Judge denies bond for 17-year-old suspect in Rockville High School rape case

- A judge denied bond Thursday for one of the men suspected of raping a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School.

Jose Montano, 17, was initially denied bond after his arrest on March 16, along with another student, Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, for the reported rape of the teenage girl inside the high school. But on Monday, his attorney filed a request for a bond review with the Rockville court, citing new evidence that the sex was consensual.

In court on Thursday, Montano’s lawyer said the alleged rape victim had text messages with Montano before the incident agreeing to sex. The judge explained that even if the girl had previously agreed to have sex, it doesn’t mean she couldn’t change her mind, and there is no evidence to show that she agreed to sex with both of the suspects.

“This is an ongoing investigation and that a bond review was denied – the defendant is being held on a no-bond status. I have no additional comment to make at this time,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

Defense attorney David Wooten said they have new evidence.

“It’s a long conversation where the complainant, this young girl, and Jose Montano are agreeing, they’re having a sexual conversation, and agreeing that tomorrow let’s have sex at school,” he said.

“All I can say about these texts is that they are very explicit,” explained Maria Mena, another defense attorney for Montano.

They also said the victim did not tell police about the sexual conversation and a previous sexual relationship with Montano.

“She lied to the detective and left material information out,” Mena said. “So why would you believe anything after that?”

The judge disagreed and said the text messages made no mention of agreeing to sex with the other suspect, Sanchez-Milian.

In court, prosecutors also talked about text messages between the two suspects that would show a “conspiracy” to rape the girl, and plans to blackmail her into having sex with them both. They also said photos of both suspects flashing MS-13 gang sign had been found on their phone, but attorneys for both suspects deny gang involvement.

“United States government had 12 days to investigate whether there were any gang ties with my client and there are none and he denies it,” said Andrew Jezic, the defense attorney for Sanchez-Milian.

Jezic, who was present at Montano’s hearing, said “there were no scratches, there was no bruising, several people walked by during this encounter. It was a long encounter and there was no screaming.”

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Montano for Friday, but the State’s Attorney’s Office is planning to ask for that hearing to be pushed back to next Friday.

Montano and Sanchez are both charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offenses.

Watch Fox 5’s Alex Limon’s update from outside the courtroom Thursday:

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