Rockville HS rape defendant’s lawyer decries ‘politics’ of the case

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Lawyers were in court Friday in the case of one of two students charged with the rape of a 14-year-old classmate at Rockville High School last month.

Defense lawyer David Wooten, who waived a preliminary hearing for his client, 17-year-old Jose Montano, said afterward that the case is being used for political purposes, and the attention given to it is making it much harder for him to defend Montano.

Montano had entered the country illegally, as had 18-year old Henry Sanchez Milian, who also faces a charge of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense.

“I’ve never had a juvenile caught up in … a political case that the White House is talking about for immigration purposes,” Wooten said. “I don’t think the case would even be in the situation that it’s in if it wasn’t for the politics.”

He said the state is moving forward despite problems with its case: “The fact that the girl lied. The fact that she never told the police [that] she had a sexual relationship with Jose Montano, that she agreed to have sex with Jose Montano.” He said police hastily arrested his client based on the girl’s statement and that “the evidence I’m sure will keep coming out that her original version is not even close to true.”

On Friday, a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office would only say that prosecutors will follow whatever evidence they find. Montgomery County police have said they believe the cases against Montano and Sanchez Milian are strong.

A hearing is scheduled for Montano on May 5. Sanchez Milian has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 14.

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