October 29, 2009
Posted: 07:58 AM ET
She had come alone to the Richmond High School homecoming dance, gorgeous in a sparkling purple dress and faux diamond baubles. The DJ played salsa, meringue, rap. When the teenager disappeared, her friends thought she had gone home early.
Except she never said goodbye.
"We were going to go look for her," said Kami Baker, 16, a junior at the school.
The next day, Baker learned the ugly truth about what had happened to her friend.
She had been gang raped and beaten for almost two-and-a-half hours and left unconscious under a bench shortly before midnight Saturday night.
"I busted up crying," Baker said.
The campus incident in the Bay Area city north of Oakland has shaken students and their families. Baker was one of many people connected to the school and the community who lashed out at officials at a public safety hearing Wednesday.
Baker blamed school district officials for not doing enough to protect her school - and her friend. She said none of the four officers who were at the homecoming dance was patrolling the school premises even though there were a dozen young men hanging out just a few feet from the gym entrance. She says school officials chose not to take any action.
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