.

    October 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Celea Star

    It seems absurd to charge the by standers with a crime. We have sex and violence in the news all the time. Movies and stories abound. Teenagers are immune to societal pressures as peer pressure has always been the greatest concern. Can it be proven that those by standers even thought what they were seeing was really happening? Seeing is not believing.

    I find it fascinating that people will sit back and pass judgement on a situation, when 1. not the age group, 2. was not present, 3. more than likely would have a different opinion. Think about walking a mile in their shoes? We as a nation are being pushed to regulate our lives. Don't let this become a public outcry to remove more of our freedoms.

    It is an emotionally disturbling situation that occured. This is not the first time this has ever happened with high school pre-adults and is not going to be the last. People--be wary of where the emotional strings and cries for outrage come from. To say that the "voyeurs" should be prosecuted makes me ask why? Everyday we loose more and more freedoms. Regulating every moment of our life is going to need an education in all the laws of what we cannot do. Oh heck – forget it, lets just get microchip inserted and let someone else take over our being and turn us into robots. Life will be so much better then without having to be outraged or remember all the rules and regulations that we demanded be put in place.

    October 31, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  13. dennis linville

    In theory i agree with Marion here except, The government doesnt tell you that it is lets make a deal in prison. Life means 21 yrs then 2 for 10,time off for good behavior and so on so many with LIFE serve very little time. The prisons are full of drugs. Many criminals conduct business better in prison while we are taking care of them.Sexual preditors write letters and even contact on the computer while in prison. They have health care while many Americans go without.And the big one,many murderers and sexual preditors are released back into society because the prisons are over crowded! If they need to make room i can think of far better ways to do it than releasing them to do it again.
    Most important is we need to get the drugs and gangs out of the schools and show our children we are there to support them.It is sad that they consider this type of life acceptable and imagine what they must think of us as the adults.

    October 31, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  14. Jackie Y

    I do feel the people who stood by and watched this horiffic attack on this girl should be punished. I feel they are accessories to the fact. Example: If they were in a car and the driver told them he was going into a store to rob it and they did nothing to stop it, they are accessories to the robbery. They had knowledge the crime was being committed.

    October 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  15. Irene

    If the judicial system lets anyone connected with this case to bargain down their charges (and yes, it should include those who watched), then those people should find themselves jobless, and under their own set of charges. The only stand we can take is absolute zero tolerance, or we become as bad as those countries who stone and kill women for not dressing according to their arcane beliefs. We have one school system that expels a 6 year old for a taking a camping tool to class, then there has to be zero tolerance for this as well.

    October 31, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  16. Sandra

    I have watched your story about the Richmond, CA gang rape over and over for the last few days while I recover from knee surgery and the one question I have not heard from anyone is WHERE WAS HER FATHER? If she was going outside to be picked up by her father at 9 PM, why wasn't he looking for her.... where was he? How is it that he did not find her?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  17. Patricia Daiken

    I can't believe people can just stand by and not even call police. Few years back, the same thing happened to my daughter, but with men she thought were her friends. She hasn't been the same since. I feel for her and her family, she is going to need a lot of support. I will not rest until I find out the guys that did this to my daughter.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Ann

    This is just one more indication of the FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE !!

    October 31, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  19. doc gordon

    there is no conceivable excuse for the crime OR for standing by and permitting the crime to occur. we all have a responsibility toward our fellow humans, and especially toward the most vulnerable of our fellow humans.
    this is just another reflection of the profoundly narcissistic nature of the American character as it has become. time to grow up, fellow Americans!

    October 31, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  20. D. A. Dougan

    Increasingly we hear of minors perpetrating crimes. Gun violence, assault, murder,rape etc. Yes I think they should be held responsible for their actions but I really want to hear from their parents. The parents should also have to be held responsible for unleashing these little criminals, these thugs on society. If they were held responsible perhaps they would do a little more parenting.
    Thanks.
    DA Dougan

    October 31, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  21. T.

    Hi Fred, You were just asking about the bystanders and if they will be punished I think having the rape on their conscience for the rest of their lives is more punishment than anyone could give them. They will never be able to delete the images that will play over and over in their heads.
    I think when the time is right they should apologize to the young lady.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  22. Chris Gammon

    I'm certainly not putting any blame on the victim's father. But I'm curious – if she left the dance to be picked up by her father at 9:30, where the heck was he for the next 2-3 hours? If I arrived at a prearranged place to pick up my daughter and she wasn't there, I'd be rattling a lot of cages to find out where she was. I'd think that maybe he would have inquired at the dance and advised someone that she was missing. Am I the only one who has wondered about this?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  23. Rochelle

    Our system is flawed. If you see someone in the road and they are hit by a car, you did nothing wrong by walking away. You have no duty to act. Apparently if you see someone being beaten and raped and walk away, you also have no duty to act and it's okay to walk away. But, if you see someone stealing and do nothing, you can be held liable and charged with conspiracy and theft? The bystanders in this situation need some kind of punishment, I don't care if it's as simple as hours working at a community center for battered and abused teens for 10 hours. The problem is, what can they be charged with to receive a punishment?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  24. george

    THIS NEWS IS ALREADY OLD....MOST PEOPLE ALREADY KNOW WHAT HAPPEN. AND THE GIRL DECIDED TO GET RAPED AND SHE DIDNT DO ANYTHING TO STOP IT..

    October 31, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  25. chessa

    If this young girl was being picked up by her father, and was not outside where she was told to be, why didn"t her father go inside the school and inquire about his daughter and then report her missing to the proper authorities.?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  26. Fahim Lodhi

    What is wrong with people? How can you just stand there, and let something like this occur? It doesn't make sense to me that 20 PEOPLE, just stand there, and do absolutely NOTHING! I think I can safely represent the majority when I say that, school officials, police, and the bystanders should all be prosecuted! Its just sickening to think that something like this happened. I just hope that in the end all those indirectly and directly involved with this crime are held responsible, but more importantly that the 15 year old female student , recovers.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  27. Rodolfo

    Hello Fredricka,

    This story has me sickened to my stomach and outraged.

    I feel there is no excuse out there (drugs, dysfunctional families, broken homes,) .

    Each one of these offenders had a choice and they chose evil.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  28. Lori K

    ALL OF THE BYSTANDERS ARE ACCESSORIES TO THIS CRIME.....

    The definition of accessory:
    1 a : a person not actually or constructively present but contributing as an assistant or instigator to the commission of an offense —called also accessory before the fact b : a person who knowing that a crime has been committed aids or shelters the offender with intent to defeat justice —called also accessory after the fact
    2 an object or device not essential in itself but adding to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else

    What is the m atter with people today....or maybe they aren't people, but creatures that should be treated as su ch....

    Someone with God in t heir life, wouldn't act this way....God is the answer!!!!

    October 31, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  29. jerry

    they were bystanders at first but became accessories to the crime once they realized what was going on and decided to stay and watch. by not helping the raped girl they started helping the rapists do it by providing them cover. that makes them an accessory just like the driver of a getaway car for bank robbers. this is indicative of what happens when peoples conscience becomes dulled. they do not know the difference between right or wrong. for some reason, they felt the girl must have deserved the treatment she got. they all then had judged in their heart that the rape was good when it wasnt.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  30. Gaia

    All I can think of is the movie The Accused with Jodie Foster, which was based on the real life gang rape of Cheryl Araujo. The bystanders should be brought up on charges as well.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  31. dorothy

    Where was the father at while this rape of his daughter was going on? If he was to pick her up at 9:30, and she wasn't outside the school where she was supposed to be, shouldn't he have had the school or authorities looking for her???

    October 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  32. Kay

    If there are no laws to punish the bystanders, are there any laws preventing their names from being posted on the Internet? If we can't punish them under the law, let's expose them.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  33. Lori Clemenger

    I am a female telephone utility worker. May 2007 I was beaten and raped by a homeless man. Once he released me and I made my way to the road after being dragged a man refused to help me in any way. He told me to call the police. No charges could be filed. I think anyone allowing such an attack that was done to this young lady should be charged.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  34. Wanda J. Cox

    Josh,

    The school and all parties involved should face criminal charges! Then, they should all be sued!

    How will this poor young lady ever return to this school, or want to? She will be bullied, teased, and humilitated. I think the school should pay for her to go to another school of her choice and include transportation. She will also need extensive counseling. They should pay for that, too!

    This is such a horrible crime. It is a shame that this has even happened at all but it is time for all parties involved to compensate and feel her pain!

    October 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  35. Joel

    Absolutely not. They did not break any laws, by the very definition of being a "bystander". It is extremely unfortunately they did not do anything to intervene, however it is not uncommon.

    This social psychological phenomenon is sometimes called the "bystander effect". The probability of help has in the past been thought to be inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.

    These are also children witnessing a serious sexual assault for the first time. Has anyone proposed getting the child bystanders counselling?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  36. Dan Fleury

    Let's not forget "the elephant in the room". Internet porn is a billion dollar industry, and no one can deny that or ignore it. As our population continues to be desensitized by that type of content, then of course we will have more and more children, who already have lower impulse control, acting out in these ways.

    I know that regulating the internet is not a popular idea, at the same time we cannot ignore the availability for this type of content and the fact that this is considered secret "entertainment" for so many. Why not place filters or restrictions on internet carriers to eradicate violent sexual content and treat the same issue the way we do child porn?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  37. Clyde W McCleaft

    This gang rape sounds like the heartless, savage events only described in the Old Testament in places like Sodom and Gomorrah. What has the world come to? Are the people observing the gang rape of this child less than animals? Obviously, the rapists are animals, but those who would consent to such a heinous act could not be considered human, and in my mind are far less than any form of animal life. How can any of these
    people ever again, whether charged with a crime or not, look at themselves in the mirror without being overcome with feelings of disgust. Heaven help us all!

    October 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  38. Richmond Native

    The people who witnessed the brutal gang rape at Richmond High should be held accountable for observing illegal sexual acts comitted against a minor. Laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of minors are clear and specific. Shouldn't the so called "by standers" be treated the same as criminals who view illegal sexual acts committed against children? Why is there any question about bringing charges against these people?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  39. Brenda C. Wade

    As a school social worker, advocating for teens in Baltimore City, I find this story disturbing from a legal AND social perspective. It appears as if CHILDREN were placed in a position by ADULTS to make very poor choices with life-changing outcomes. At the very minimum, reputations, values/identities and self-worth have been compromised. At the most, the lives of impressionable young people have been forever changed, possibly setting the stage for future mental health challenges. I caution against name-calling and rushes to judgement. This experience will likely impact the children for the remainder of their lives. We, the adults, bear the responsibility of providing a space for young people that is safe and nurturing and teaching them appropriate avenues in which to express pain, anger, conflict, frustration, anxiety and many other emotions which negatively impact teenagers and lead them to act out violently. Instead of asking what is wrong with the CHILDREN, we should be asking what is wrong with the ADULTS?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  40. april m.

    what is going on with kids today? i'm terrified to think that not one single person in the throng of witnesses had the good sense or the conscience to step out of the crowd and call the authorities or even a teacher.. and i'm saying immediately.. as soon as they saw something wrong (awful. vicious. horrible.) was happening. i can not imagine those young kids standing there – watching, goading, cheering – as this unspeakable thing was being done to that young girl. i tremble just thinking about it. how can these young people not see that what they were witnessing was a crime? my heart goes out to the young girl and her family. and i'm still hoping that justice will be served. if they can't send those people (the crowd) to jail, then maybe a smaller penalty.. publicize their names so those around them would have a small idea of what kind of people they are.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  41. Arline McFarlane

    France has the "Good Samaritan Law" which means if you see anyone requiring help and you are able to assist, but do not offer your assistance, you can be charged.
    It is unbelievable that not one of those individuals who stood by and watched that child being brutalized did noting to help her; by either phoning the police or to even yell out for them to stop.
    The perpetrators of that violent crime should all be jailed for a very long time. Being drunk or on drugs should not be used as a defense but that too, they did by choice.
    It was truly a barbaric act and should be judged accordingly

    October 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  42. Jesse

    I'm a Canadian with dual Citizenship cause my Mother was born in America. I spent probably more then 50% of my life growing up in the United States, and since have watched it change.From a beautiful , Gorgeous, World loved Country. Into what it is today. Something like this just WOULD NOT HAPPEN in CANADA. The young people here would be the ones outraged.
    I guess what I'm saying is, it's the way young kids are razed now and what they can see and do, and are aloud to do. Its Crazy. America needs to look in the mirror, an recognize this is OUR fault.
    Thank You

    October 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  43. Mike B.

