Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggetand and School Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith have finally released statements about a brutal rape that allegedly took place at a Rockville, Maryland High School last week. The suspects are 17 and 18-year-old illegal aliens from Guatemala and El Salvador, with one awaiting deportation. The victim is just 14-years-old and was brutally attacked in a school restroom.
According to court documents, the 14-year-old victim previously knew only one of the suspects. She was walking with Montano in a school hallway on Thursday at around 9 a.m. when he asked her for sex. The police report indicates she said no, but then the two suspects are alleged of forcing the girl into a boy's bathroom and into a stall where they both raped, sodomized and forced her to perform oral sex. The police report indicates she said no repeatedly, tried yelling and tried to fight them off, but was unable to.
At one point during the alleged attack, they heard a noise at the bathroom door, according to the charging documents. Shortly after, they threw one of their jackets over the victim's head, walked her out of the bathroom and left. Blood and other DNA were found by police in the school bathroom.
The statement from Leggetand, which came four days after the incident, expresses disgust but fails to specifically state the two men responsible are in the country illegally.
I was immediately sick and disgusted when it was reported that two young men raped a 14-year-old student at Rockville High School last Thursday. This should not happen. Period. My deepest condolences go out to this young girl and her family.
Thankfully, the alleged rapists were arrested by the police. Obviously, if convicted, these young men need to be severely punished for this heinous act, and I am confident that the justice system will do its job.
In addition, I know that Police Chief Thomas Manger is hard at work with his staff investigating what happened and securing procedures to ensure our students are safe and their parents don’t have to worry. We are working with School Superintendent Jack Smith to support Rockville High School Principal Billie-Jean Bensen, and the entire Rockville High School community in this time while anxiety is high.
Although these individuals had no previous involvement in the County’s criminal justice system, these alleged rapists do have outstanding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) orders. If convicted, and after serving their sentences, the County -- consistent with our longstanding policy -- will cooperate fully with ICE to see that the two are deported to their countries of origin.
To the Rockville High School community and the neighborhoods it serves, I want you to know that the County government and the school system will do whatever is necessary to keep your children safe.
After multiple official interview requests were turned down, Fox 5 waited outside Smith's office Monday evening and was able to track him down for questioning. Smith said the reason the 17 and 18-year-old suspects were enrolled as freshman instead of seniors is because they were in a special English learning program.
Fox 5 is also tracking questions from parents, which include the following:
- Why are 17 and 18-year-old boys allowed to be with freshman girls who are as young as 14?
- Are students forced out of school at a certain age?
- Did Montgomery County Public Schools know that one of the suspects has a deportation order against him?
- How are unaccompanied minors who attend Montgomery County Public Schools monitored or tracked in the schools?
- What exactly is being done to ensure the safety of students in the future?
Meanwhile, Republican Governor Larry Hogan is demanding local authorities cooperate fully with federal agencies to bring justice for this crime.
"I am outraged by the brutal and violent rape of a 14 year old girl in a Rockville public school. Our prayers are with her. The State of Maryland is calling on Montgomery County to immediately and fully cooperate with all federal authorities during the investigation of this heinous crime," Hogan released in a statement. "The public has a right to know how something this tragic and unacceptable was allowed to transpire in a public school."