Attorney: Rockville Rape Suspect Tried To Confirm that Alleged Victim Wanted to Have Sex with Both Suspects
Henry Sanchez Milian waived his preliminary hearing Friday
An attorney for Henry Sanchez Milian, a suspect in the reported rape of a 14-year-old freshman at Rockville High School, said Friday his client communicated with the other suspect to make sure the girl wanted to have sex with both of them.
After a court appearance in Rockville, attorney David Hollenberg said electronic messages between Sanchez Milian and Jose Montano show there is “incontrovertible evidence” that his client wanted to be sure the encounter was going to be consensual.
“There are electronic messages between Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Montano where our client is attempting to attain assurances that the alleged victim is willing and wants to have a sexual encounter with both my client and the co-defendant,” Hollenberg said. He did not speak to direct communication between Sanchez Milian and the alleged victim.
Sanchez Milian and Montano are accused of raping the girl, a fellow Rockville High School student, in a boys bathroom March 16 during the school day. The case has sparked a heated national debate on immigration, as both suspects are undocumented immigrants.
Attorneys for Montano have said their client had a text conversation with the girl the day before the alleged attack in which she agreed to have sex with him the next day at school and admitted to having prior sexual contact with him.
Prosecutors have previously said they have electronic communication between Montano and Sanchez Milian from the day before the incident in which they plan the alleged rape. In the conversation, the State's Attorney's Office argues, the suspects agreed Montano would get her to take her clothes off, and then Sanchez Milian would come in and threaten to tell a teacher in order to get her to agree to perform sex acts.
In a March 30 bond review for Montano in which his attorneys introduced the evidence of the text conversation between him and the freshman girl, Judge James Sarsfield denied bond because he said he didn't think the girl's possible consent to Montano over text the previous day “extends to consent” for other acts with a second party. Sarsfield also noted that she told police that she repeatedly told Montano and Sanchez Milian to stop during the encounter.
Sanchez Milian waived his preliminary hearing Friday, a week after Montano did the same.
Judge Patricia Mitchell approved the motion, setting his next court date for May 12.
On April 7, Montano also waived his preliminary hearing, and Judge Eugene Wolfe set his next court date for May 5.
The decision to waive the preliminary hearings allows both suspects to continue to trial. Both are expected to plead not guilty.
“This was a consensual encounter from well before it was initiated until it was concluded,” Hollenberg said.
Hollenberg would not comment on any investigation into the immigration status of Sanchez Milian, who is from Guatemala, or on his father's immigration court case. Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, a 43-year-old citizen of Guatemala, was arrested on March 24 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. He is being detained in Jessup, and Hollenberg's firm is representing him.