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4 arraigned in California gang rape case

Nineteen-year-old Manuel Ortega did not enter a plea when he was arraigned Wednesday.
Nineteen-year-old Manuel Ortega did not enter a plea when he was arraigned Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cody Ray Smith pleads not guilty to charges of rape with a foreign object and rape by force
  • Juveniles Ari Abdallah Morales and Marcelles James Peter do not enter pleas
  • Manuel Ortega, 19, appears separately without an attorney, does not enter plea
  • Four are accused of taking part in a 2½-hour gang rape at the school

Richmond, California (CNN) -- Four teenagers were arraigned Thursday on charges connected to the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl on a high school campus after a homecoming dance.

Cody Ray Smith, described by the court as over 14 years old, pleaded not guilty to charges of rape with a foreign object and rape by force.

Two other juveniles, Ari Abdallah Morales and Marcelles James Peter, appeared with Smith at the Contra Costa County Superior Court, but did not enter a plea. The court described Morales as under 16, and did not give an age for Peter.

All three juveniles, who wore bulletproof vests at the hearing, were charged as adults.

A fourth individual, Manuel Ortega, 19, appeared separately without an attorney and did not enter a plea. He did not wear a protective vest.

The four are accused of taking part in what police said was a 2½-hour assault on the Richmond High School campus, in the Richmond community north of Oakland on San Francisco Bay.

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All of those arraigned are due back in court on November 5. Another adult was arrested in connection with the October 24 attack, but has a different court date than the others.

Police said as many as 10 people were involved in the assault in a dimly lit back alley at the school, while another 10 people watched without calling 911.

The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition but was released Wednesday.

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