Arrests made in Lincoln Park canyon sexual assault

Officers say 3 males, 1 female charged

SAN DIEGO - Four suspects ranging in age from 14 to 18 were in custody Friday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenage girl after she passed out while binge-drinking with them in a Lincoln Park canyon.

Raatib Quidar Prince, 18, of San Diego was booked into the county jail Thursday on four counts of forcible sex with a foreign object on an unconscious minor.

The other suspects -- two 17-year-old boys and a 14-year-old girl -- were being held in juvenile hall on suspicion of similar sex crimes, according to police. One of the boys was arrested Tuesday, and the other two minors were taken into custody Thursday. Their names were withheld because they are underage.

About 9 p.m. Monday, a passer-by spotted the blacked-out 16-year-old victim in a gorge off the 300 block of 49th Street. Medics took her to a hospital, where she was admitted in "grave condition," SDPD Lt. Anastasia Smith said. The girl remained unconscious until about 10 a.m. the following day.

Detectives determined that she and a group of teenage companions had consumed "large quantities" of straight vodka prior to the alleged assaults.

"Although she was unconscious for several hours, none of the suspects called for help," the lieutenant said.

Investigators believe the girl had passed out about five hours prior to being rescued. She has since been released from the hospital and is expected to fully recover, Smith said.

The alleged victim is acquainted with the suspects and attends the same high school as several of them, according to Smith.

"It appears that she knew most if not all of them. They're from the neighborhood; they all live or go to school in the Lincoln Park community."

The girl passed out about 4 o'clock and remembers nothing about being assaulted.      

"It appears the sexual assault occurred at various time during the five hour period she was unconscious (in the canyon). We don't believe they were all there at the same time."

Smith said one of the boys occasionally returned to check on the unconscious girl. Finally, five hours later, Smith said, "He actually flagged down a passerby on foot and notified them there was a female unconscious in the canyon and could they please call police."

The reason given why no one attempted to drag her to safety: "Some of the teenagers indicated that she was too heavy for them to move and they thought she'd regain consciousness."

She didn't wake up until 10 a.m. the next morning.

"Her internal body temperature had lowered to 65 degrees by the time she arrived at the hospital and she also had a collapsed lung due to aspiration of fluids. We believe the citizen who called 9-1-1 shortly before 9 o'clock truly saved her life. Another hour in that canyon it's certainly possible she would have perished."

The lieutenant declined to specify the charges that the underage suspects are expected to face, though she said they are accused of committing various types of sexual assault.

Prince was being held on $100,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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