What to Know
- Lawyers had asked for bond based on discovery of texts allegedly between Montano and the girl planning to get together the next day for sex.
- The judge in the case ruled that's not an agreement that would have bound the girl to have sex with multiple partners.
Bond was denied for a 17-year-old charged as an adult in the rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School, but he will be transferred to a juvenile detention facility, a judge ruled Thursday.
Police have said that Jose O. Montano, 17, and Henry E. Sanchez, 18, approached a 14-year-old girl in a hallway at Rockville High School during school hours March 16 and asked her to walk with them, police said.
Montano asked her for sex, and after she refused, he and Sanchez forced her into a boys' bathroom, where they both raped her and sodomized her, police said. The victim reported the rape to school staff, who contacted police.
Lawyers for Montano had asked for bond based on discovery of texts allegedly between him and the girl planning to get together the next day to have sex.
The judge in the case ruled Thursday that's not an agreement that would have bound the girl to have sex the following day with multiple partners. The charging document said the girl was dragged into the bathroom and attempted to resist.
Both Montano and Sanchez are charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual assault.
During the hearing, prosecutors told the judge they have photos of each of the defendants on their phones flashing MS-13 gang signs. However, defense lawyers said the teens were not part of the infamous gang that has been tied to a series of killings in the D.C. region, including the murder of a 15-year-old Gaithersburg girl and the slaying of an 18-year-old man in a Gaithersburg park last June.
"My client completely denies being associated with a gang in any way," said Andrew Jezic, attorney for Sanchez.
Montano has been charged as an adult and has been held in an adult detention facility, but he will be transferred to a juvenile detention facility.
"These are very serious allegations carrying a life sentence," Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff said earlier this month. "The potential of life in prison would be available as we prosecute these individuals."
Sanchez is also being held without bond.
Parents, Residents Rally for School Safety
After Thursday's hearing, dozens of protesters gathered outside the first Montgomery County school board meeting held since the alleged rape.
Protesters held signs that read "Safety Not Sanctuary," "Protect Our Children!" and "MCPS Superintendent Smith Resign."
They said they are concerned because the incident on Rockville High School was not on the board's meeting agenda.
"What's happened here in Rockville at Rockville High School is deplorable. The security situation at the school - the lack of security...Really the point here too is that we have 17 and 18 year olds coming in as - they're freshmen," said Montgomery County resident Don Irvine.
"I want to make sure that our schools are safe for our children. That's my main objective," resident Velonta Adams said.
In a letter sent to parents, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said the school system would review security procedures at schools.
Smith said the assessments will focus on the following areas:
- Utilizing school security personnel and other staff
- Restricting or limiting access to more isolated areas of school buildings and grounds
- Technology infrastructure, including security cameras
- Procedures for managing students outside the classroom
- Protocols for responding to allegations of student-to-student sexual harassment or assault
"Following the review, we will work closely with each school on next steps, including strengthening security procedures where needed. As a part of this process, we will be benchmarking best practices with other school districts and youth-serving organizations," Smith said.