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Teen, 19, Gets 27 Years for Richmond High Gang Rape

Abdullah Morales, 19 of San Pablo, was sentenced to 27 years in prison Friday for his role at age 16 in the brutal gang rape of 16-year-old girl. Morales, who pled guilty, is the second of six defendants in to be sentenced.

By Bay City News Service

MARTINEZ – A 19-year-old San Pablo man was sentenced to 27 years in prison Friday for his role in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl outside of a homecoming dance at Richmond High School in 2009.

Ari Abdullah Morales was sentenced Friday morning in Martinez after he accepted a plea deal last year with the district attorney's office in exchange for guilty pleas to charges of rape in concert, penetration with a foreign object and forced oral copulation in concert.

Without the agreement, Morales would have received a life sentence without the possibility of parole, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga said.

"I think you're aware that what happened that night, and what you did and what you failed to do in getting help for the victim...is almost inconceivable...she was so dehumanized," the judge told the defendant Friday morning.

According to police, Morales, then 16, penetrated the victim with a foreign object and stood by while she was beaten and raped by accomplices in a darkened courtyard at Richmond High the night of Oct. 24, 2009.

In court Friday morning, the defendant's parents and sister spoke in support of Morales, saying that he has been a good son and brother.

"I know he is very sorry for what happened, he wouldn't harm a soul," Maria Morales, the defendant's sister, told the court. "Nothing is the same without him, he was the glue to our family."

In a rare move, the judge granted the family's request to hug Morales before he was led out of the courtroom this morning.

Morales will be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, who did not attend the sentencing.

The teen is the second of six defendants who has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the gang rape – a brutal crime that shocked the community and drew national attention.

A co-defendant, 22-year-old Manuel Ortega of Richmond, is now serving a 32-year prison sentence after taking a similar plea deal in which he admitted to raping and beating the victim.

Two other co-defendants, Richmond man Jose Carlos Montano, 22, and Marcelles Peter of Pinole, 20, are set to face trial later this month, Senior Deputy District Attorney John Cope said.

A trial date has not been set for the remaining two defendants, 25-year-old Elvis Josue Torrentes and John Crane, Jr., 46, both from Richmond.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. – Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Marvin January 12, 2013 at 03:42 AM
They should have offered him freedom if he was willing to cut off his own genitals.
Diane R January 12, 2013 at 06:33 PM
These plea deals make me sick - he should have received a life sentence - probably will be out on the street again in a year or so for "good behavior" in prison. The other one sentenced got a sweet plea deal too. Who says crime doesn't pay??
Janet Scrivener January 12, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Amazing the levels of denial that families of perpetrators can achieve. "I know he is very sorry for what happened, he wouldn't harm a soul." Quote from defendent's sister. What part of "rape, penetration with a foreign object, standing by while the victim was raped and beaten by others" is unclear? Sickening.
Susan January 14, 2013 at 05:48 PM
realistically, they both will probably get their time reduced in half or close to it. No, they will not be out in a year. Probably no penalty is enough, but if their time is reduced by 50% it is still 14 years at least.
Adam Henry January 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Perhaps the Patch could stop referring to 19 year old criminals as "teens". He is an adult. Teen makes him sound so tame and so innocent. I'm sure his family members love that, but let's be realistic.
Karen Whittle January 19, 2013 at 11:59 PM
No. While that would keep him from raping anyone, it wouldn't keep him from standing by and watching while a person is victimized. So prison is just the right place for this guy.
Karen Whittle January 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM
The victim and her family agreed to the plea deal, and so the sentence is just.
Karen Whittle January 20, 2013 at 12:02 AM
A nineteen year old is in fact a teen by definition, and he was a teen when he committed the crime. It doesn't make him sound "innocent" in anyway, but it does make one wonder how someone becomes so evil at such a young age.
Nyko H. March 26, 2013 at 05:10 PM
"...he wouldn't harm a soul." WOW, so what does this make this girl?? Goes to show how the victim's are no longer the victim anymore. Now we're supposed to feel sorry for him?? I just don't get it.

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