    This terrible incident is just another symtom of a major malaise in our society. Our youth are not being taught that a free and democratic society requires certain actions and dues from its members.The price of our rights and freedoms is the participation of all its members. As the old saying goes, "YOUR EITHER PART OF THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION."

    As our young soldiers fighting in foreign lands prove, some of our next generation do get this but the vast majority of those under 25 don't. They are greedy and care only about themselves. The greater good means nothing to them.

    I would like to see the spectators prosecuted. Their inaction has added to the trauma and life-destroying event to an innocent young lady.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  44. Dora A. Sorell

    I was scheduled to talk at Richmond H.S. on October 29 on my expriences as a Holocaust survivor. The event was no cancelled and I added an introduction to that tragic happening and to be a victim, a survivor. (is there any future?) It was considered very appropriate, but it was a troubling session.. It could help other victims as well? Would you like to consider it? I cannot add here that attachment (one page), but as another type of survivor, of a more universal tragedy, I am saying "I was also a survivor, of a more universal tragedy, I lost family, I thought there is no hope for a future," ...."but I worked hard," carreer, family, accomplishments. "If there is life there is hope, once you get over the ordeal"...etc See my website
    Dora A. Sorell
    Sorell

    October 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  45. GT

    As a teacher and mother of two grown daughters, I am saddened...but not surprised...by this story. I taught in such a community (at the elementary level) and some students...only SOME...have little respect for anyone (themselves included). They need treatment they don;t get. Schools and teachers try, but they never get enough support. There is also a sort of cultural "no snitching" policy that permits snitches to be harassed, beaten, or worse. THAT is what society needs to fix. Incarceration means we failed to fix it soon enough.

    As to this particular situation..I think those involved should be punished according to the law. Those KNOWN to be involved ...including bystanders...who don't go to prison should get mandatory psychological counseling...and some should speak out , to educate, their peers about what they have learned.

    But the real solution is conflict resolution training at an early age...like 'Interactions for Peace.'

    October 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  46. Molly Wage

    If the bystanders encourage the crime, they should be charged as participants of the rape. If the bystanders just watched, they should be charged as accessory to the crime. Not to point finger to the family, but trying to understand the facts. Where was the father who was supposed to pick her up at 9:00? If he did not see his daughter, after the pick up time, what did he do? Search for her? Call the police?

    October 31, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  47. M.Eckman

    Silent witness:

    I believe it is time to give John Walsh a call. Something has got to be done and the way I see it no one in my opinion has a better understanding of what to do than him. Child rape/ Rape is a hate crime. These situations should be treated as such. Event's like this have such a damming effect on not only this young lady but will continue haunt as nation. These victims are the walking dead now. How will we rise to defeat this form of social murder? Clinically/Legally something should be done. There are rallies and fundraisers for every thing why not this? Well when ever enough people care about I guess I'll see ya there.

    MRE

    October 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  48. Naperville,Il

    It was said that the young lady went outside to wait for her Father.
    Did the Father ever show up and start to look for her during this horrific ordeal?
    The people that did this should be prosecuted to the MAX!!

    October 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  49. Shirley Rish

    In a culture where 30 U.S. senators, all male, voted against allowing a 19-year-old woman to sue her employers for not allowing her to bring charges against fellow employees who gang-raped her and then locked her in a storage container to silence her, it's not surprising that bystanders would not consider gang-raping a serious crime.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  50. BADC

    IN MY OPINION, IF ALL OF THE NON PARTICIPANTS THAT OBSERVED THE CONTINOUS RAPING OF THIS YOUNG LADY SHOULD BEAR SOME TYPE OF PENALTY, SUCH AS COMMUNITY SERVICES. IT SHOULD BE EXPLAINED TO THEM AS TO PLACE THEMSELVES OR THEIR SISTER IN THIS GIRL'S PLACE. THE RAPIST OR RAPISTS SHOULD BE IMPRISONED AND NEVER EVER BE ABLE TO COME UP FOR PAROLE., NEVER!!

    October 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  51. George Middleton

    Our culture is full of “silent witnesses”. Bernie Madoff, Enron, banks that have taken T.A.R.P. money, these real life examples go on and on. How many times have we seen witnesses come out with what happened in some nationally known scandal only after they have been fired or resigned? What usually happens to “whistleblowers”?

    This is a culturally moral issue and it is going to take everyone to fix it on every level; it does not support individuality, people are made to feel that they have to follow the crowd. Only those rare people brave enough or crazy enough to stand the consequences will stand up and speak what everyone else is afraid to say.

    If we want to start changing this dynamic; let’s start making individuals publicly appreciated and awarded for individual acts of truth and bravery. We need to do this on the level that the media is treating incidents like “Balloon Boy”, Levi Johnston, and all of these other people that are receiving fame and money for acts of stupidity or lack of integrity.

    George Middleton

    October 31, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  52. M. Anthony Hopkins

    I support the punishment of these culprits to the fullest extent! And my heart goes out to the victim and wna women of Richmond. With that being said we have to take a critical look at the erosion of our schools and communities. The simplistic comments and blaming need to stop NOW! This incident is a systemic problem that comes from years upon years of degrading support for our public school systems, community segregations, unjust law enforcement, and racist policy. We the public are to blame for letting our niegborhoods degrade around us. We talk as if we want change but we never do anything. We have become apathetic to all the warning signs of trouble – failing educationa systems, school tracking, unfair policy, waining financial support, insufficient government support, etc. When will we all wake up and see this terrible incident is everyone's fault! and we are all suffering from this.
    Do not throw stones in glass houses! Feel this space with love and support for the victim. If you really want to make change support the troubled areas by volunteering, financially supporting, mentoring, being engaged!
    God speed.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  53. GLEN KIRKORIAN

    Fredricka the very reason I left California and moved to Tennessee is because of the level of indifference. It truly was a cultural shock t find people who really care about you in such a beautiful state. I lived in California for most of my life. Born in the South I would never move back to live in California. Unfortunately I'm neither shocked or surprised that people there would allow something like rape or evev murder and couldn't care less. The people there won't get involved which is really sad.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  54. Ervin

    Why are Americans and the media acting surprised that individuals could watch a gang rape? This insensitivity evolved from public lynchings of Black men and their genitals savagely removed during the lynching. It also evolved from the public brutal beatings administered by Police on minorities. Although not publicized history documents apathetic ignoring of these events by many Americans and agenda driven media. We are what we are!!

    October 31, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  55. Stan

    Is it true that the 15 y/o victim is white and the rapists are all not white?
    That is what I read. Why is THIS not brought out? Why is black on white rape not reported by mainstream news? The truth is not politically correct. It is just the truth. Since Obama got his hate crime legislation passed, this is a good opportunity to show how serious his administration is in applying it uniformly and not just when a minority is the victim.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  56. Chris (WI)

    Bystandards?? The people that watched, did nothing. They knew what was going on. Therefor, Party to a crime. They should. if the law enforcements know who the "bystandards" are than yes. Teenagers now a days are geting charged PTAC just because they enter the store with someone who "stole" something. Would you agree??? Not only was she raped, but on her Homecoming night, no everyone should be charged!!!!

    October 31, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  57. patricia a lewis

    What is happening to our children? if you don't have time to raise them to be normal and respectful of other human beings, please stop having them.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  58. L Salinas

    It saddens me to see that we live in a society that is so vicious and violent. I can't even call these people involved humans. And those that watched are no different than the ones who violently attached this young girl. I deal with sex offenders daily in my line of work who have committed this crime against women, children, and against society.

    I believe that the school who claims that they are not in the wrong and the event was a success are clearly out of their mind. Had it have been one of your kids you would not be saying making this claim. They need to be suspended, the officers who were there clearly were not doing their duty in supervision which means the interior and exterior of the building is how you supervise these events.

    For the ones watching if it had been you you would have wanted someone to call for help or would you have enjoyed having others watched this happen to you? I don't think SO.

    For the ones that physically participated, prison will take care of you. You are on the bottom of the food chain in prison for violent acts against children. I pray for you that you will not know what this young girl went through but in prison it is what it is.

    For the school you would think twice about activities and have them all suspended indefinitely as the message of not reporting violent incidents of this caliber need to be made loud and clear to all students. The students who watched you all need to be suspended as well from school.

    For the parents of the ones who participated and watched you need to be exposed to the nation that your children took part in this violent crime , I don't care if you are a minor or not. Your kids need to be seen by the nations they they took part by not reporting the incident immediately and they too raped this young girl by not calling for help.

    People need to know that your kids do not care about people and human life and that they willfully and knowingly participated in destroying the life of this child. Yet I pray she will come out as a victories young woman.

    I am appalled at this act of violence against one of our very own.
    There are no words to really described what I feel. This crime is one that our law makers do not have harsh punishment.
    It makes me sick.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  59. Leslie Thomson

    When this story was first reported on the local news, I distinctly recall the principal of Richmond H.S. being questioned about the lack of security at the homecoming dance. He stated that while there had been security guards hired specifically to monitor the school grounds during the dance, they had been sent home early because the school wanted to avoid paying overtime. Apparently, this decision was made due to the fact that the homecoming dance was proceeding without incident. As far as the lack of surveillance via security lighting, Contra Costa County School District, like the majority of school districts in California, is sorely lacking in funds for anything other than minimum expenses. Also, their budgets have been slashed. Nevertheless, this is not an excuse but merely part of the problem. Additionally, I have heard that the school officials have cited “parents’ responsibility for their own child.” This is yet another attempt to point the finger at someone else to avoid culpability. It’s disgusting. My solution: Cancel all nighttime activities. Sad, but necessary in light of the recent horrendous gang rape, beating and bystander participation.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  60. Calvin

    Your question is about the so-named "good samaritan" rule. Is THAT a law in California?

    The reason I ask that is if it is not a law then no one who kept their hands to themselves should be charged. Else we ALL may be guilty of having looked the other way at some point in our lives. Example: Killings in Chicago, Oakland, and numerous other cities around the country. The REAL villain is the one who did not keep his/her hands to themselves: The Criminals. Law is may to punish the "perv" not bystanders.

    Now, would it be morally correct for bystanders to help/call someone? Of course, but shaming someone who did not behave morally correct is not the same as CHARGING someone, and we MUST KEEP THE TWO IDEAS APART.

    Probably the only reason the question of charging bystanders comes up in this situation is MOST OF US can be "self-righteous" – because this time the witness is not you!

    October 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  61. Stan

    So the rapists, at least 2 of 5, are apparently hispanic. Will that make a difference? Guess we won't know until we find out more about the victim, assuming we do know more about her.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  62. Christine- OR

    Every single person that saw this vicious crime taking place and did nothing should be thrown in prison for accessory to rape. By doing nothing, they helped the attackers rape and beat a 15 year old girl. They are all disgusting excuses for human beings.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  63. arete

    It is very telling that we want to hold the school, parents, police and bystanders accountable while the rapists are just the rapists. Face facts. Women and children are raped and abused every minute in this country. Obviously, the consequences are so minor that children are able to view this horror on the same level as a fire or auto accident.
    How many little girls have been kidnapped, raped and murdered in the last month? How many times are we going to see the sex offender map of a neighborhood and act as if it is normal to allow predators to lie in wait for the woman or child who forgets about the rattlesnake for a moment? The most primitive cultures protect the children and women from danger in their own village.

