- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 19, 2017

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

Henry Sanchez, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, were arrested Thursday at Rockville High School and charged with three counts each in connection with the alleged rape of a female classmate.

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 in 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 boys’ 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 grabbed her hand and pulled her into the stall,” police wrote. Montano then began forcibly undressing the girl before Sanchez joined them inside the stall, according to police.

Both young men took turns raping the girl, according to police documents. She told administrators, who alerted police.

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

They 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 spokesman for the Montgomery County state’s attorney’s office.

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

Mr. 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.

Mr. Montano arrived in the U.S. about eight months ago, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to comment on his status because he is a minor, 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.

Mr. Montano and Mr. Sanchez will remain in custody until at least their next hearings, scheduled for March 31 and April 14, respectively.

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

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