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Torrentes told police flirting was mutual

on December 3, 2010

Two days after a 16-year-old Richmond High student was raped and beaten by multiple assailants, a detective testified Thursday, she was able to identify the names of some suspects but was often unsure if they were at the scene of the assault.

Richmond police detective Terry Miles testified before Superior Court Judge Gregory Caskey in a preliminary hearing about last October’s assault. Miles said he presented the patient with photos at John Muir hospital in Walnut Creek. From the photos, she confirmed that defendant Cody Smith—a friend of hers since seventh grade—and 22-year-old Salvador Rodriguez of Richmond, were at the area that became the crime scene.

The girl told Miles she considered Smith a friend, but now felt betrayed by him. Miles did not testify as to whether the student remembered anything about the assault.

Richmond detective Eric Haupt’s testimony described his interview with defendant Elvis Torrentes, in which Torrentes said he had mutual flirtatious and physical contact with the student the night of the attack.

Detective Haupt testified that Torrentes said he joined a group of males and a girl sitting at a picnic table at Richmond High School.

Torrentes told detectives that the males in the group included defendants Cody Smith and Manuel Ortega, and two others—Jose Guadalupe and Salvador Rodriguez. When he arrived at the scene, Torrentes told detectives, he introduced himself to the girl—whom he could tell was “wasted”—and shook her hand. He said she made fun of his name, and they engaged in mutual flirting that involved Torrentes touching the girl in sexual ways.

After that, Torrentes told Haupt, the girl got up and he walked with her near the dumpster, where she vomited. He said she fell in the vomit and he tried to help her up, but she screamed and kicked at him, so he walked away.

At that point, Torrentes told police he saw Ortega rip off the girl’s underwear, hearing the tear of the fabric, and then left the scene on a bike with Jose Guadalupe.

As he was leaving the scene, Torrentes said he and Guadalupe ran into “Joe D.,” whom he identified as defendant Jose Montano—named as a participant in the rape—and defendant Marcelles Peter. Torrentes said he told the two guys that there was a “drunk, naked girl” in the back of the school and that Montano and Peter ran to the scene.

Defense attorney Cecily Gray—representing Torrentes—questioned Haupt about her client’s interaction with the student the night of the attack and his language during his interview with detectives.

“Was Mr. Torrentes respectful when talking about the girl and their interaction?” Attorney Gray asked Detective Haupt.

“Absolutely not,” said Haupt. “He should have been a man out there and he wasn’t.”

Gray pointed out that the interview transcript showed that, unlike other defendants, Torrentes never used vulgar terms to describe the student’s body and what happened in the courtyard.

Seven suspects—Cody Ray Smith, 16; Elvis Torrentes, 23; Ari Morales, 17; Marcelles Peter, 18; Jose Montano, 19; Manuel Ortega, 20; and John Crane Jr., 43—face charges ranging from assault and robbery to gang rape and rape with a foreign object.

All except Torrentes face life sentences if convicted.

The preliminary hearing, which determines if there is enough evidence against the defendants to justify a trial, continues Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 at 9 a.m. with the cross-examination of Detective Terry Miles in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez.


  1. Folkwolf101 on December 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    This is sad and depressing. The way it’s starting to look, the whole pack of scum are going to walk free. If all the witnesses, including the victim, are hazey about the details, then good attorneys will exploit that for the so-called Benefit of a doubt.” These brutal statitory rapists should not be set free in society.

    • bsbfankaren on December 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      I am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around the fact that a 23 year old touched an obviously drunk girl in a “sexual way”, left her has his friends began to rape her, then told other’s about what was going on, and stood by as they went to…what, take part, watch…whatever he thought or didn’t care might happen to a human being who he knew could not possibly defend herself! I understand the police feeling that Elvis here should have been a man and NOT allowed his friends to assault this young woman, as in my eyes, his actions do not stand up to anything that I would consider the definition of a man!

    • bsbfankaren on December 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      And by the way, there is too much DNA and other evidence for these fools to walk free! Including the fact that they all ran their mouths far to much to far too many people!

      • Folkwolf101 on December 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

        I hope to God your right. I hope the jury does not allow the defense attorneys to nit-pick all the evidence for signgs of inconsistency in the perpetrators’ statements. You and I would see right through that smoke screen: if you were there, at the very least you were guilty aiding and abetting a most heinous crime.

  2. Jack on December 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Flirting is not consent, nor is being intoxicated as some have asserted. In light of her extreme injuries and condition, let alone the admission by several people that she was raped, such claims are beyond absurd.

    Even if she had not been so injured, her BAC was far beyond the point of ability to consent. When she was tested hours later (3-4 at the least) it still tested at a life threatening level, well within the range where a person can stop breathing. She required assistance breathing when admitted to the medical center and and was hypothermic when she was found. This makes the victim saying she remembered someone forcing more alcohol down her throat as she was blacking out very believable.

    In addition to severe sexual harm, her injuries included blunt force trauma and she had been struck and kicked repeatedly to the head and face until it was horribly swollen and bruised blue and purple. One person even said Ortega stomped on her head and he is also facing charges of assault with a lethal weapon. She would have died if she had not been found and received medical care. This wasn’t just a prolonged and vicious gang rape and series of assaults and other violations by many individuals. This was attempted murder.

    Torrentes actually confirmed that when he was there she was well beyond the ability to consent. He openly admitted he took advantage of her condition and felt her up and that he left her to be raped and nearly killed and told others what was happening, prompting them to go so they could watch or participate. Her injuries and the condition she was in alone confirm she was raped. “Flirting”, true or not, is of no relevance.

    He is a cowardly scumbag who had no concern for her life or her person. That he didn’t use “disrespectful language” was probably more out of fear that he was facing charges and clearly not out of any respect he had for the girl.

    That his claims she flirted with him are the headline of this article is sickening. His admission that he saw Ortega tear off her underwear and informed two of the other defendants about what was being done to her is far more relevant.

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