    The day that we decide that women and children have equal rights under the law, the monsters that hide behind every bush will be eliminated. Until then, we cannot blame the young people who watched for being unaware that anything 'unusual' was happening. They have learned 'normal' from us.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  64. Calvin

    Having wrote an earlier message here, let me add this: Fredricka, you are right to start this discussion. It makes us think about feelings. Most of us don't understand ahead of time, how we want to, should to, ought to behave when a crisis momemt occurs. Should we act , react, call for authorities, or just "take a powder" (leave)?

    This forum gives us a chance to air out the confusion in our own minds FOR THE FUTURE possible situation. Because young people and older people usually get themselves involved in situations, it is not always CLEAR who the real "perv" is? Or what is going on – appearances in situations can be deceiving.

    However, one thing is clear: FROM THIS POINT ON – I HAVE MADE A DECISION TO GO TO A PHONE AND CALL AUTHORITIES – THAT WAY SOMEONE AUTHORIZED CAN FIGURE WHO IS GUILTY IN A QUESTIONABLE AND DANGEROUS SITUATION I MAY COME ACROSS.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  65. Chris (WI)

    if you think about it what we say does not matter.. in the big picture!! you know. its up to the authorities.. just thought i would throw out my point

    October 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  66. Stefanie Venice, CA

    Hi Fredericka,

    This is a very important question you pose and an even more difficult one to answer. As readers, we only have the information presented to us by the media, which is never enough to make such a decision. I agree with Dennis, the first issue at hand is determining the ages of the bystanders. It is necessary to separate the minor children from the adults, who casually stood by and witnessed the rape of this young girl. It is quite difficult to determine the responsibility the minors would have in this situation without factual information. The adults most certainly should be held responsible for their callous lack of concern and humanity.

    There have been so many reports and blogs with comments from people that seem to hold this young girl accountable for the beating and rape, which is a stunning statement about our society.

    It is amazing, the number of people that hold this young girl responsible for the rape because she was allegedly drinking alcohol. Some of the remarks I read (not on this CNN blog) are disturbing and I believe some of those people, who think this young girl asked to be gang raped, would elect to give a pass to the audience members. The audience of people who allegedly stood around, laughing and/or watching, who did nothing as the alleged rapists beat her, spread her legs and repeatedly gang raped her.

    There is no convincing argument; a person drinking alcohol somehow contributes to any violence committed against them. After working 25 years as a trauma nurse there are few memories more horrible than of rape victims who survived and ended up in our ICU. The cuts, bruises and abrasions tell a part of the story about sexual assault, especially the violent rapes. The damage to internal organs tells a little more of the story. However, it is only when you look into a rape victim's eyes, you understand the entire story. It becomes painfully clear that nothing they did contributed to a brutal physical, psychological and sexual assault.

    No one asks to be a rape victim. Drinking alcohol is not a "yes" to consent and it is not a get out of jail free card. The alleged adult audience members should be held accountable for their behavior, whether indifferent or encouraging, they share a common bond; they did nothing. Their behavior is an ugly reflection of our society and the human condition or lack thereof; a social statement that should gravely concern all of us.

    October 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  67. Karin

    Horrendous! I was speechless when I first heard this reported. Of course the rapists and bystanders should all be punished. They are less than human and lower than most animals. Not one person (I'm sure all carrying cell phones) stepped away from the crowd to dial 911! And what of all the adults including the paid off-duty policemen who were supposed to protect the children? Not one person stepped outside to check the campus. It's incomprehensible that the torture of this girl continued for 2 1/2 hours.
    But, what can we, as individuals, do about all the underlying problems that this brings to front? Students, and teachers live in fear of the gang mentality in these schools. There is an incredible lack of respect in general. I look forward to participating in offered solutions.

    October 31, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  68. Dr. Helen C. Patterson

    I'm a clinical psychologist working in Richmond, California. Richmond is a scary place to be in broad daylight, and I am not a normally fearful person. Murders are commonplace, and citizens don't cooperate with the police due to fear of gang retaliation. (My understanding is that, actually, this incident did not involve the local gangs.) Richmond is the one place I've been where I choose my traffic routes carefully
    and pass people on the street who, I think, would kill me without a thought. My job has shown me the breadth and depth of drug abuse prevalent now, and a person hyped up on drugs is not thinking rationally. And the amount of drugs now easily available to
    young people loads the gun. That this incident occurred in Richmond, sadly, does not surprise me at all.
    Watch the CNN video of the Caucasian student describing not only the lack of appropriate security at this school, which frankly needs substantially MORE security than anyplace I've ever been. The ineptness and irresponsibility of the security AND the school personnel who WERE there is astounding. That there were no patrols of the school grounds, and especially the unlighted areas, is a
    major lapse. However, my guess re: that part of of it is fear. Why they would NOT check IDs of the group of non-students defies logic and makes them individually culpable, in my opinion.
    I feel so sorry for the victim of these crimes. I hope that a positive outcome from this is that Richmond receives national attention and, hopefully, one or several task forces formed to deal with the multiple issues raised, such as the disparity in funding for adequate police, security, school staff, school facilities, etc, for this community vs others; the effects of lack of fathers in households; poverty; drug abuse, and on and on. I seriously doubt that this incident would have happened
    a few miles away in wealthy Marin county.
    Regarding the perpetrators, they are beyond redemption. I doubt the legal system would go for castration, but it certainly is warranted and just. I need to go research whether it would serve as a deterrent to individuals missing any capacity for conscience or compassion. For those participating by watching, probably equally hopeless in terms of rehabilitation, I hope a way is found to find them legally culpable and appropriately incarcerated, though I do believe that the problems now in the spotlight go far beyond these individuals.
    There is plenty of research showing that the values and attitudes
    that allowed this incident to occur are already solidly established by
    age 12 (my own research involved justification of aggression). So, respectfully to Michael Armstrong above, the adolescents involved are
    NOT "simple pimple-popping kids without a clue." IF a person doesn't
    have empathy and civility in place by adolescence, they aren't going to develop it later.

    Richmond is a community in crisis far worse than the worst tornado, hurricane, or earthquake. It is NOT EveryCity, USA. That said, I do agree with Marion McMillon in earlier comment, that it will require
    public aversion .... and all of us taking responsibility for the choices we
    individually have made, including at the polls, when completing our tax returns, when deciding we're too tired to volunteer at a youth organization, etc, that have culminated in this tragedy.

    October 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  69. Brian

    I think it is easy for those not there can judge those that were. I think the laws need to change that would allow someone who would help in that situation to be covered if they hurt someone.

    I can only imagine someone trying to stop that event from happening and everyone involved just stopping and saying ok and walking away. On the more realistic view, they would be met with resistance and my have to defend themselves as well as the victim.

    October 31, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  70. Donna

    I understand the girl went outside the School as she had called her Father to pick her up. Didn't Dad wonder why she was not there waiting for him and why didn't he check to see where she was???

    October 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  71. Yuri

    One aspect of a silent witness that many people overlook is being put in their shoes at the time crime is taking place. While it is a human thing to do to report any illegal activity to police enforcement, would you really put yourself into harm's way trying to protect person you do not know? What if offenders belong to a gang and your entire family ends up being killed because of your attempted act of heroism? What if you get hurt while trying to protect person you do not know? Who will provide for your family when you are disabled or dead? It is really easy to think that your own actions would have been different if you were a bystander. Unfortunately if and when this happens your immediate thoughts are for your own safety. During my college years one of my roommates witnessed a murder taking place with over 200 witnesses. Person casually walked up to a restaurant, pulled out a gun, shot the person and did not even bother running away. He stood there with not one person doing anything about it. When police came nobody suddenly knew where shooter went. I know I would not even if I did know.

    October 31, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  72. Charlotte Araki

    What I heard most from the young people was the word snitch. Adults are rightfully incensed but what example have we given them. The word "whistle blower" comes to mind. That is our example to the young. Whistle blowers have been fired, harassed and even murdered. What kind of message are we sending the young. Lets not be hypocrites but teach by example.

    October 31, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  73. William Franks

    As to the attack on the 15 year old girl in Richmond CA.
    California law may not hold a penalty for not reporting a crime.
    However, over the border in Nevada, accessory laws would apply and all of the people involved including the whiteness. They would be charged with first-degree sexual assault. As if they them selves had committed the crime.
    I think that is grate law, and it would serve every state.

    October 31, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  74. Ashley

    When I first heard this story, I was appalled. It has sat sourly in my heart for days. To think that children are capable of not only rape/gang rape, but to actually sit and witness it and DO NOTHING?! I honestly dread the day my daughter is old enough to go to school. My heart goes out to this girl and her family.

    I don't buy that the children are exposed to this stuff every day (i.e internet porn..). That is an excuse, not a reason; and I'm sorry, but there is no excuse good enough for what these children did. I believe whole heartedly that, not only the rapists, but the by-standers should be punished as well. I would love to see each and every one of these little PUNKS rotting in jail for a good 20+ years. They have easily ruined this girls life and should not be able to walk away free. And exactly where were the teachers, chaperones, resource officers?! It is just terrible to think that none of these children were supervised, because obvisously they need it! I'm tired of hearing how children/teens are running a muck and getting away with it because they are not adults! If they can committ an adult crime and obviously know that it is wrong, then they should be charged as an adult.

    We need to stop making excuses and start making more consequences for these kind of crimes. Nothing can change what happened to that poor girl. BUT it will make a big difference if she and her family see justice! And as parents we can't give up! We need to parent with a strong hand, teaching GOOD STRONG MORALS, right from wrong, that 911/Police are good not bad and for every crime there IS a punishment. I'm tired of fearing gangs and unruly teenagers. I have not grown up to be pushed back down by some snot nosed little brats that aren't old enough to drive, vote, buy alcohol/cigaretts..probably not really old enough to use curse words! It's time we stand together as a nation and let these ignorant KIDS know that we have had enough. I really hope that all by-standers will be punished in some way..for the sake of this country something has to be done.

    October 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  75. Tess

    Onlookers should be charged as ACCESSORIES to a crime.

    The man that was released because not enough evidence also ACCESSORY to a crime ( a level 1).

    All should go to trial..actions have consequences.

    GANGS should be registered with police precincts as many as possible.

    YES YES YES education is a must. Children/teens thrive when teachers, good teachers teach. AND parents need to be motivated or involved in some way.

    For instance a creative class assignment maybe to interview their parent(s) parent about their childhood, ancestory or dreams.

    Police should monitor the schools when in session by spending a day a week in the hall or attending a class and befriend/be kind/take interest periodically.

    Again- on the rape: charge them as ACCESSORIES to a crime. Whether they or whatever sentence (incl community service) they will be shamed & that may have a lasting impression.

    It was a intrestin consideration to castrate the rapist.

    Tess

    October 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  76. ANN WEST

    I think people are missing an important point. There is a culture of group sex. Just as people pass around drugs and drink. Sex is also passed around. I recently spent time with 10-15 year old girls of all races (white, black, hispanic, pac. islander , asian) in Southern California. These girls partook in this casual behavior. The girls aggressively and willingly smoked, drank and had public sexual activity with multiple partners. These habits were so firmly planted in their hearts and minds, i had no influence. Face it, sought the group of boys out, the girl drank, the girl used drugs and consented to sexual activity thats why no one called police. After she fainted from to much drinking, things got out of hand and It became rape. Things get tricky when consent turns to non-consent mid-stream. If she stayed in the gym and waited for a ride this would have never happened. As long as we call the guys involved Animals and excuse drunk girls there will be no change.

