Two adults and two teenagers were recently charged with the kidnap and gang rape of a 28 year-old woman in Richmond, Calif. last month. The suspects allegedly assaulted the woman as she left her car at 9:30 pm on December 13. According to police the men forced her back into her car, drove several blocks to a vacant apartment complex, and then raped her several times inside and outside the vehicle. Afterward the men drove off in her car, leaving her naked by the apartment building.
Since they are reported to have made disparaging remarks about the victim’s sexual orientation during the assault — she is openly lesbian and her car had a rainbow gay pride sticker — the case will be prosecuted as a hate crime.
While a few same sex marriage advocates are latching onto this story as a dire consequence of the passage of Proposition 8, I find more puzzling the media’s silence on the immigration status of the four suspects. Charged with kidnapping, carjacking, and several sexual assault crimes are Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 31, Josue “Pato” Gonzalez, 21, Darrell Hodges, 16, and a 15 year-old being charged as a minor.
It is possible that the four suspects are legal residents, even American citizens. It’s also possible that they are illegal aliens. We don’t know because the Bay Area media won’t touch the issue. The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News frequently print sympathetic sob stories about poor undocumented workers. Yet the newspapers rarely publish stories that explore negative aspects of illegal immigration.* (A notable exception was last summer; following the senseless murder of a family by a convicted felon, the Chronicle reported on San Francisco’s policy of protecting illegal juvenile felons.) The question is especially relevent since Richmond, like many California communities, has proclaimed itself a “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants.
Are they or aren’t they? The media doesn’t think it matters.
Donations to help the victim pay for relocation expenses can be sent to Community Violence Solutions, 2101 Van Ness St, San Pablo CA 94806. Phone (510) 237-0113 for information.