The Maryland governor said Friday he could not promise that parents of children in Montgomery County schools, where a freshman high school student was allegedly raped by two older teenagers, that their children will be safe.
The republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s comments came as the attack of last Thursday by two immigrants, at least one of them is in the U.S. illegally, has become a flash point for parents worried that the county’s “sanctuary” status for illegal immigrants to expose their children to school for danger.
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
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“I’m not sure that I can give you the guarantee that their children are safe,” he said.
What he did give a guarantee on this, however, was that he would do three things: to the bottom of the case, end the sanctuary status of Montgomery County and the county school district more accountable.
“That’s a big part of the problem,” Hogan said of the county’s decision not to cooperate with federal authorities in their hunt for illegal immigrants.
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Hogan’s comments put further pressure on the superintendent of the Montgomery County school district who has accused some parents of the appearance of “racism and xenophobia” in their reaction to the rape.
The two teenagers, 18 and 17, are accused in the rape. One of the two, an 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian, is an illegal immigrant.
The older suspect’s lawyer, David Moyse, confirmed that he is planning to argue that the sexual encounter was consensual, “not a rape in a sense.”
Meanwhile, a leading U.S. senator is demanding to know why the accused teenager from Central America was allowed to enter and stay in the US since crossing the border illegally months ago.
Sanchez, 18, of Guatemala, were apprehended by a Border Patrol agent in August 2016 in Rio Grande Valley in Texas, then he went the country illegally from Mexico. Sanchez was ordered to appear before an immigration judge, but the hearing has not yet been scheduled.
It was not immediately clear if the other suspect, Jose O. Montano, 17, from El Salvador, was in the province illegal, but county executive Ike Leggett told local press the two outstanding ICE cream orders.
“I have nothing to say,” Montano’s uncle, Orlando Montano, told Fox News Friday. “Speak with the police. You should say the truth.”
Both suspects were charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense. Charging documents allege that the couple dragged their female classmate in a boy’s bathroom last Thursday at 9am, where they allegedly raped and sodomized her and forced her to oral sex.
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department Special Victims Investigations Division arrested Montano, and Sanchez, after school officials reported the incident. A forensic team recovered blood and male moisture out of the bathroom, court records show.
The ICE cream has since lodged an immigration detainer against Sanchez, so that ICE can take custody of him when he is released, but it is unclear whether the local police will fulfill.
Fox News’ Christopher Wallace contributed to this story.