    October 31, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  77. Frank

    Is thereason for the Gang-rape silent witnesses the for other like those that work in nursing homes and see abuse and don't report it?

    October 31, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  78. ANN WEST

    The real victims are the several little girls in different states that were REALLY raped and killed this week by strangers. They were snatched off of the street and dumped. This girl was not snatched , she knew the guys and went to THEM. As always when things turn ugly girls cry rape. How are the bystanders suppose to determine consent one minute and non consent the next? How can they call the police when they were all involved in illegal behavior like drinking and drug use? Do you really expect people drinking , using drugs and having sex in public to call the law. Wake Up!

    October 31, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  79. Lisa

    I don't know if you know what Richmond is like, but I've lived in the bay area most of my life and people get scared to intervene. I am not that old, but really, the younger people especially in some areas are intimidating and even I feel threatened. I recently was on BART when some young kids came on blasting their radios. People were obviously not happy but no one stepped up to say they were being rude. You feel afraid of what could happen.

    October 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  80. Lori Love

    That they were 'bystanders' is NO excuse. Group or mob mentality is NO longer a defense or excuse. We've been hearing this 'excuse' for decades. Get a grip. These people are at least as much ANIMALS as the rapists. People's lives are being RUINED because of these 'poor kids making bad choices' – bull crap. They all need to be thrown AWAY before they throw away any more lives than their own. Period.

    October 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  81. mira simic

    When we stop bullying bystanding in schools we might help people to feel that human beings deserve to be helped.

    October 31, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  82. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The people who just stood by and watched this criminal act should be thinking am I next and is any body going to help them this wasnt a street fight between to people but a show of what the next generation of people who will be responsible for our Country looks like first Chicago then Florida and now California we better get this under control now or our country is headed to a dead end .

    October 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  83. Sharon

    It is amazing how prosecuters and police can bend the law to charge children sexting with child porn. They are maliciously prosecuting children and ruining their lives over what kids are seeing their parents do. They will ruin the life of a child it ever has a chance become an adult just to send a message. Yet they can not seem to figure out a way to charge those that partook in such a hanis crime as raping this child. Well let me help them, part of this hanis crime is to watch. After all, the crime is GANG rape. So, those watching are guilty. Arrest already. I think they are scared of the gangs.

    Nancy Grace needs to speak up about this one. Nancy knows what misprision of a felony is! § 4 of the US Code defines Misprision as, "Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

    It has become obvious that cops and prosecutors will prosecute children to the fullest extent of the law, yet run from those that commit gang rape. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that cops and prosecutors are in cahootes with the gangs.

    The last person I saw arrest was over 20! so stop calling the perpertrators of this cime children and teenagers. At 17 the law considers you an adult even if you can not vote yet.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  84. Martin

    I am the father of three girls ages 14 and 16. When I heard the story about the gang rape of the 15 year in Richmond, I was outraged. I keep on hearing about the 15 or so witnesses that DID NOT do anything. I think that they are a bunch of couwards and that they should be prosecuted as criminals. The fact that they did not stop the rape from continuing for 2 hours makes them just as guilty. They contributed if not physicaly but mentaly to the rape of this poor girl. They have to suffer the consequences of of being contributors and people should step up.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  85. Claudia

    Someone referred to the rapist and the bystanders as "animals", sorry but animals are better that these people. Animals live by instinct, these people have a mind and the ability to make decisions based on right and wrong. It's that clear, right, wrong. What the bystanders did NOT do was "wrong" and I hope they get punished. Our country is filled with cowards! I found that out years ago – cowards who don't know what it is to stand up for right and wrong. There are different degrees of course and the bystanders in California were cowards to the nth degree. I also blame society for glamorizing criminals – such as Chris Brown. The media gives these creatures more coverage that the unemployed Americans who have pleaded with them (the media) to cover the obstruction of the Emergency unemployment benefits legislation in the senate as thousands of Americans fall off the radar due to political games by the GOP. As well, I think that our school system lost it's way as well. If we allow children to grow up without any moral compass what do you expect to happen. If they don't have role models at home they it must be taught in the schools. Too many teachers that I know are not invested. The school days are too short (due to teacher's union contracts) and the school year too short. We spend enough money in this country on the educational system that as banks need to be regulated so do schools. Schools need to change direction and take a more holistic approach to education. Teachers in my community have become overpaid and under worked. As people lose jobs, the one's who have a high standard of living – a neighbor, teacher, bought two new vehicles this year, a 2010 Audi and a 2009 Toyota SUV and vacationed in the islands, etc. Talk to children, they get no moral guidance in schools anymore. Media, school system, recording industry, not enough funding for law enforcement. Need to take back the streets. As well, quit locking up people for petty crimes and start locking away violent criminals and throw away the keys. Our society has declined in the past decade.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  86. Barbara

    Once again, a crime committed by males is being blamed on females. What is this, the Eve complex? Why is this about the girls? This is all about heinous behavior by males. Let's put the focus where it belongs. All of the males involved at all in this are totally worthless, and any female involved with them is a complete loser. And is fooling herself if she thinks that any of them will behave any differently in the future.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  87. Alec Cloke

    Dont know why we look to the authorities for blame and not look directly at the participants and the bystanders who didnt reach out to help the girl.

    Your government isnt responsible for your morals.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  88. Fahim Lodhi

    Everyone from school administrators, to police officers, and security officials...SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AND PUT IN PRISON!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  89. Sharon

    Just one more comment. I am shocked to see that the people here are totally unaware of the laws regarding you duty to report a crime. There is no duty to stop and render aid but you are breaking the law if you do not report a felony. Misprision and obstruction are crimes.

    Perhaps if those that report the news would become informed of the actual laws and and duties and responsibilities of citizens and then inform the people watching your show, then just maybepeople would step up and do what is right.

    Call 911 fist! Then turn on your cell phone so we can see it on youtube!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  90. Brian Wood

    The problem is the "bystanders" did not perceive the police and the "authorities" as allies but as enemies. It's hard to perceive someone who tries to put you in prison for smoking a joint as a "friend". That's why nobody called the police. The culture of "don't snitch" needs to be reversed, but that won't happen as long as we spend millions to imprison people for trivial "offenses".

    The police need to work with the kids, not against them, if they expect cooperation.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  91. Claudia

    I other thought, all security and police and school administrators including teachers, principles, whoever was present at the homecoming & didn't protect this girl should be fired! If officials who are supposed to be keeping children safe did not, they should lose their jobs – actually should have lost their jobs already. They are useless. There are many unemployed people who need jobs – if they can't do their jobs they get rid of them

    October 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  92. Fred

    The people who committed this crime AND the bystanders are just animals and should be treated as such. Everyone seems to want the school to change and in still morals these "animals". It's NOT the schools job!! Parents, start putting your foot down. It's your job to raise your kids not the school.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  93. Rachel Young

    Absolutely disgusting. This poor girls life is ruined. She's never going to be the same, she's never going to be able to trust a man or have close relationships. The men responsible should be imprisoned for 20 + years. If they get anything less I'll sadly disappointed in our justice system. Who's to say they won't do this again? Absolutely horrible. And the bystanders need to be tried also, because they could have called the cops or done ANYTHING!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  94. Ann

    Until the men in society start treating women as human beings and not there just for their sexual pleasure, nothing will change. Women and girls are devalued all over the world and horrific things are done to them by men, It's up to men to educate their sons on how to treat women and girls and they have failed miserably. Our society is a sick one.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  95. Barbara Mullane

    Yes, lock up the rapists and the bystanders. And then round up the parents of both – can't the parents be charged with reckless endangerment for having foisted their vermin offspring on society. I am also concerned about any siblings of the perpetrators – is it safe to leave them in a home where rapists are raised. If the parents raised a rapist should they raise other children?

    Why are you quizzing the schoolboard and police etc – why aren't you tracking down the parents that raised these low lifes.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  96. ohthesweetpromise

    The bystanders should not charged. The school official and security need to be charged in this incident. There is no exuse. The security got too confortable and I am not sure why. From all counts the school had gangs and drugs. They should have been on alert.
    However, now we know why there are gangs and drugs running in the school. The school officials apparently do not care and the security team is incompetant.

    There is an imagine out there about cheap teen girls. With the teen pregnancy rate and lack of moral values, it is easy to see why boys have generalized that risky sexual behavior to all women and girls.

    Where are the women groups? They need to come out now in stead of simply worrying about Dave letterman. The law is taking care of that case, but who will stand for young teen girls like the victim.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  97. Claudia

    To the school board member – A LITTLE LATE? You think? Everyone in that school system is too blame.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  98. ANN WEST

    This is racism at it's finest. What's the difference between this case and the ALL WHITE case of March 2006 were Gregory Haidi and friends were accused of a Gang Rape on a Girl that was a friend. Like this victim, she willingly sought them out, drank alcohol etc. and supposedly passed out. The so- called rape was on video tape but the jury still had a hard time deciding if it was a case of rape or consent. Why do we expect the people that viewed this event to know the difference between hot alley sex and Rape ? It's very unfortunate , but the truth is ...It was dark and teenagers do participate in public, sex, drug use and drinking.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  99. Cheryl

    The by standers should be held accountable. They prove how unhuman so many people have become. What are their parents teaching these kids when they can stand there & cheer on such a vicious attack. Makes me sick to think this happened in California.
    Cheryl
    Chico, CA

    October 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  100. Georgia from PA

    Bystanders shiould be charged as conspirators. By doing nothing the bystanders have supported the crime and encouraged the rape(s) to happen...All the "friends" of the victim have the audacity to blame security? The "friends" were there, where were their cell phones they manage to talk on 24/7 about NOTHING. The reason this event took place is because our society holds no one accountable. The rapists and bystanders are felons and should be thrown the book!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Joshua Webb

    Of course they should be charged, however they wont be due to niche laws. Please stop saying they didnt think what they were doing to that poor girl was wrong. They KNEW it was wrong. The men there were in the mob mentality, there was no leader...

    October 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  102. Jack

    This girl didn't deserve what happened to her and the suspects should be slammed by the courts.
    The lack of security arguments is a red herring. There was good security for the event. The event was in the building and not open to non students or their date.
    Unfortunately the victim put herself in a dangerous postion by leaving the event to seek out a dark hidden area to drink alcohol and get high. If that area had been better lit and security would have been patrolling the area. She would have gone to another area were she would not be discovered drinking. This is a very high crime rated City and the Thug mentally is well entrenched. I am a Richmond High Grad and a life time resident of Richmond and know of what I speak. The Police are doing a wonderful job with the resourses they have..

    October 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  103. phnxrth

    I've been praying that the young victim will be given a miracle of healing, and that her family will embrace her completely and envelop her in love to help her healing. She needs everyone's love.

    This was an act of criminality and viciousness that was pure evil. How stupid were these savages to not think beyond their actions to inevitable results? And as for the onlookers, walking away even if it meant taking a beating would have at least been human.

    These were beasts, not people.

    There's quite a huge difference between a woman maybe thinking she'd like a romantic interlude and a mob nearly raping someone to death.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  104. David Cary

    Boy I am so tired of this. I live 10 minutes from Richmond in another struggling community (our city went bankrupt and the school district was taken over by the state). This craziness has got to end.

    I watch your conversations with Steve Perry and Coach Carter, both doing great things for our kids, but what we really need are SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS that can be replicated across the country, AFFORDABLY. Solutions that face reality and tackle today's problems head on.

