WASHINGTON — One of two teens charged with raping a girl at a high school in Rockville, Maryland, entered the United States illegally and was questioned by border patrol agents in Texas less than a year ago, according to a spokesman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, was encountered by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in August 2016. The agent determined that Sanchez-Milian had unlawfully entered the country from Mexico, said ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke.
“Sanchez-Milian was issued a notice to appear in front of an immigration judge, which is currently waiting to be scheduled,” Bourke said in a statement.
Bourke could provide no information about Jose Montano’s status because he is a minor.
Montano, 17, and Sanchez-Milian have been charged with rape for assaulting a 14-year-old girl in a boys bathroom at Rockville High School during school hours on March 16. Both teens were charged as adults.
“I was immediately sick and disgusted when it was reported,” Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said Monday in a statement. “My deepest condolences go out to this young girl and her family.”
Leggett said county police are investigating what happened and ensuring the school community is safe. He also noted that the two suspects have “outstanding orders” with ICE.
“If convicted, and after serving their sentences, the county — consistent with our long-standing policy — will cooperate fully with ICE to see that the two are deported to their countries of origin,” Leggett said.
Gov. Larry Hogan said he is “outraged” by the rape at the public school and called for answers.
“The State of Maryland is calling on Montgomery County to immediately and fully cooperate with all federal authorities during the investigation of this heinous crime. The public has a right to know how something this tragic and unacceptable was allowed to transpire in a public school,” Hogan said in a statement.
According to court documents, Sanchez-Milian is originally from Guatemala and arrived in Montgomery County seven months ago. Montano is from El Salvador and arrived in the area around the same time as Sanchez-Milian.
Both teens were attending the high school as freshmen.
Bourke said that ICE had placed a “detainer” for Sanchez-Milian, indicating he could face deportation.
In a letter to parents, Montgomery County Public Schools said school officials notified police immediately after the student reported the assault to a staff member.
“Ensuring a safe, secure and welcoming learning environment for all of our students is our top priority,” school officials said in the letter. “Our staff remains vigilant in the monitoring of our school each and every day. Please remind your child that if they believe they are a victim of an assault or see something inappropriate, they should immediately tell a staff member.”
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