Bear Witness Central
One of the illegal immigrants charged in the rape of a 14-year-old Maryland high school student was detained by the Obama administration at a border crossing last year and later released.
According to WUSA-TV, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez Milian was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at a border crossing near McAllen, Texas, last August. Sanchez Milian’s lawyer contends he was fleeing gang violence in his home country of Guatemala when he was detained.
More from WUSA: He was detained at a refugee resettlement center for 12 days because he was a minor. Sanchez Milian was released and given notice to appear in immigration court, but a date wasn’t set because he wasn’t a priority case. Priority court dates are given to illegal immigrants with criminal records or have a gang affiliation.
Under an Obama-era policy known as “catch and release,” immigrants fleeing the violent drug wars in Mexico and Central America could apply for refugee status once they were detained at the border. The immigrant would then be assigned a court date so their refugee request could be heard by a judge. But instead of detaining the immigrant until the court date, Obama’s policy allowed the immigrant to be released, which is often the time they left the border and headed for a city or state where they had friends or family. Trump has sought to end the program.
The case has sparked national attention not only because of the heinous allegations, but because Sanchez Millian has an “alien removal case” pending against him.
In addition, to Sanchez Milian, investigators have also detained 17-year-old Jose Montano for the alleged crime. However, not much is known about Montano and ICE wouldn’t comment about his immigration status due to privacy protection laws for minors.
Authorities have charged the duo with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense. Montano is being charged as an adult.
According to investigators, Sanchez Milian and Montano, who are 9th graders at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland, forced a 14-year-old girl into a boy’s bathroom at the school earlier this month after she refused to have sex with them. There, investigators say the men raped the teenage girl.
However, Sanchez Milian’s lawyer contends that a rape didn’t occur and that the sexual encounter was “consensual.”