Three suspects in the alleged gang rape of a lesbian woman in Richmond pleaded not guilty Thursday and were likely to remain jailed until a judge decides whether there's enough evidence to put them on trial.
Lawyers for Humberto Hernandez Salvador, 31, Josue Gonzalez, 21, and Darrell Hodges, 16, entered the pleas to charges that included kidnapping, carjacking, gang rape and sodomy in the Dec. 13 attack.
Salvador also was charged with committing a hate crime, to which his lawyer said he would also plead not guilty.
A 15-year-old boy also accused in the attack has been charged as a juvenile, but prosecutors were reviewing whether to charge him as an adult, as they did with Hodges.
Authorities said the woman was taunted for being a lesbian during the 45-minute assault, which started as she was walking to the Richmond apartment she shares with her partner and their 8-year-old daughter.
Besides being beaten and sexually assaulted in the street, the woman was forced back into her car and assaulted at an abandoned apartment building where she was left without clothes, according to police.
Police and prosecutors credit the arrests to tips from people in Richmond.
The case has sparked protests and an outpouring of support for the woman, who turns 29 today and has been too traumatized to go back to her apartment or use her car.
"It's really a multilayered situation. She got beaten pretty bad and has a major medical situation around that, and she can't work. Suddenly they are relying on one income that was not that much to start with," said Tallon Nunez, a Bay Area resident who has been raising money for the woman and acting as her spokeswoman.
Salvador, Gonzalez and Hodges remained jailed on bails ranging from $1.9 million to $2.2 million and are due back in court in March.