by Lexi Matthews ‘18
Two suspects accused of raping a 14 year-old girl at Rockville High School on March 16 have stirred up national controversy.
A Montgomery County District Court document details the incident in which Henry Sanchez-Milan, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, allegedly pushed the freshman into a bathroom stall and took turns assaulting her. The victim notified staff soon after, MCPD officers arrived on the scene, and the suspects were charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sex offense each.
Sanchez and Montano came to the United States from Central America a year ago and began school this fall at Rockville as freshmen. Superintendent Jack Smith explained in a news conference that it is common for students with no credits from outside the state to transfer, but that has not stopped criticism about the suspects’ grade status across the Internet.
Critics have also expressed outrage over the fact that Sanchez was summoned to appear in immigration court in August to contest claims that he entered the country illegally. On March 20, Sean Spicer mentioned the case in a White House Press Briefing as “an example of why President Trump is pursuing tougher immigration policies,” thrusting the incident into the national spotlight.
Superintendent Smith expressed his support for the victim in an online message, in which he also urged community members to refrain from “crossing the line with further racist, xenophobic calls and emails.” The suspects are due in court on April 14.