Rape Charge Against Undocumented Maryland Students Dropped

Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against two immigrant high school students in Maryland whose case had been used by the White House as evidence of the need to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, both students at Rockville High School, were accused in March of raping a 14-year-old schoolmate in a bathroom stall at school. They were arrested and charged as adults with first-degree rape and two counts each of first-degree sexual offense.

The case drew national attention due to the nature of the crime and because Sanchez-Milian, a citizen of Guatemala, was in the US illegally. Montano, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was living under “special immigrant juveniles status,” according to his attorney.

But on Friday, prosecutors dropped the rape and sexual offense charges against both students, citing the “lack of corroboration and substantial inconsistencies from the facts.”

“After a painstaking investigation and review of these matters, we have concluded that the facts of this case do not support the charges originally filed,” Montgomery County state attorney John McCarthy said in a statement.

Instead, Sanchez-Milian has been charged with possession of child pornography, prosecutors said. Montano will be charged in juvenile court with two counts each of possession and distribution of child pornography for allegedly forwarding videos and images of the 14-year-old girl, his defense attorney Maria Mena said.

After Sanchez-Milian was arrested in March, Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued an immigration detainer on him. His father, Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, was arrested days later “after a review of his immigration history revealed he was unlawfully present,” according to an ICE spokesman.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: CNN, Eric Levenson and Shachar Peled