    I find the subtitle of Steve's book (No one's coming to help) ironic, particularly in Richmond. Really the truth is the people in the system don't want the help. I've reached out to the mayor of Richmond, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, the Superintendent of Richmond Schools, the high profile local pastor, their nationally known congressman George Miller, Sec of Eduation Arne Duncan, and even CNN with a systemic solution to these educational, social, economic and familial problems. None of you will even make the time to meet.

    CNN, you've got my email, ask Coach Carter (who knows me) if we are on the right track and if these solutions should be taking seriously. The question is do you want solutions or more high drama stories? We will see.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  105. Maggie Jessup

    I am with Just Yell Fire, CNN Hero Dallas Jessup teaches girls how to get out of dangerous situations, although an incident like this would be very hard to get out of, with so many attackers, she would be glad to go into the school and teach the girls her get away techniques and share her film so that they won't feel so helpless in thier neighborhood.
    Dallas travels approx. 10,000 miles a month teaching girls her get away techniques. http://www.justyellfire.com This is such a tragedy that affects us all, girls have the right to protect themselves and need to know how to do this.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  106. ljm

    I am sickened and disgusted to think that young people of high school age, who should know better, found it ok to stand around and watch and do nothing. As far as I am concerned, they are equally as culpable as the individuals that physically attacked the girl, and all should be charged with crimes accordingly.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  107. Ria

    In addition to changing security measures, the high school can consider bystander training for all students. There are several schools that provide workshops, specifically Bystander Training. This allows students to recognize dangerous situations and empowers students with the skills to do something when they see something inappropriate. Although administration can’t change the outside community, they can influence the attitudes of their students.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  108. Roderick

    There was a movie in the 80's starring Jody Foster called "Accused" that demonstrated how the group-think allowed the rape to continued. Sometimes it fear, sometimes it's just going along with the crowd. Gang rape isn't new, but whenever it occurs, the people involved should be brought before the public in the courts. I think of the crowds at Mixed Martial Arts shows sopping up the contests where one person either beats the other to a pulp or suffocates them to the point of unconsciousness.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  109. Sahtara

    What's happening in the world of our youth today? Young adults today are being subjected to everything adults are and are making big decisions at an earlier age. The teens that both participated in the act of gang rape and those that watched should be tried as adults, if they are going to make an "adult decision" to have sex (or watch), and not to just have sex but do it through physical force, then they should be tried as such.

    It truly blows my mind that something like this happened, it's horrible stuff you hear about happening around the world. But not in our own backyard,.. I think this is a wake up call to all of us. When did our "kids" get this bad? Could we have stopped it?

    To the family thats girl this happened to, I hurt for you.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  110. Kent

    How about family values and morals? Thats what is missing with kids these days. They are not being taught by their parents. Political correctness plays a role as well. You can't punish your kids without worrying about if it is politically correct. PC is going to destroy this generation.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  111. Tracey

    I hope the girl and her family sue the (expletive) out of the Richmond school system. Not only are they negligent but they (school administrator's and school board members) new this could happen and did not "speed" along the process of getting safety issues fixed. So who is paying the price now for their failures? A 15 yr old girl who didn't deserve this. Second... If I were a parent of any one of those boys/men that did this to her, I would march them straight down to the police department and turn them in. What is amazing to me is that "Women raise Men". Would they want their mother's treated this way? How is this seen as acceptable to do? How has our society let this happen? My answer to this, is take look at what we listen to? Look at the movie's and video games we watch and we feel sorry for women burkas in other countries. Look at what women are being subjected to in our own country. Also the lawyer you just had on from the Richmond school board revealed the victims first name on TV. "BRILLIANT" (I'm being sarcastic)

    October 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  112. Patricia R Wheeler

    I teach community college students who are so desensitized to violence, sexual violence and mistreatment of females that when I first brought this incident to their attention, they ALL laughed and made wise cracks. I took three class meetings of one hour each to finally make them understand the gravity of this situation and the role their behavior plays in these events wherever they occur. As one young male student said at the end of a full semester said, "Bros before hos", and it's only become much worse in the few years since then.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  113. Glen McD

    There psychologist's explanation of Group Think is correct, but simplistic. The Bystander effect is a known psychogical phenomenon which exists because of 2 diffrent decision-making mechanisms.

    One is diffusion of responsibility where individuals tend to respond to emergencies if they are by trhemselves, but more hesitant if many people are present,. it is the cklasiic "somoneone else will do it, I dont have to act."

    The other is Pluralistic ignornace which comes into play whenever an individual assumes that he/she is unique in having a strong opinion. Alternatively, they convince themselves that daring to stand out or draw attention to oneself would be viewed unfavorably by the peer group. This is classic peer pressure where each person assumes the group wants them to act in a certain way.

    The sad thing about group pressure si that reaserach shows taht very often each person would be happier going against the grain, but no one wants to be first because they fear ostrasization.

    One thing we have to be careful if as a society is the group think of politics where members of a group fall into the bystander effect of not calling out antisocial behavior director at the opposition party.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  114. Mark Eckman

    Einstein:
    The greatest evil a human has ever done, was doing nothing at all.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  115. Richmond Native

    Having lived in Richmond I feel i am closer to reasons for the behavior of the youth who stood by and watched this grizzly event take place. Much of Richmond is composed of high crime very low income neighborhoods. Consider that many of these students have been raised around or subjected to violent abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse, and a poliece force who in their eyes may be ineffective in protecting them. Their own difficult existance in the streets of Richmond has conditioned them to be immune to the effects of brutality even when commited against a peer.

    I propose that we make the compairson to war torn thrid world countries where children are often parentless and left to fend for themselves from an early age. Children from these environments are no longer affected by witnessing murder, rape, starvation and may even begin to commit similar acts in the name of survival. These conditions are of course far worse then those in Richmond CA. Still, we must consider that the substandard living conditions found in much of Richmond CA is breeding a new genoration of people with little or no conscience. I feel these real life harsh circumstances affect the personalities of the youth in this city far more then their exposure to video game, television and media violence.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  116. GT

    Fredricka,

    All of us...responsible adults..need to understand this and take the responsibility to protect our children from growing up in an environment that allows the 'hardening' of our youth. JMHO.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  117. Travis, Spokane Washington

    Its Obvious why witnesses are silent, when one lives in a community and a nation where police are corrupt and where government can't be trusted its difficult if not impossible for people to come forward, especially youth who may fee they are stuck in a community.

    Sadly this happens every day in our country at all hours and across all economic, social and race spectrums.

    Accountability should go to Offenders, School Administrators and Police Collectively.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  118. Delmarie Fairweather

    Due to the graphic display on the internet of women in daily pornographic posting with abuse involved,the tolerance of disrespectful acts and abuses of women will increase. It is the responsibilty of the parents to have safeguards on the computers that young kids access and use.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  119. Rich

    We can not Legislate against this behaviour - If someone does not understand simple right and wrong - or does not care - then legislation does NOTHING - You can not legislate morality

    October 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  120. Barb

    What happened to this young girl was a tragedy. I think the whole lifestyle of these kids should be taken into account-the music they listen to, the clothes they wear many with underwear sticking out (both boys and girls), are parents around to guide and talk to their kids.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  121. Buck

    Ok, So I am a 17 year old from Massachusetts, I think this story is terrible. It shouldnt have happened and I believe the watchers should have stepped up.

    Now, video games? I dont think they had anything to do with this. I dont see where video games came into the argument! Im a gamer and hear this all the time. Something bad happened so they blame it on video games. Never have a once heard a case come up where the accused says "I did it because I could on a video game". We in the video game community think it is a riot how this comes up in every teen crime discussion. How about have someone spend a day or two online with gamers and see how they are not a violent group of people without values.

    This was a terrible incident, I wish it had not happened. But it in no way has a thing to do with games.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  122. Lisa

    There is an astounding lack of positive male role models. In our culture so many children don't see men who are moral and ethical. I think this kind of mentoring could change some of the views towards women and let young men know what a "good man" is.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  123. Patricia

    I haven't heard if there was a racial component to this horrible attack? What is the race of the victim and alleged attackers.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  124. Janet

    These silent witnesses are morally bankrupt. I wonder how their parents feel about having raised such peverts.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  125. Don

    One thing that is driving me crazy is that I haven't heard anyone talk about WHERE this girl's father was all this time?? Apparently, she left the dance at 9pm to be picked up by her father? I know that if my daughter is not where she's supposed to be when I go to pick her up, I am turning over every rock looking for her! Wouldn't he have been searching the school grounds for her?? I'm finding this VERY troubling.... Where was this guy for 3 hours?!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  126. Samuel Munster

    I think these experts on CNN are totally ignoring the source of the problem. I am actually a highschool student in California. The first thing I wanted to adress is that the Principle knew that stuff like this is going on at his school for a while. For example, at my school, half of the kids are drug addicts or gang bangers, and the school does NOTHING TO ADRESS IT! I even sometimes report if i see a gang or drug deal to the school with names, times, and places and the SCHOOL DOES NOTHING! Its disgraceful. Also the other huge problem is not "Left 4 Dead", its just a stupid zombie video game. The other problem is internet porn. Too many parents try to be cool and act there kids age (trust me, half of my friends parents try to act my age and be friends with me but the reality is there my friends parents, no friends). Not enough parents discipline and instill good values in there children nor talk about how degrading something as sacred os the highest expression of human love is turned into something that is materialistic and dehumanizing (especially gang rape porn which makes me sick to my stomach to even know something like that exists and is not taken off the web). What needs to be done is that parents need to actually try to stop being there kids friends, and start being parents. They may not like them now, but they will appreciate it later. I am beyond blessed to have such good parents who discipline me and actually act like parents! Also the schools have to stop being so ignorant and lazy regarding the issues at the school! By the way, my highschool is Valencia Highschool. Maybe if I say that my school doesnt do anything at all to adress the drug problem there then maybe they might actually start doing something.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  127. JoeS

    First, a lot of bunk about the perpetrators being scared. This crime took place over two hours. Anyone of them could have left the scene of the crime and called the police.

    Of course there should be laws against bystanders doing nothing when they know a crime against a child is being committed. But we also need to educate our kids sociologically. Parents are NOT parenting. Parents don't know how to educate their kids. We don't expect parents to teach kids Algebra, why should we expect them to know how to understand social values. Just look at the divorce rate here in the United States. Clearly, adults are lacking the social empathy and understandings to create and maintain healthy relationships because they never learned it themselves. These kids that committed this crime and those that watched are culpable, and so are their parents.

    It mat not feel comfortable at first, but when incidences like this happen I remind my kids to "never let this happen if you're around."

    October 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  128. Sandy, Eugene, OR

    Clearly, it is time to get Coach Carter back on the job. The truth about who was there, and who saw their classmates taking part in this disgusting crime will eventually come to light. When the identities of the bystanders, as well as the perpetrators are known, and the civil law suits against the school and the parents begin, there will be some changes made at Richmond High.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  129. Travis, Spokane Washington

    This is nothing new, and I think more is to come. Problems that are preventable such as this unfortunate rape, school shootings gang activity will continue. Youth and Adults alike have a disregard for law enforcement; I believe this is because law enforcement spends more time focusing on minor mistakes, making enemies with anyone who isn’t a perfect person. Things like traffic tickets instead of warnings, tickets for j walking, or lack of response when reporting a property theft, make most of us feel as if the police aren’t' t there to help us.. This is why major crime isn't reported in this country.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  130. Theodosia

    Will the young men who watch this rape, will they be future rapist?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  131. Jim Connor

    This whole event is repugnant. I find myself wndering if the active, and inactive, participants in this rape might not have been earning some sort of membership or advancement in their gang. Was the girl a member of an alternative gang (and thus considered less than human)? I am largely ignorant of gang-related issues but this concerns me greatly.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  132. Neville

    It is ashame that this type of thing can happen in this country. Though the attackers should be punished severly, the bystanders should as well be punish equally. Whatever happen to aiding and abetting, does it not apply here?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  133. Frank

    The point brought up by the panel on the subject of kids being desensitized to violence is the point. Kids play all these violent games and watch all these violent movies and we wonder why they are violent? Game makers hide behind the first amendment and if we really want to address these issues we have to stop proliferating it. If we want a more civilized and caring society we have to make it that way.

