The Washington Post reports:
“Maryland prosecutors said they will drop rape and sex offense charges against two immigrant teens accused of attacking a 14-year-old classmate in a high school bathroom stall in a case that attracted international and White House attention and stoked the debate about illegal crossings into the United States.
After a court hearing Friday morning, prosecutors said they will drop the sex-assault case against Henry Sanchez Milian, 18, and Jose Montano, 17.
“The facts of this case do not support the original charges filed,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
Defense lawyers had said for weeks that the sex acts were consensual and that text messages and school surveillance videos did not substantiate the girl’s claims she had been pushed from a hallway into a bathroom at Rockville High School on March 16 and that the suspects took turns assaulting her as she tried to break free.
As prosecutors moved to dismiss the rape cases, they began pursuing cases of child pornography charges related to images discovered on cellphones during the course of the investigation, according to court records and defense attorneys.
Maria Mena, attorney for one of the accused students, talks to the press as she departs the courthouse Friday in Rockville, Md. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
Prosecutors did not describe the content or path of the exchanges of the images. Defense attorneys said they were willingly shared by the girl with one defendant, who passed them along to the other.
Sanchez Milian’s attorney, Andrew Jezic, called the charges “selective prosecution of elective promiscuity,” adding that “it is hardly uncommon behavior for teenagers.”
Montano’s attorney, Maria Mena, said the child pornography laws are made to go after adults. She called the new charges “egregious.”
The developments Friday stood in stark contrast to the reports that pushed the case onto the national platform.
The severity of the reported assault — the girl originally told police the suspects held her down as she cried and repeatedly told them to stop — and that the two accused teens had entered the United States illegally only months earlier drew heated comments from the White House to the Maryland State House and to activists in the county.
Montano came to the United States from El Salvador, and Sanchez Milian from Guatemala. They were stopped at the border, detained, then allowed to continue on to relatives before they enrolled at Rockville at a ninth-grade level.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked at a daily briefing about the cases in its early days and said, “The idea that this occurred is shocking, disturbing, horrific.”
“Part of the reason that the president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this. . . . Immigration pays its toll on our people if it’s not done legally, and this is another example,” Spicer said.”
Read the entire article at the above link.
Always a good idea to wait for the legal system to operate before passing judgment. And, the idea that anyone in the Trump Administration would give “two hoots and a holler” about a rape victim is facially absurd.
Nope. It’s all about revving up xenophobia. And, the targets aren’t just those who arrived recently and made claims for protection. Xenophobia, like racism, is an ugly phenomenon. In the end, the Administration’s “white nationalist” agenda threatens all Americans in one way or another (ironically, it even threatens those who think that they stand to benefit from it).