Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rockville rape suspect "confident he will be exonerated" in brutal Rockville High School assault

Henry Sanchez, one of two illegal immigrants charged in the vicious gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School last Thursday, says he is "confident he will be exonerated," his attorney told the Washington Post Wednesday. Despite the tremendous physical evidence of rape detailed in a police report, Sanchez, 18, is now claiming he and fellow defendant Jose Montano had consensual sex with the victim in a school bathroom.

While Montano, 17, is being represented by a public defender, Sanchez mysteriously has been able to lawyer up with criminal defense attorney Andrew Jezic. It's hard to believe any respectable attorney would want to get anywhere near a couple of toxic defendants like these. Interestingly, the Post closed the comment section on its article reporting Sanchez's 100%-not-guilty stance. The only good news about Sanchez's bizarre legal strategy is that it will increase the chance of him receiving a life sentence, by not seeking a plea deal in what should be a slam-dunk case.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County elected officials who were stone silent on the brutal rape for days now have a lot to say about outrage over their appalling handling of the incident expressed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Roger Berliner, who delivered a tone-deaf, belated response to the gang rape three days later, lashed out at Hogan. So did Delegate Eric Luedtke (D - District 14).

Here's what's interesting: Much like Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith, who is now the subject of a citizen petition calling for his removal, Berliner sounds angrier when he talks about critics of the Council and MCPS for their role in this rape, than when he speaks about the rape itself.

Also interesting: Check out Del. Luedtke's Facebook feed. He is exploding with rage against his own constituents, Hogan and the White House for their criticism of all who bear responsibility for this attack at the county level. But scroll back several days to Friday, when the gang rape was publicly announced. On none of those days did Luedtke lash out against the accused rapists, or even mention the rape at all!

I scrolled and scrolled, and could find no Friday post by Luedtke condemning the accused rapists, nor expressing concern for the victim. Saturday? Nope. Sunday? Nada. Monday? Zippo. The first mention of the rape case on Luedtke's feed was on Tuesday, and it was attacking Hogan.

Luedtke was not moved to respond with horror for the victim's ordeal, nor with anger against the "alleged" perpetrators. Only after justified criticism started being aimed at Montgomery County's "leadership" did Luedtke feel compelled to respond, and address this gang rape on Facebook. It's beyond belief.

Not only has the response by our county elected officials been weak, empty, and with no palpable feeling behind it, but it seems that only some actual "adult supervision" by officials at the state and federal level will result in any meaningful and necessary policy changes within MCPS and Montgomery County. Hogan and the U.S. Justice and Education Departments may well have to pull the proverbial car to the side of the road, and "come back there," if MoCo's childish leaders can't get a grip on one of the most horrific events in MCPS history.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It's hard to believe any respectable attorney would want to get anywhere near a couple of toxic defendants like these."

You don't have the slightest idea how our American legal system works.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dyer, I read your blog regularly and I rarely disagree with you. However, it is odd that you would say, "It's hard to believe any respectable attorney would want to get anywhere near a couple of toxic defendants like these." Do you know people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Do you know understand anything about our legal system. Just because someone made a claim, regardless of how heinous, still has their day in court.

Robert Dyer said...

6:00: My comment doesn't suggest that at all. The other suspect is being represented by someone who has to represent him by law - a public defender. This guy somehow was able to lawyer up with a defense attorney apparently eager to take his case. Who would look at that police report and say, "This guy is innocent, we've got a real chance to win here?"

Anonymous said...

Rebuked by your claim re: "It's hard to believe any respectable attorney would want to get anywhere near a couple of toxic defendants like these".

Maybe I should change my evening prayer away from thanking the Lord you are not in charge of our political to you not being a legal representative of the law.

Robert Dyer said...

6:31: Yes, I understand that, as I mentioned in my previous comment.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robert Dyer said...

Where does somebody pleading poverty get money for a respected defense attorney, as he was described in the Post? He's handling this pro bono? What's in it for him? Have you read the police report? It's not a case that would be easy to win for the defense. It's not the O.J. trial.

Nobody said he won't get his day in court and a fair trial. You can mischaracterize what I said any way you want, but it doesn't make it so.

Robert Dyer said...

6:40: That's what a public defender is for.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe I should change my evening prayer away from thanking the Lord you are not in charge of our political to you not being a legal representative of the law."

Given that Robert Dyer has the persona of a Mad Scientist, I am actually thankful that he is a scientific illiterate.

Robert Dyer said...

6:45: Based on your crazy sense of courtroom strategy, "I am actually thankful that you are a legal illiterate." Considering you are part of the Montgomery County political cartel, I can understand why you're thanking the Lord I'm not in charge here. The FBI would be leading you on a perp walk at 100 Maryland Avenue if I was.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever contact the FBI, Dyer?