    To a large part it is the responsibility of the parents of these kids. We should consider charging parents of underage kids with complicity to their crimes and I bet a lot more parent would get involved in what their kids are doing if they were held responsible. Parent buy these kids these games and let them watch these movies. For instance; how can the parent of the Columbine shoots not have know anything was wrong? How could the parents of these kids not have known they were deviants? Because they are not actively involved in their lives.

    Similar to what happened to Darrion Albert. What kind of kids are being raised in Chicago to do that? In a CNN interview with a group of kids when they were asked "why" they responded "he was in the wrong place at the wrong time". NONSENSE!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  134. John McAdamis

    The fault in the rape case in Richmond lies with the parents of the boys (men) that commited the offense. These are not men but rather boys. The parents should be named and held accountable. I am a fifty year old man and know from experience that one is not a man at nineteen. The internet is not the culprit. That is reserved for lack of propper parenthood.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  135. John D

    My question is, do we not remember the KKK...? As an american
    past the age of 50, I can remember seeing pictures of the KKK all
    standing around watching fellow citizens hang other american
    citizens because of the color of their skin. So this is not a new
    phenomenon... it's a condition of the heart. Modern though it ma
    be, it's still socialized degredation of one, or many over powering
    the weaker. Our society is condoning to many perverted notions
    of what society should be free to do, say and be...even to it's own
    demise, which begans with the destruction of our youth. Any things
    normal if you believe it to be. So what's right, or wrong is now
    irrelevant, just do your own thang, create your own moral compass.
    And who can overrule one act of wickedness over another.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  136. Mike Murphy

    Some 41% of Children in the USA are born to single mothers who were never married and this is a growing trend. in addition 84% of physical custody is given to single moms in the USA and over 90% in Canada.

    Children in fatherless homes are far more prone to negative social outcomes than would be the case if they were able to stay in the child's life. Society has adopted the mantra that fathers are disposable or unnecessary except as sperm donors or wallets as a source of funding for single mother homes.

    Here is a small sample with sources you should keep in mind when trying to analyze these kinds of horrid crimes but in a gang culture it will not be viewed in the same manner as you or I. In addition examine how many gang members are looking for role models because they never had a dad or have been cast off by our family law or social mores that feminist culture has presided over since the 70's – that being women are empowered and can have it all and don't need men. Children do, however.

    37.8% of single mothers are divorced, 41% never married, and only 6.5% widows.
    Brookings Institute, “Assessing the Impact of Welfare Reform on Single Mothers”, Part 2, 3/22/04

    “The strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison, is that they were raised by a single parent”.
    C.C. Harper and S.S. McLanahan, “Father Absence and Youth Incarceration”, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Assoc., San Francisco, CA, 1998

    In 1996, 70% of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long sentences, were raised by single mothers. Wade Horn, “Why There Is No Substitute For Parents”, IMPRIMIS 26, NO.6, June, 1997

    72% of juvenile murderers, and 60% of rapists came from single mother homes.
    Chuck Colson, “How Shall We Live?” Tyndale House , 2004, p.323

    63% of all youth suicides, 70% of all teen pregnancies, 71% of all adolescent chemical/substance abusers, 80% of all prison inmates, and 90% of all homeless and runaway children came from single mother homes.
    Bob Ray Sanders, “Hey Y’all, Let’s Fill The Hall (Of Fame), Ft. Worth Star Telegram, Oct.28,2007
    Mona Charen, “More Good News Than Bad?”, Washington Times, Mar.16, 2001 (citing Bill Bennett, “The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators: American society at the end of the 20th Century., New York, Broadway Books, 1994)

    There is much, much more and this is not a condemnation of all single mothers but it is statistically relevant, there is a correlation, and it is too consistent over time to deny causation.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  137. Paul

    Hi, It is not our responsibility that we can teach our girls not go alone out of the group and drink beer and smike pots. I think she created problems by her self and 100s girls do around the clock same thing. She should not leave from room with 10 gang boys and she doesn't even knows all. Also girls when leaving home, need to know how to put cloths on.
    pd

    October 31, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  138. Brian

    Unfortunately part of it is a cultural issue. When you have black people passing out "don't be a snitch" tee-shirts in Harlem there's a big problem.
    I'm also amazed at the panel because no one has brought up the brutal beating recently in Chicago where the same thing happened, a bunch of people doing the beating and a bunch watching and doing nothing to stop it.
    If these punks aren't learning that this is wrong from their parents the sure aren't going to stop because of a class at school.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  139. Miriam from Philly

    Is there a connection here with the recent beating death of a school student, that was even videotaped by a witness?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  140. Christopher

    These by-standards are very sad people that we have to live with everyday.

    I know for me i would indeed try to help at all cost but i am on the other side of usa.

    We can't stop crime but we need to report things more. People are afarid this group might hunt them down and hurt them.

    Being 22 years old male I am very protect of my family and friends or anyone for that matter, also i been bullied in school cause i have a certin issue with my spelling and grammar and it continues online on message boards.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  141. Buck

    Also, I would reccomend looking at a few of the video games up standing communities. I am with a group called "Tactical Gaming". It is a community of around 2000 members who follow a set of ethics online on video games. Along with this we are a supporting community that holds donation drives, spreads the words of humanitarian organizations, and even offers personal help to one another in times of need. I know this is very off topic and has little to do with this argument, but please, just take a closer look at this community. It isnt a bad one.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  142. debbie

    Families have been torn apart by the need for both parents to work, sometimes multiple jobs. This keeps the parents out of the home. We need to address the ecomomic problems that contribute to need for the kids to find an alternate "family" structure.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  143. Christopher

    Adults did fail to do there job but there not the only ones police replay on citizens to report things.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  144. mary annas

    it is difficult to teach children to "trust police" when the police often react with racism and violence–i would rather closer surveillance by teachers and parents–i'll bet the next 100 dances in the usa public schools will be watched carefully–

    October 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  145. Barbara

    One piece of information that I heard was that she left the party to go meet her father for her ride home and got side tracked by two men. Where, then, was her father for the 2 1/2 hours she was being beaten and raped? As the parent of a 17 year old daughter, and stepparent of two pre-teen daughters, I would have been out of my car and looking for my daughter after she became 20 minutes late to meet me.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  146. david richardson

    What can be surmised, or assumed about the parent(s) of the perpetraters and bystanders? Should the parents of the offenders be held responsible?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  147. John

    I am 15 and I know that none of my friends would have stood by and let anyone get gang raped. This is so awfull I hope the victim gets better fast.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  148. Gaye

    This is nothing short of a hate crime and I'd like to see those charges applied to the perpetrators as well.

    As far as the witnesses are concerned, they were not silent: they cheered and hooted. They took pictures with their cell phones.

    They were involved in the crime. We need to look at what our culture is teaching our boys. Girls and women are objectified in movies, TV, music, pornography. They are not treated like they are human beings. These boys and men didn't treat that girl like she was a human being either. That's no coincidence!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  149. Travis

    This story hits hard i dont understand how anyone can be sick and twisted enough to just watch and the people doing it to the girl just erks me that we live in such a society that has such horrible surroundings i mean i myself am a teen living in west virgina and stuff like this just scares me so sick so horrible so wrong just makes me sick and i feel so so so sorry for the victum of this just i cant stress the sickness of this enough crime

    October 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  150. monica

    maybe some people or just bad. why cant we accept this..we wonder where our children get their level of acceptance from..well look at our laws and sentencing policies...what do we do with sex offenders less than given for robbery...then we put back into our communities to strike again...go figure!!!!!

    October 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  151. Donna Greemore

    This horror has occured before and long ago, our school had students line up and walk slowly toward each other and look directly in their eyes and stop and tell each other that they respect them – and themselves – and they will never harm them or allow others to harm them. Many young people have grown away from their dysfunctional families, they need guidance from people who show them the errors of their ways – and they MUST be taught SOMEWHERE – school or special needs schools to make this behavior stop with the age groups that are so problematic. PARENTS should be liable for the behavior of their children – OR they will go to "Family jail" with their children and they will be taught – both the children and the parent or parents – that they cannot behave as they have in the past.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  152. Scott

    I really think that all of you are missing the point here about these young men. This problem is a by-product of our national system that perpetuates and lock up ordinary fathers in this nation because of the reports by women. Their are young men out there who are seeing fathers being destroyed by false claims against women.

    Your panel is not addressing the real issue here. And the first thing that our political society wants to do is to lock every minority youth up in jails and prisons. This is not the answer.

    Thanks,

    Scotty

    October 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  153. Tari Torch Sweeney

    I don't think that parents are totally at fault for these behaviors. It is a societal thing, and a peer/societal issue. It is, to some extent, a gang mentality. On person begins, others follow. But what is as terrifying is the fact that all those kids "watched". This could have happened in Shaker Heights, OH, or any other upscale suburb. It's not only happening in Richmond with its specific pockets of problems. There are SO many problems with what happened here: teenagers, drinking, marijuana, gang mentality, societal "norms", values, parents, you name it. It defies credibilty. This will pass, people will forget, and nothing will be resolved. And this little girl will have to pick up the pieces of her life....if there is one left for her, frankly. Being gang-raped, assaulted, and beaten for over 2.5 hours is beyond comprehension. i only hope she is somewhere in her head until she can finally face it ,and talk about it to someone. And her family? I just cannot even imagine this scenario.

    This is prevalent across the country. This is more a "norm" than you want to believe, too. Girls are being preyed upon in the worse possible ways. I know two kids here in my hometown that this happened to. They absolutely refused to report it or report anyone for the abuse. Do you know how many girls DON'T report it?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  154. Hardy Griffis

    Those people(animals) who stood there and watched that girl being raped should ABSOLUTELY be charged. They are NOT INNOCENT bystanders. If not this justice system is DYSFUNCTIONAL.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  155. Ellie

    I know from personal experience that in high school rape is often not taken seriously. When I was assaulted 9 years ago as a teenager I was stigmatized in high school. violence, too, was commonplace inside the school itself. security guards @ the school participated and protected certain groups of people.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  156. Bret from Seattle

    I am having a hard time understanding why this is trying to be validated and "figured out" These "teenagers" are criminals. All of them. One person getting on their cell phone dialing 911, reporting what was going on and letting everyone know the "popo" was on the way would've likely ...stopped what was going on and perhaps prevented it. How the "bystanders" aren't able to be charged is beyond me. If someone were to standby while a murder were being committed, would that not be a crime? Is this not at the very least some form of obstruction of justice?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  157. Jeffrey jones cincinnati

    IT'S TIME WE HOLD THE PARENTS RESPONSIBLE LIKE THE OLD DAYS !!!!!!! Your child does something wrong you can go to jail. Make the parent have to explain themselves as to why and how there child did this. Put parents on the chopping block I think we will see a change.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  158. Julie

    We have lost our values, raising children with strong values and believes is tough work...so many parents and adults choose to overlook wrongs everyday.
    I see a small child acting out at a store and speak up, you get scolded by the parent. Parents defend bad behaviour instead of giving their children consequences for their actions. It starts at a young age and then we seem surprised how they suddenly turn out to be bad teens.
    Get real parents, what you allow and even defend bad behaviour what do you expect the results will be???
    It's time to discipline children, of all ages.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  159. Joan

    what happened to the father that was to pick up his dauthter, when she was not there, did he go looking for her? Why didn't his concern allert someone to start to look for her????/

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  160. Kim Bettencourt

    I think CNN and it's guest are generalizing too much on this issue. They need to look into the dynamics of the area. My siblings and I, for the most part, were raised in Richmond and went to schools in the area many years ago when public schools were quite different. I think what you need to focus on are the particular dynamics of the Richmond area which are poverty, crime, drugs and an overall lack of money for the public schools. For most of the school age childred who live in the area whose parents have the means pay for it go to private schools. There is a racial/socio-econonomic imbalance with the private schools verses the public schools.This leaves the public schools with a majority of children from lower income and impoverished household who live in crime infested neighborhoods where drugs and violence can play a major part in their childhoods. Richmond is an area where there is a drug culture and a great deal of poverty and crime including gang activities. I think you should focus on the area and not generalize.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  161. Miriam from Philly

    Internet porn is too pervasive. Having it available to "mature" adults is the argument. But who makes the call as to who is mature and who isn't? It's a first amendment right, but just because we can doesn't mean that we should. The Free Speech right has been stretched too far and changed to freedom of expression, whatever that is.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  162. Paul

    Having about 15 people watching a poor soul go through that horrible event is unimaginable. If one of those witnesses get raped, then I wonder how that girl felt. Karma can come back and bite you hard; that's all I have to say.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  163. Judy Buchman

    Viewing of the film "The Accused" with Jodie Foster (1988) should be mandatory for high school students. Perhaps such crimes can be prevented in the future.

