Police: Mom Watched, Encouraged Gang Rape: Woman Targeted After Boyfriend Angers Gang Members

April 7, 2006

Just another example of how bad the world is getting.

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Authorities called it one of the worst rape cases they could recall.

Seven gang members and three female associates were charged Monday with raping a woman as the mother of one suspect allegedly watched and encouraged the assault, authorities said.

The 23-year-old victim was targeted because her boyfriend had angered members of the Anaheim gang, authorities said.

She was lured into a hotel room by a female gang associate at a Feb. 23 party then sexually assaulted over a seven-hour period, Anaheim police Chief John Welter said.

He called it “one of the worst rapes I’ve seen in my 35 years experience.”

Authorities identified the 38-year-old “gang mother” as Connie Herrera Retana and her son as 18-year-old Martin Carlos Delgado. Police said the victim was lured into the room and beaten by 23-year-old Jolean Disbrow.

“It makes you shake your head that mothers could be participating,” said Orange County Assistant District Attorney Susan Kang Schroeder. “It shows how a group mentality can breed disgusting behavior.”

Four suspects were arrested in Garden Grove driving the victim’s car.

The gang members told the victim the assault was to teach her boyfriend a lesson and that she would be killed if she reported the crime, Schroeder said. Authorities declined to say what the victim’s boyfriend had done.

Along with Retana, Delgado and Disbrow, those arrested were identified as Jesse Bess, 23; Randy Calderon, 18; Keizzy Fierro, 22; Adrian Flores, 18; Raymond Jaramillo, 19; Luis Nava, 19; and Gilbert Ortiz, 15. One suspect, identified as 19-year-old Oscar Jose “Sporty” Barajas, remained at large.

Each defendant was charged with four counts of forcible rape in concert. Each also faced one count of false imprisonment by violence, forcible oral copulation and forcible sexual penetration by a foreign object by force, prosecutors said.

All but Fierro were charged with dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and criminal street gang activity. Fierro and two others were charged with receiving stolen property — the victim’s car. Delgado was charged with one count of unlawful taking of a vehicle.

They were each being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, with arraignment expected Friday.

The maximum penalties the defendants face if convicted range from 52 years to life to 184 years to life.

It wasn’t immediately known whether any of the defendants have retained attorneys. A message could not be left at the county public defender’s office late Monday.

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