ROCKVILLE, Md. (ABC7) — Two Rockville High School students have been arrested and charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in a restroom at the school Thursday morning, police said.
The girl stated she was walking in a hallway near the gymnasium at about 9 a.m. when she was approached by two male students, later identified as Jose O. Montano, 17, and Henry E. Sanchez Milian, 18, both freshmen.
Montano allegedly asked the girl to walk with him and Milian. Montano then asked for a hug, slapped the girl's butt and requested that she have sex with him.
When the girl refused, Montano pushed her into a boy's bathroom and then into an empty stall. The girl repeatedly said no to the demands, and went so far as to hold onto a sink in effort to thwart the impending assault, police said.
The victim said Montano unzipped her top and pulled her breasts out. As Sanchez came into the stall, Montano unbuckled her pants. Montano and Sanchez then allegedly took turns raping the teen, communicating in Spanish throughout the entire episode.
When the accused rapists heard the restroom door open, Montano reportedly covered the victim's mouth while Sanchez exited the stall to survey the scene. Sanchez then placed his jacket over the girl's head and escorted her out of the bathroom. The girl proceeded to go to class where she mustered the courage to report the incident to school staff.
The Special Victims Investigations Division arrested Montano and Sanchez at the school. Investigators say Milian initially denied any wrongdoing, but later changed his story, stating he did in fact have sexual intercourse with the victim.
Investigators later found blood and other DNA in the bathroom stall where the girl stated the attack occurred. It's initially unclear how no one saw or heard the unconscionable rape in the middle of a crowded school and during normal class hours.
On Friday, Montano and Sanchez both appeared via CCTV in Montgomery County District Court for their bond reviews. Both men spoke by way of a Spanish translator, apparently unfamiliar with the English language.
Court officials confirmed Sanchez entered the United States seven months ago from his native Guatemala. Those same officials stated Sanchez already had an active "alien removal case" pending in the federal judicial system.
Despite being 18, Sanchez managed to enroll with Montgomery County Public Schools as a freshman at Rockville High School this school year. He was living with his father in an Aspen Hill apartment along Bel Pre Road.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to ABC7 News Friday that it has placed a detainer on Sanchez. That is commonly done when someone is arrested and suspected of being in the country illegally. ICE would not comment on Montano because he is a minor.
As for Montano, court officials stated he came to the United Stated eight months ago from El Salvador. His immigration status was not immediately known. Montano also enrolled with Montgomery County Public Schools as a freshman this year. Court officials stated he could read and write in Spanish, but struggled with English. Montano was living with his uncle along Lincoln Street in Rockville. Though, officials say, he has been unable to recall his street address or uncle's phone number.
Both men are currently being represented by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Despite pleas for their release, the judge denied bond for both men citing a threat to the community, plus concerns about them fleeing the area.
"The immigration ramifications are determined at a later point by the proper authorities," Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office spokesperson Ramon Korionoff stated. "We just are working very closely with our police and school security partners to ensure this case goes forward in a timely and well-executed manner."
Prosecutors say Montano and Sanchez will be tried as adults. Montano's mugshot, however, was not released due to his age. Each teenager faces up to three life prison terms.
“These are very serious allegations, carrying a life sentence. Anybody above the age of 16, facing up to life in prison, can be charged as an adult and that is the path we are taking at this time," Korionoff concluded.
Prosecutors would not say whether-or-not there is school surveillance video to support their felony case. It's also unclear what factors, such as age, would preclude someone from enrolling with MCPS, seeing as both suspects were well above the typical freshman class age range.