Rape Accusation at School Leads to Immigration Outcry

One of 2 teens accused in sexual assault came from Guatemala
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2017 10:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Maryland high school has been thrust into the national immigration debate after a 14-year-old student said she was raped in a bathroom there by two classmates, including one who authorities said came to the US illegally. The latest flashpoint in the immigration debate started out as a sexual assault case, the AP reports. Last Friday, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian and 17-year-old Jose Montano were charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense. Police say the girl was walking in a Rockville High School hallway when one of them asked her to have sex; she refused. Montano forced her into a boy's bathroom stall and they raped her, police say. Sanchez-Milian, from Guatemala, came to the US illegally in August and dealt with a Border Patrol agent in Texas, federal immigration officials say. He was released to live with his father.

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Federal law requires public schools to admit students even if they're in the country illegally. Protesters on both sides converged on a nearby elementary school Thursday. The White House also weighed in, saying the president has made a crackdown on illegal immigration a priority "because of tragedies like this." The school system in Montgomery County, considered politically progressive, has been besieged by hundreds of racist and xenophobic calls, with a school rep noting "a whole new level of vitriol." In response, schools have beefed up police presence. One Takoma Park woman said she came to stand up for immigrants at a time when the Trump administration is cracking down on them. "They cannot stand up for themselves," she said. (Read more illegal immigration stories.)

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