Richmond Man Convicted in Gang Rape of Lesbian: Jury Accepts Hate Crime Allegations
MARTINEZ, California - A 36-year-old Northern California man was convicted Wednesday of orchestrating the gang rape of a woman who was targeted in part because she is a lesbian.
Jurors deliberated for about eight hours before finding Richmond resident Humberto Salvador guilty of rape in concert, kidnapping and other charges, the Contra Costa Times reported.
The jury's verdicts included hate crime enhancements because of the role the victim's sexual orientation played in the attack on a Richmond street five years ago. Salvador faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Prosecutors maintained Salvador approached the woman and struck her in the head with a flashlight after she parked her car, which was decorated with gay pride stickers and mementos.
The victim, now 33, testified earlier this month that during the assault Salvador kept asking if she liked men.
She also said that he encouraged two teenagers who were with him to rape her as well. While they did, Salvador said, "See, you like boys. Tell me you like boys," the victim testified.
Defense lawyer Linda Fullerton told the jury that anti-gay bias did not motivate the attack and the crime was not a gang rape because the teenagers participated under duress, the Times said.
A fourth man who did not take part testified at the trial that the two teens were eager to prove themselves as members of Salvador's street gang.