Monday, December 29, 2008

Gang rape of lesbian brings vigil, leafleting


Gang rape of lesbian brings vigil, leafleting

by Leslie Fulbright Saturday Dec 27th, 2008 10:32 PM
Here is more information on the vigil and organizing in the Richmond for the young queer woman who was gang raped in Richmond last week. It's from the chronicle...Can some of the well heeled LGBT organizations (I'm thinking of the center etc) in SF show some solidarity and support?
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Leslie Fulbright, SF Chronicle Staff Writer Saturday, December 27, 2008 Two events will be held in Richmond this weekend to show support for a 28-year-old lesbian who was gang-raped earlier this month in what police are investigating as a hate crime. A candlelight vigil will take place tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of 15th Street and Visalia Avenue, the same time when and location where the assault started. The vigil was organized by the Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center in Oakland. On Sunday afternoon, both Spanish- and English-speaking volunteers will walk around the neighborhood, handing out flyers with the suspects' descriptions. "We are hoping to find someone out there who knows these criminals," said Aileen Cancino of Contra Costa Equality, a grassroots human rights organization. "These men are still running loose, and we want people to know we will not sit back with our arms crossed and let this happen to another woman." No arrests had been made in the case as of Friday, police said. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrests of the attackers. The assault, which occurred Dec. 13 in two locations in the Belding-Wood neighborhood of Richmond, is considered a hate crime because the attackers made comments about the victim being a lesbian. She was left naked in front of an apartment complex when the four attackers took off in her car. Hate crimes directed at people because of their sexual orientation have risen over the past two years, according to FBI statistics: 1,017 were reported in 2005, 1,195 in 2006 and 1,265 in 2007. Community Violence Solutions, a nonprofit rape crisis center, has opened a fund in the name of Richmond Jane Doe to help the woman pay for relocation expenses, police said. "We have received a lot of calls from people who are concerned and outraged, but tips leading to the suspects have not come in," said Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan. "We encourage activities such as the vigil and leafleting the neighborhood - anything that may generate dialogue and lead to a witness coming forward." Police described the first suspect as a Latino man in his 30s, about 5-foot-6, 180 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a mustache. The second suspect is described as an African American man in his 20s, about 5-foot-10, 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, who goes by the nickname "Blu," police said. The two other suspects are described as Latino men between 18 and 20 years old. One goes by the name "Pato," police said. Vigil details The candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 9:30 p.m. at the corner of 15th Street and Visalia Avenue in Richmond. Volunteers will be seeking people with information about the crime Sunday at 1 p.m. in front of the Foods Co. grocery store at 1250 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond. Anyone may participate. Donations for the victim may be sent to Community Violence Solutions, 2101 Van Ness St., San Pablo, CA 94806. For more information, call (510) 237-0113. E-mail Leslie Fulbright at lfulbright [at] sfchronicle.com.

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