    Additionally, security and surveillance cameras should be upgraded for all school events.

    This is a shocking crime and all involved should be brought to justice.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  164. Desmond

    I think we are overlooking one key fact, that the girl was drinking and took herself in harms way. Women need to learn not to put their selves in the lions den

    October 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  165. Theron

    I don't think the bystanders should be charged. If there are 10 people violating another person,it wouldnt be smart for 1 person to intervene.Because they may get beat up also,if not killed.I remember a few years back there was a traffic accident between two cars on Linden boulevard, 1 car had 4 people,the other had 1 person. Everybody got out of their vehicles.Then the 4 guys got out of their vehicle and started to beat down this 1 guy. My neighbor saw the whole thing,I dont think that he should be charged,because what if those guys had guns,I mean this is Brooklyn, you never know what could've happened. Many feel that if you mind your business, that you will be safe

    October 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  166. Michelle

    The gang members who committed this crime should spend the rest of their lives in jail. Parents need to take responsibility for thier children. It's starts when they are very young not when they are in high school. The school board should be ashamed of themselves for not providing better security in an environment that they knew was already dangerous.

    October 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  167. Nikki Calkin

    What did the victim's father do when his daughter did not show up to be picked up from the dance as arranged? Was this true? I would think that he would have done something pro-active during this 2-3 hour time period that would have alerted authorities. Any word on this?

    October 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  168. ellenbetty

    What social value. When dishonest people like Bush Jr are reelected instead of put in prison, why are we surprised that gang members have no fear of punishment. When tax payers money is wasted on unjust wars and useless trips to Mars, the schools and the police, and the general public, pay the price. These gang members had crime records. Why are they out on the street? why did they not get much longer time in prison for being gang members who have committed? lack of funding to keep these criminals in prison long enough to send a clear message. do the crime max sentence, no early release.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  169. Bsnightsky

    Hello

    Everywhere, EVERY WHERE women are depicted as sex objects. Look at our advertising and our TV program characters. It is not the web on the whole. Clothing, makeup, music, relationships, the "heroes" and "heroines" of our youth are depicted sexually earlier and earlier. This does not surprise me. Women are still just objects for sex and toys for men. The double standard still lives and rules. The whole country should be ashamed of itself. This is the result.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  170. AH

    I see now that "experts" are engaged in talking about how these
    "adolescents" come from bad homes, and have problems.

    But if this had been a situation where 10-20 white boys had brutally raped an african american woman or a hispanic woman, there would be a much, much different spin on this-and many more voices and organizations weighing in on it.

    And the president just sigend a hate crimes bill...how ironic. Women are not covered.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  171. Steve

    This brings back lots of hurt in my home. My wife was gang raped at the age of 16 in a High School classroom – caught in the hall, dragged into an empty room, tied up, gagged and gang raped – 34 years ago. It's still a secret – her crime was saying no to a date request. Don't be so surprised, it's been happening for many years. I hope this young woman gets the help and justice she deserves. Send a message to those who'll say "boys will be boys".

    October 31, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  172. Colber

    Why are we surprised schools’ budgets across the nation have been cut?

    October 31, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  173. John

    The media appears to not be be telling the whole story behind this gang rape. Was there gang affiliation? Where were the girl's friends? Why were bystanders taunting her?

    October 31, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  174. Laura

    I think adults need to step back and look at the example they set for the youth in our country. Adolescence is a hard phase of life to go through and if you are not given any example of what good morals and behavior looks like and all you see is adults making excuses for bad behavior what do you expect will happen. Everyone just wants to lock people up and expect that to solve the problem. Commercialism and celebrity culture has taken over our country. Education and doing the right thing is considered weak and lame. I hear my own children use these terms in reference to doing good. Law makers pass law after law and people just find ways to get around them. We need to make more programs available in the schools and help teachers battle the violent culture. Parents need to get involved and quit passing the buck.
    L

    October 31, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  175. Julie

    Since when did it become IF you should do the right thing. What happened to you do the right thing without even thinking because it is the right thing.

    I really don't care what name you might be called or even if you must defend yourself, let's get real, when you have to stop to think about this consequences you've already gone over to the dark side.

    I have all always done the right thing, even if it has cost me friends, or jobs. My values are not so shallow that I will sell them and myself.

    Lets get real folks you cannot defend anyone who stood by.
    If you need to defend then you need some soul searching to do.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  176. darlene c hill

    This was an terrible crime , but in the fifties Kitty Gerverse was stabbed as on lookers watched there was now internet utube, and people did not help she died.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  177. virginia antle

    A young woman who worked for a private security firm in Iraq was gang raped by her coworkers. She was not allowed to take them to court because her contract mandated arbitration. Al Franken brought a bill to Congress to allow her to have her day in court. 30 republican representatives voted against it.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  178. kevin lewis

    I feel that anybody that would stand by and watch such an act is wrong for not stepping in or calling the police. However to make it a criminal act to not report a crime in progress or to give info about a crime that has been commited is over stepping the bounds. Lets go all out and charge there parents for rearing such deliquint children......Well thats what will be next if we let big brother drive down this road into our lifes. Furthermore if laws were in place I dont beleive it would have provented this event from taking place... there just would have been more arrest. I personally dont want to pay some ones room and board as a tax payer... for simply watching a crime....lets address the real issue here ...PARENTING!!!!!

    October 31, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  179. Tony

    "These are also children witnessing a serious sexual assault for the first time. Has anyone proposed getting the child bystanders counseling?"

    I agree Joel. It seems outrageous for the bystanders to be charged on account of not helping. Years ago, I learned to shout "fire" if someone ever tried to kidnap me, because it was a known fact people wouldn't help if I shouted I was being kidnapped.

    Would you charge a mother and ten year old girl who witness a kidnapping in their local park but chose not to report it for their own safety? What about a man filling his gas tank and driving off for his own safety when armed robbers appear in the gas station?

    Teenagers today, along with many adults, would be shocked if this occurred near them. IF they were able to think straight, many would fear for their own lives first, let alone the life of the one person being attacked.

    Is it right?, no, but it is human nature. The security should have intervened, but then again, they should have taken action as soon as they heard about a group of older people outside the school.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  180. Valerie

    why is the use of alcohol and possibly other illegal behavior not part of this conversation? I heard that the victim left the dance with a friend went to the back of the school after the offer of alcohol...what is going on with this part of the story?

    valerie

    October 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  181. Tommy Baughman

    Fred, Tammy looked shocked and appalled at the close of today's broadcast and her face told the story of how our youth looks at what the adults in their lives say when they have foreknowledge of their past reality. If a prior violent act has occurred, then there should be criminal charges filed against the entire schoolboard, appropriate faculty and staff. I believe I heard "Mr. Schoolboard" call her "Candy" during his closing statement at the end of the broadcast. If he did, then, before all to see, he proved he cares little of those under his charge with the demonstrated disrespect to not even commit her name to memory (at least for the purpose of the interview). Did he think this was just another photo-op? Not only should everyone bear the consequences of their actions in remaining silent or refusing to otherwise stop the brutal attack, the parent of every minor involved should have to share their cell. Talk about a bonding opportunity!

    October 31, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  182. Mike of Maryland

    Of course those found guilty of commiting the crime or being an accessory to the crime should be punished under the law.
    The bystanders should not be jailed though their actions were deplorable. We have too many sick people in jail as it is. Their actions are more of a sickness than a crime.
    We are facing a worldwide epidemic of where those with evil intent try to use force to intimidate the public. Examples are the Taliban in Afghanistan, Al-Queda in Pakistan, and the Drug Lords in South America and parts of our own country. Our strategy to combat this epidemic are in disconnect. Overseas we try to use incentives to combat this menace to society. While stateside we just want to lock everybody up.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  183. Jennifer

    Everyone wants someone to blame when something this awful is done to an innocent person, but let us take a step back and look at the real issue. The real issue is not people watching 10 boys victimizing a single girl. The real issue is that these boys even came up with the idea to do this henious act is evidence of the total objectification and disrespect of girls and females in general in our society.

    If someone tried to help or called police or 911 may have shortened the length of this crime, but it would not have stopped this crime from happening. Though personally I think I would have done something to try to stop this crime and call officials to help, the real issue is not that the kids/bystanders who witnessed the crime didn't step in, but rather the complete disregard for human life and in particular young girls.

    The norm in our society is to see half naked women every where we look, on prime time television, almost every single movie, enormous billboards and advertisements. Porn is easier and cheaper to get than candy. We are all silent witnesses to this tragic reality that objectifies women and it has become evident that our children and each other do not care for people and respect people as much as before this was the norm in our society.

    I would urge every parent, mother, father, wife and husband to look at what is being forced into our children's minds and our minds through what seems like harmless entertainment by way of very wealthy businesses such as the Porn Industry, Network television and the Movie Industry. Decide as parents and families what you value and what you accept as valuable forms of entertainment, rather than letting these powerful industries decide for you and result in acts such as the Gang Rape at Richmond High School becoming the norm.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  184. Richana

    I agree this is a tragic situation. I really wonder if situations like these are from the fact that many do not trust there law enforcement officials. I have always felt that this is consequences of actual things that certain racial groups have dealt with in the past. Imagine all the young me who watched there mothers, sisters, grandparents and well as other loved ones raped as kids where no one did anything. And to this day this affects them which continues the cycle, beause in there mind is it wrong? When it was done then no one cared.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  185. Sam

    A footnote: I'm sure the national media would have gotten it in lightning-speed if it was a group of White men who had raped a Black woman. That would have been the only issue. Sharpton and Jackson would have been beating the drums of racial hatred. Now, with the situation reversed, where are they? Where is the national media on this? Answer: hiding in the closet.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  186. Becky

    I just watched your broadcast and heard several times that we have to get programs into the school about bullying, respect. etc. I agree, but I also know that teachers are not valued by teaching values. There is not enough time to teach values when we are judged by test scores. This made me so angry!

