Target: Prosecutor John Cope
Goal: Thank Prosecutor Cope for convicting brutal gang rapists
In 2009, the San Francisco Bay Area was rocked when, in neighboring Richmond, a 15-year-old girl was viciously raped on her high school campus during the Homecoming Dance. This was one of the worst cases of rape in American history, as the victim was beaten, robbed, and continually raped for almost three hours by several men. All of this occurred while dozens of bystanders watched and did nothing to intervene or inform the police. In the aftermath of the brutal attack, the victim was found, unconscious and barely alive, under a school lunch table and was air-lifted to the hospital.
Recently, the case has again come into the limelight as two men—Marcellus Peter (22 years old) and Jose Montano (20 years old)—have finally been convicted for felony assault and rape in court. While two other rapists/assailants have already pleaded guilty and are serving long sentences for their crimes, the convictions of Peter and Montano are the first that do not include plea bargains; a few accomplices and bystanders have already been acquitted for their crimes, which has led to calls for making it a more serious crime to witness a felony and fail to report it.
There’s no doubt that rape itself is a terrible atrocity to which no person should ever be subjected. What compounds the injustice of rape, however, is the unfair blaming and shaming that rape victims must often face. In this vein, the Richmond gang rape case has drawn notoriety as defense attorneys, defendants, and scum throughout the local community have brought back the familiar claim that the victim brought it upon herself—in this case, for drinking underage. The claims are so fallacious on their face as to not warrant a serious rebuttal; needless to say, having a drink or two while underage does not entail “asking” to be raped, nor does any other conceivable action.
Facing this victim-blaming and culture of silence, prosecutors have managed to at least make some inroads in prosecuting the offenders with the convictions of Marcellus Peter and Jose Montano. Please sign the petition below to thank Prosecutor John Cope for bringing at least some measure of justice for the victim of one of the worst gang rapes in American history.
Dear John Cope,
You have recently convicted two men of felony assault and rape for their atrocious actions in the infamous Richmond gang rape. In one of the worst cases of rape in living memory, several older men raped a high school student while more than two dozen bystanders looked on and did nothing. As the crime tarnished the reputation of the whole community, some locals made things worse by blaming the victim for underage drinking, rather than siding with the victim of brutal assault and rape.
While there are still miles to go in bringing full justice to the victim of this brutal attack, you deserve credit for successfully charging and convicting the thugs who beat and raped this young woman. Thank you for bringing some of her assailants to justice; I hope your office is able to do the same for the rest of the rapists, as well as those who looked on and did nothing.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Henderson Images via Flickr