MARTINEZ (KCBS) — Opening arguments were heard Tuesday in the trial of a second man accused in the 2009 gang rape of a teenage girl outside a homecoming dance at Richmond High school.
Defendant Jose Montano of Richmond is being tried alongside Marcelles Peter of Pinole, in the case that made national headlines. Both defendants are being tried with two separate juries that will hear the same testimony. The trial against Peter began on Monday.
Montano listened attentively as Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney John Cope gave his opening statement in a Martinez courtroom. Cope said the evidence will show that, “Mr. Montano personally raped Jane Doe,” on a cold October night in 2009.
Cope said Montano was identified by witnesses largely because he’s skinny with a ponytail and has tattoos on his arms.
The victim, who was a sophomore at Richmond High School, was gang raped by several young men and nearly died from alcohol poisoning. According to the District Attorney, she has no memory of the sexual assault.
Jane Elliot, Montano’s defense attorney, described this case as a road map, adding parts of the road are missing.
“So you’re going to have in this case a lot of conflicting evidence from people who might or might not have had good vantage points, who might or might not have reasons to say one way or another what they said,” Elliot said. “We might never know the whole truth of what went on that night.”
Two men who struck a plea bargain are serving long prison sentences and are expected to testify in this case. A trial against two other suspects in the case is expected to begin later this year.
Jane Doe is also supposed to take the stand for the first time. Montano and Peter are facing life in prison with the possibility of parole, if convicted.
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