The alleged rape of a fourteen year-old girl at Rockville High School earlier this month by two students, both of whom had been stopped at the US-Mexico border in 2016 for entering the country illegally, is continuing to make national headlines.
According to local news, freshmen Jose Montano, 17, and Henry Sanchez Milian, 18, forced the girl into a men’s bathroom stall and took turns raping her while communicating in Spanish. After the assault, the girl reported it to school staff, and Montano and Sanchez were arrested soon after. A more-detailed report on the assault was posted on Twitter by a local journalist.
The assault happened around the same time that the Maryland General Assembly was voting on whether or not to become a sanctuary state. House Bill 1362, or the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act, passed 83-55 with three Delegates not voting. A proposed floor amendment that would exclude those convicted of crimes or suspected of terrorism was rejected by the chamber.
The rape and sanctuary state vote immediately sparked a national debate. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the case “shocking and disturbing.” Spicer also commented that even though education is an issue that is run at the state and local levels of government, the rape is a cause for concern about certain policies.
This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions weighed in on the issue, and had some harsh words for current sanctuary states and cities. During a press conference on Monday Sessions called the legislation that Maryland lawmakers were considering a mistake. Sessions also said that the Department of Justice would begin cracking down on sanctuary jurisdictions and cut federal grants that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act is expected to be voted on in the State Senate this week. Governor Larry Hogan has already said that he plans to veto the bill if it gets to his desk.