ROCKVILLE, Md. - Two students have been arrested after police said they raped a girl in the bathroom of a Montgomery County high school.
Police have charged 17-year-old Jose Montano and 18-year-old Henry Sanchez with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offenses. The suspects were arrested at Rockville High School by investigators. They are both are being charged as adults.
According to court documents, the 14-year-old victim previously knew only one of the suspects. She was walking with Montano in a school hallway on Thursday at around 9 a.m. when he asked her for sex. The police report indicates she said no, but then the two suspects are alleged of forcing the girl into a boy's bathroom and into a stall where they both raped, sodomized and forced her to perform oral sex. The police report indicates she said no repeatedly, tried yelling and tried to fight them off, but was unable to.
At one point during the alleged attack, they heard a noise at the bathroom door, according to the charging documents. Shortly after, they threw one of their jackets over the victim's head, walked her out of the bathroom and left. Blood and other DNA were found by police in the school bathroom.
The girl reported the rape to school administrators and police were contacted, according to police.
In court, the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office argued the suspects should be held without bond because they are a danger to the public and are a flight risk due to being in the United States for a few months from Central America. The judge in the case sided with prosecutors.
“They are charged with three very serious offenses that carry life in prison, so that is the maximum you can get in the state of Maryland,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. “We prosecute criminals. We prosecute the cases as the evidence leads us in those cases and the immigration ramifications are determined at a later point by the proper authorities.”
Although the two suspects are 17 and 18 years old, they were enrolled as freshmen because they both arrived in the United States only a few months ago and were taking English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has now lodged an immigration detainer on Sanchez. Prosecutors said he came to the U.S. from Guatemala and has only been in the country for seven months.
Students said they learned about the attack on Friday after the principal announced over the loudspeaker that there had been a sexual assault. A letter was also sent home to parents.
Students told FOX 5 that the bathroom is in a quiet part of the building near the auxiliary gym. The school does have resource officers who patrol the property.
“They walk around in between classes and there are security cameras everywhere,” said one student we spoke with.
A source told FOX 5 the suspects were caught on surveillance video inside the hallway.
Police said Montano’s photograph will not be released because he is a juvenile.
The investigation is continuing at this time.