California man convicted in gang rape of lesbian

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Humberto Salvador.

A California man associated with a street gang was found guilty on Dec. 18 of the gang rape of a lesbian in 2008.

Humberto Salvador, 36, was convicted of 15 felonies associated with the attack on the woman.

The jury in the case out of Richmond, Calif., deliberated for about eight hours before finding Salvador guilty of kidnapping, carjacking, robbery, street terrorism and gang rape, in addition to hate crime penalties for targeting the victim because she is a lesbian.

The Contra Costa Times reported that law enforcement authorities said the brutality of the attack proved a turning point in the community, helping to galvanize people to fight gang violence.

The newspaper quoted Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus: "It really touched a lot of people, and I think as awful as that crime was, there was a positive that came out of it, and that's a sense that a community can come together to non only provide tips but also to rally behind a victim in need of support."

According to the report, Salvador and three associates were looting cars when they saw a woman walking toward her apartment. She was wearing a rainbow belt and her car was decorated with rainbow Pride stickers.

Salvador approached the woman, robbed her, hit her with a flashlight, forced her to strip and then sexually assaulted her. Authorities say two other men also raped the woman, who said at the trial that Salvador asked her during the assault, "You like men now, don't you? Tell me you like men."

A second man has pleaded guilty to a sexual assault charge, a third man pleaded guilty to carjacking and a fourth man awaits trial.

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