    October 31, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  187. Nathaniel Robinson

    I am a former teacher, retired Parole Agent that has taught at Richmond High School. One of the problems is their is a prevalent attitude in the school.The students don't report crimes in their school revolves around the attitude that , "snitches get stitches. " Meaning that if you inform on someone you or you family will be harmed. What you have to do is change the culture of the school in regard to reporting crimes or incidents.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  188. josephine miller

    If I were the parents of the bystanders I would be ashame of them. If witness do not come forward they are enpowering these gangs and crimes. Next time it could be one of their children.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  189. Theron

    I think maybe the bystanders felt that they might get beat up if they tried to stop it. I do think they should've went to get help,but it seems like some of them viewed this as entertainment ,which is sad.It shows a lack of respect for women.Many wont intervene if they don't know the person. Its easy for some bloggers who have never been in that situation to say that bystanders should be charged,but its not that easy to intervene if there are multiple attackers. I remember i was waiting at a bus stop and a fight broke outacross the street from the bus stop,where like 7 guys were jumping this 1 guy,I just watched,I didnt intervene,should I be charged?This isnt a movie ,1 guy cant beat 7 guys in real life.At the end of the day we need to teach our kids better,alot of this starts in the home, but people have to be responsible for the decisions they make.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  190. monica

    please dont use anymore of my tax dollars giving entitlements to those that prey on our communities...everyone can not be saved by throwing money or all the talking in the world..throw them all in with themselves and keep them there until they rot..only then can our children and grandchildren have a future in this country that will have anymore hope than those of third world countries we so want to reform to democratic

    October 31, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  191. Thomas

    I believe all parties involved and bystanders are complicit in the rape of this girl. As a Police Officer and a citizen as well, you can't tell me none of the kids standing by watching this happen could not have walked away for even a minute or two to call 911, just about every kid has a cell phone, they are attached to there bodys nowadays. I don't care if you believe there was "peer presure" that is just a copout, obviously our society has hardened these children to where they can't even have the most basic of human qualities, care and compassion. The bottom line is they just didn't care, they didn't do anything to stop the assailants actions and even cheered them on. They are just as guilty as the perpetrators. Some of the people on your panel tonight are just way out of line, coddling criminals will only breed more criminals.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  192. clay

    In Richmond like many/most cities with gang influenced young adults and children there is one hard rule. DON'T SNITCH! Snithches get stitches. Song lyrics and t-shirts reinforce this and gang bangers make sure the message gets delivered. Deal with gangs and quit being soft on juvenile crime.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  193. Gwen

    A lot of American kids are given a lot of material things, but too little moral and ethical education.
    They are full of themselves. They don't respect others and bare no responsibilities, yet deeply insecure.
    I have seen so many American kids are even very rude to their own parent(s). A lot of them are not grateful, very selfish. It is all about Me, Me, Me. It is happening not only in America.
    America kids can not be punished by anybody. Parents go to jail if they spank their kid (sometimes lose custody). There were parents went to jail because kids lied about being abused.
    Kids needs uplifting spiritually.
    Kids are like dogs, have animal instinct. They can sense exactly know is the boss. They will not change bad behavior if their hearts are not touched or until they are hurt themselves.
    In China, people's basic believe is Confusious' central believe: If you don't want something happen to yourselves, don't do it to others.
    Kids, even adults, should not be exposed to violent entertainment just like they should not be exposed to sexual content.
    There are so many double standard among a lot of people.
    Too many know what to say (lie) much more than the right things to do.

    October 31, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  194. Charlene Keener

    Where was this girl's father that was suposed to pick her up at 9:00??

    October 31, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  195. chillchill

    well the only thing that might get through to our rebellious youth is an approach that they can relate to, snitching has already been labeled as uncool so now we come up with a snitch code of conduct which would list the various must snitch incidents such as violent crimes, sexual assaults etc. yes a SNITCH CODE OF CONDUCT violators will be posted on twitter or facebook

    October 31, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  196. Tiffany

    Castration and deportation of all individuals involved. I sincerely believe that the citizenship status of each of those people who both participated in the rape and watched the rape should be checked.

    If they are illegal their punishment here in the US should be castration and then deport them to their parents country of origin at the cost and expense of their parents. Their actions have shown us that they have no intention of improving their economic, social, mental or physical status, which is why most immigrants (legal and illegal alike) claim to come to this country. We should castrate them to ensure that they won't do the same thing in their new country. Send a clear message, we do not want criminals in this country or in our communities period. Enough is enough already!

    October 31, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  197. Darlene

    It is easy for one to blame the parenting skills for this kind of behaviour, or violance seen on TV. What about one taking responibilty for our decisions? Our legal system just slaps the hands of juveniles, and when they become adults they are even given several chances before they ever do time for their crime. Why do you think we have so many sex offenders living in our neighborhoods?
    I say all the onlookers should get the same punishment, as the offenders. Which I am sure won't be enough punishment for the crime they did.

    October 31, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  198. Jay Senter

    As horrible as this act was, why do people find it strange when people act like animals when it's all they're taught. The foundering fathers and others predicted a breakdown of society when the laws of God are rejected/ignored. "What is liberty without virtue? Iti i the greatest of all possible evils ... madness without restraint. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. (Edmund Burke) The God who holds the destiny of nations will only be mocked so long before He lets the hedge of protection down that has surrounded the US so long. As individuals and as a people, we need to repent and cry out to God for mercy - maybe He will yet restore righteousness to this nation (but, it doesn't look good, does it?)

    October 31, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  199. Jeff

    Rape is not about sexual gratifcation. It is an act of power and control. Rape is a symptom of our patriarchial, gender biased society we live in.
    As a society, we must engage men by beginning dialogues and skill building sessions around encouraging healthy masculinities. We must raise the expectations of men and ignore the urge to say of saying "boys will be boys."
    Crime reports and law enforcement statistics will validate this horrific act and multiple others as men's violence against women, children and men. These gender based crimes are a violation of basic human rights.

    October 31, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  200. Jeff

    How is it that CNN can gather a group of " experts" and omit the presence of a sexual violence advocate, violence prevention expert or sexual assault response team member? A Gang Violence prevention expert, psychologist and a lawyer are not reflective of the efforts that are underway across the globe.
    There are currently Men of Strength (M.O.S.T)clubs in 8 cities in Califonia that engage young men in a violence prevention setting. These groups strive to promote a healthy masculinity and encourage empathy.
    Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is a national organization engaging college athletes as potential empowered bystanders.

    October 31, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  201. truth4clarity

    There is a 800 pound gorilla in the room and it appears that the press and our communities are ignoring this. When I was an educator we use to discuss how each year the youth were getting worse in behavior and respect for themselves and others. What was happening, single motherhood and absentee fathers. The Govt can change this, the schools cannot change this only those responsible for this situation. When we use the term single moms, what are you saying? A divorced mother with a father involved but not in the home or an unwed mother who possibly has had multiple births by multiple men. When we start discussing the epidemic we might be able to address the situation. It is out of control and it is not getting much better. Responsible parenting is important. If women (teens and adults) lack the intellect to plan their families with a mutual partner (soul mate, husband, or???), then men should start caring about who has their children. No love and excuses is what is the culprit of this type of behavior and resentment towards Mothers, because most children blame their mothers for not having a father in the home.

    October 31, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  202. Sam

    Question: what would this crime be called if it was a Black girl who was gang-raped by a group of White men? Answer: a racist, hate-crime. Why isn't it called that in this case? I haven't even heard race brought into the discussion...not once. What would Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson call it if it was a gang of Whites raping a Black girl? When you're looking for answers, have the courage to ask the right questions.

    November 1, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  203. Linda Henderson

    Anyone voting no or maybe do not have children or lack compassion. Maybe they should be asked 'what if that happened to your mother'?

    November 1, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  204. monica

    GOOD JOB SAM!!!!!!maybe only me and you but it is a start..

    November 1, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  205. Stan

    Richana. You have got to be out of your mind! You truly believe every child watches his mother get raped and therefore he does not trust law enforcement? Not trusting law enforcement, even if true, is a cop out. Any rape is a crime of violence and cannot be tolerated in our society. And hanging around the crime scene without making a 9-1-1 call makes a person complicit in the crime. It does not matter if a person has a rough upbringing. A crime is a crime.

    November 1, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  206. doc gordon

    the number of comments here that focus not on the victim or the stated question (should spectators be held responsible) but rather on thinly-veiled "race-card{" talking points suggests that, to those commenters, the crime is no more or less than a vehicle for their political agendas - and of course the inclusion of the Jackson/Sharpton meme further suggests precisely what that agenda is.

    shame on your hypocrisy! and take your sad false outrage to Fox New Online, where it belongs and will no doubt be rewarded by like-minded dittoheads!

    my heart goes out to the victim, NOT your veiled racism.

    November 1, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  207. AH

    Stan I agree with you. I brought this up already:

    If this had been an African-American or Hispanic girl, and 10 to 20 white men, there would be much more coverage, and all kinds of
    civil rights leaders would be calling for action of a different sort.

    The media would not be discussing the difficult lives of the rapists, societal blame, the need for security or anything else.

    Why the double standard?

    November 1, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  208. Stan

    We are not talking about a mom and child witnessing a robbery in the park here, where the crime happens and is over. We are discussing a prolonged event of more than 2 hours, during which witnesses watched and some apparently participated in the rape, and nobody bothered to call 9-1-1. When you consider a crime as entertainment, your passivity gives permission for the crime to continue and is therefore, at least in my eyes, a crime in an of itself. It seems incomprehensible that someone can be assaulted for more than 2 hours without intervention. No excuses! Those bystanders ARE culpable!

    November 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  209. John

    I really have no idea why there is a debate hear...black, white, blue, yellow, or purple someone should have done something. those who were just standing there are just as guilty as the perpetrators. they didn't evan need to physically step in they could have called the cops or alerted one of the security officers on the campus. anyone of those boys standing around watching could have done any number of things that would have saved that girl from hours of pain and torment, that might have scared her for a life time. and the bottom line is they should have.
    If we now live in a society where the first thing you think of is yourself and not the well being of a Girl being gang raped well then i have no idea whats wrong with us.
    as i said before I hope the victim recovers quickly and fully

    November 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  210. Theron

    I disagree with Jeff, I think rape is about sexual gratification.I think the only time it is about power and control is when the victim is kidnapped and held captive for a period of time.Say for instance the guy at a club who slips a drug into a woman's drink,he then brings her back to a hotel or wherever,and then he has sex with her,he isnt doing that for power,he's doing that for sexual gratification.Its the same thing when a jogger is assaulted in the park and then is raped and murdered. The only difference, is that one method is non-violent and the other method is violent. But what they both have in common is that in both cases, the women are sexually assaulted.That is the common denominator.But whatever the reason it is extremely horrific. I have a little girl, so this case will make me think twice about where I let my little girl go when she gets older.But she'll know that if daddy says no,that he'll have a good reason

    November 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  211. Debra Cole

    I'm a former school teacher and worked in some tough schools for 9 years before leaving the profession. There are several components I want to address. First, school officials failed to keep this place safe. They obviously have allowed certain behaviors to go on for something of this level to occur. You never let kids leave a dance without seeing who is picking them up. You never allow anyone to come on campus who is not a student or parent. This girl's family should sue the school system for not protecting her. Also, the lack of empathy for this girl is sickening. However, this kind of problem can't be addressed by law. It has to be addressed through comprehensive character education. Schools should not have to spend time on values. That's the job of parents. But it's unfortunate that many parents and members of the community aren't doing their job. Yes neighbors also have a responsibility to tell parents that their kids make trouble for the neighborhood. But so many schools have no consequences for bad behavior. And so they let little things like stealing, disrespect, and telling lies get by, only for it escalate into violence.

    November 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  212. Ej

    If the United States law enforcement leaders decided to keep the thousands of sex predictors, child rapist and child sexual abusers not to mention the valiant criminals in jail, in custody and off the street and from living around kids and schools we might not have as many children rape killed and butchered.
    I guess the US Government doesn't want them to be treated like that and our children aren't worth it?? because if they didn't they would confine all convicted rapist or sex predator for life so they wouldn't have access to our children.
    Well I guess until the kid of the US Government officials and congressman get raped and butchered this will keep happening...............

    November 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm |