Two men accused of raping an 11-year-old girl are in police custody in Montgomery County, Maryland, County Executive Marc Elrich confirmed Wednesday.
According to a statement from Elrich, the two suspects are undocumented immigrants. After determining the two men entered the country illegally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested that the county notify them if the two men become eligible for release.
Montgomery County will comply with ICE’s request, Elrich said in the statement. Until then, the suspects will remain in custody in Montgomery County as the local legal process progresses.
“This alleged crime is horrible, and I am confident that justice will be served in this case,” Elrich said.
Earlier this summer, Elrich issued an executive order prohibiting local law officials from cooperating with ICE raids or investigations. In his statement Wednesday, he emphasized that the executive order does not relate to this case.
“The new Promoting Community Trust Executive Order has not changed the county’s policy on cooperating with ICE requests for notification of the release of individuals charged with serious crimes,” Elrich said.
He added that the county is a welcoming community that values diversity, and that it is vigilant in enforcing local laws, rules and regulations.
The Montgomery County Council said in a statement Friday that the girl and her family will get the support they need. “We are heartbroken to learn about the rape of an 11-year-old girl in Germantown and will continue to keep her in our thoughts, but most important we will ensure that the victim and her family receive the assistance and necessary support to overcome this tragic event in their lives,” the council said.
“As the county council, we want to reiterate our support to our county police department and our state’s attorney’s office as they work to bring justice to the victim and give the individuals responsible the punishment they deserve for this heinous crime.”
The council said the suspects were arrested in July on second-degree rape charges, and they are scheduled for preliminary hearings on Aug. 23.
Editor’s note: This story was initially published Aug. 15, 2019. It has been updated to include the statement and information from the Montgomery County Council.
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