Calling a St. Paul man’s actions “heinous,” a Ramsey County judge on Wednesday sentenced him to 25 years in prison for the gang-related rape of a 10th-grader he picked up from school and plied with alcohol.
Reputed gang member Mang Yang, 25, of St. Paul was among nine men and youths involved in the attack on the then 15-year-old girl in a vacant, foreclosed home on St. Paul’s East Side in November 2011.
In December, jurors convicted Yang of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, conspiracy, kidnapping and committing a crime for the benefit of a gang.
The Nov. 17, 2011, rape shocked the community and law enforcement officers with its brutality and number of suspects.
The nine were members or associates of violent street gangs, the True Blood 22 (TB22) and Blood Brothers.
Witnesses had testified that Yang brought the girl and her friend to a party in the 500 block of Maryland Avenue, and a group then drove in cars to the vacant house in the 200 block of White Bear Avenue.
The girl drank beer and brandy, then asked Yang to drive her home. She went to Yang’s sports car and climbed in the back.
Two juveniles, at the behest of Yang, grabbed her from the car and carried her, kicking and screaming, into the house and a dark bedroom. On the way, she broke free and ran to Yang for help, but he did not help her, the girl and others testified.
The attack halted after a few minutes, with the suspects fearing that police were on their way.
Four days later, the principal of Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul, Tim McGowan, and social worker Molly Roarke went to the girl’s home after her friend had told them of the attack. The victim had refused to go to school.
She seemed “a shell of herself,” testified McGowan, who persuaded her to tell her parents. He called police.
The girl later testified that she didn’t tell her parents because she feared their reaction and shame in the Hmong community.
Two other defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Another case is pending possible review by the state Supreme Court over whether Jim Her, who was barely 17 when the attack occurred, should be tried as a juvenile or in adult court, where penalties are more severe.