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Orange County

78 Counts in Canyon Attacks

Crime: Prosecutors file felony charges against two 19-year-old men in the Black Star rapes and beatings.

July 21, 2001|MAI TRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two 19-year-old men accused of gang-raping two Tustin teenage girls and brutalizing their boyfriends in Black Star Canyon were charged with 78 felony counts on Friday, making them eligible for life sentences if convicted.

In a 17-page complaint filed by Orange County prosecutors, Erick Oswaldo Dominguez of Anaheim and Cuahutemoc Torres of Orange were charged with a string of serious felonies, including rape, forcible oral copulation, burglary, lewd act upon a child, carjacking and kidnapping.

The two were arrested a week ago on probation violations.

Three additional suspects accused in the attack, all juveniles, were charged Tuesday with more than 50 felony counts and could face hundreds of years in prison.

Phu Tran, 15, Jesus Rene Green, 16, and Veruk Kim, 17, are being held in Juvenile Hall and awaiting arraignment on Monday. Prosecutors said they will seek to try them as adults.

Dominguez and Torres are being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $1-million bail.

In all, the two are each charged with 39 counts--including 31 counts in connection with the rape and sexual assault of the girls, seven for the attack on the boys. They also were charged with a count of street terrorism.

The five suspects, who police say are part of the Orange-based Los Traviesos Krew, are accused of repeatedly raping two girls--ages 13 and 15--and beating their boyfriends, ages 16 and 17. The suspects also allegedly vandalized the victims' car while the couples were taking a late-night walk.

The suspects struck the male victims with a metal rod and rock, fracturing one boy's skull. The girls were raped, then driven to an isolated area and dumped, forcing them to crawl naked through the scrub until they could flag down help.

Dominguez and Torres this week confessed to The Times, saying they attacked the couples after a night of drinking and drugs.

The five suspects were arrested after a female deputy spotted fresh gang graffiti near the scene of the attack--the initials LTK--leading investigators to their gang.

Dominguez and Torres are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Orange County Superior Court.

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