- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 18, 2017

Two ninth grade students accused of raping a 14-year-old classmate inside a high school bathroom this week will remain behind bars pending future court proceedings, a Maryland judge ruled Friday.

Henry Sanchez, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, were arrested at Rockville High School on Thursday and charged with three counts each in connection with the rape of a female classmate. Montgomery County District Judge Eugene Wolfe refused to grant bond to either during a Friday court hearing and ordered them to remain in custody until their next appearance.

The girl, identified by law enforcement as “Victim A,” told authorities that she was walking down a school hallway Thursday morning when she was approached by the two boys, according to police documents.

“Montano asked Victim A for sex, which she refused. Montano asked again, more persistently, and pushed Victim A into the boy’s bathroom,” police wrote in a probable cause statement after interviewing the girl.

“Victim A was holding a sink to avoid going into the bathroom when Montano grabber her hand and pulled her into the stall,” police wrote. Montano then began forcibly undressing the girl, according to police, before Sanchez allegedly joined them inside the stall.

Both young men took turns raping the girl according to police documents. She notified administrators soon afterwards, who in turn alerted local law enforcement.

Montano and Sanchez were arrested at school that same day and were both charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offenses. 

Both boys have been charged as adults, and each faces the possibility of life behind bars if convicted, prosecutors said Friday.

“These are very serious allegations carrying a life sentence. The potential of life in prison would be available as we prosecute these individuals,” said Ramon Korionoff, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Both boys have only been in the United States for less than a year and pose the risk of fleeing, The Washington Post reported from Friday’s court hearing.

Sanchez, a Guatemala native, arrived in the country about seven months ago and is the subject of a pending “alien removal” case, the Post reported. Montano, meanwhile, arrived in the U.S. roughly eight months ago, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to comment on his status since he is underage, according to WTOP.

“The immigration ramifications are determined at a later point by the proper authorities. We just are working very closely with our police and school security partners to ensure this case goes forward in a timely and executed manner,” Mr. Korionoff said.

Montano and Sanchez will remain in custody until at least their next hearings, scheduled for March 31 and April 14, respectively. Montano denied assaulting the girl when interviewed by authorities Thursday, according to police.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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