Anonymous said...

My guess is the defense attorney is indeed doing this pro-bono. He was a respected prosecutor, and now a respected defense attorney. It's good press for his firm to take on such a high profile case. He'll be in front of cameras, etc establishing himself as a top defense attorney in Maryland. Here's his bio:
http://www.jezicfirm.com/maryland-criminal-attorneys/andrew-v-jezic

I also don't have any problem with this. Everyone deserves a proper defense. It's a foundation of our legal system, and why we don't have vigilante justice.

I'll admit, I think the prosecution has a very good case. The police report has a lot of details from the victim, and that kind of detail is hard to make up. On the other hand, why did the victim not part ways with the perpetrators while walking in the hallway and they offered her money for sex? Why did the perpetrators remain in school right after committing this act, instead of leaving the scene? Most guilty criminals don't stick around to see what happens.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial, I think MoCo and MCPS screwed up royally here. Why did they wait nearly a week to hold a press conference and meet with parents? This incident occurred on Thursday morning. What were they doing for the many days after that, while parents were demanding answers? Silence....

I heard there's a petition circulating to call for the superintendent's resignation. Anyone have a link to it?

Anonymous said...

Dyer, Leopold and Loeb, Timothy McVeigh and many others like them weren't defended by "public defenders". They were defended by private attorneys who believed that their clients had the right to a fair trial, regardless of the crimes they were charged with.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, punctuation fail in my previous comment. I was responding to Dyer, not including him with Leopold and Loeb and McVeigh. LOL

Robert Dyer said...

7:03: I don't have any problem with it either. Everyone has a right to a fair trial.

Here is the petition link:

https://www.change.org/p/dr-smith-resign-as-mcps-superintendent

Anonymous said...

Signed, Boaty McBoatface. LOL

Anonymous said...

There you go again, incorrectly accusing someone "Considering you are part of the Montgomery County political cartel." with not even a shred of circumstantial cause.

Reading this and your subsequent comments on this story highlight how you glaringly do not know how the legal system works.

"It's hard to believe any respectable attorney would want to get anywhere near a couple of toxic defendants like these."

There are too many incorrect hypotheses, (i.e. guesses, wild speculation) to be able to take your article seriously.

Anonymous said...

Looks like that petition is focusing on immigration. Not the best way to get the signatures. I'd say they should instead focus on how MCPS didn't respond to the allegations for nearly a week. Poor security in schools, poor handling of the aftermath of the incident. That's a bigger concern to most parents I think.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer @ 6:44 AM:

"You can mischaracterize what I said any way you want, but it doesn't make it so."

My Irony Meter just went off the scale.

Anonymous said...

Question for Robert Dyer:

If the victim is an illegal alien, should she be deported, too?

Robert Dyer said...

7:21 #1: I agree. The immigration side is not under the control of MCPS, but of the county, state and federal policies. It was the bumbling response by Smith that enraged people. Why hide from the media and public if you have nothing to hide?

7:15: Everything presented in the article is factual. No wild speculation whatsoever - what have you been smoking? I know how the legal system works. That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to question the rationale of the defense attorney, or why, for example, the other suspect is stuck with a public defender. The fact that every troll comment is referring to one sentence about the defense attorney only proves that you can't challenge any of the actual premises of this fact-based article. Then you end up going full Saul Alinsky. The desperation is palpable.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Get the facts straight, everybody. This from the Washington Post this morning:

A variety of U.S. government agencies have had contact with Montano and Sanchez Milian. Border agents held them first, and then, as the law requires, turned them over to an office at the Department of Health and Human Services, which sheltered them and apparently released them to their guardians in Maryland. The teens enrolled in public schools, which are required by federal law to admit them.

Both young men have family in the area. They were in a separate program at the school apart from regular students.

The schools (like malls, stores, cities, and even you) can't be everywhere all the time. There will be a review to identify vulnerabilities which led to this tragedy, and corrections will be applied.

The main problem for me is why men have to rape people.

Robert Dyer said...

7:27: Of course not, but she is not an illegal alien.

Robert Dyer said...

7:30: Dr. Smith! How are you this morning? Excellent summary of MCPS talking points. Those talking points have enraged your students, teachers and parents, however.

How many gang rapes of minor girls have occurred in the last 12 months in Montgomery County? What citizenship status were all of the rapists in those incidents? Is it OK to have 1 or 2 gang rapes every year that could have easily been prevented? How many gang rapes at Walt Whitman in the last 12 months? At Blair HS? The answers to those questions may change your conclusion.

There are policy changes that need to be made at MCPS and the Council ASAP to prevent another incident like this.

Anonymous said...

"Is it OK to have 1 or 2 gang rapes every year?"

Is it OK to have 99 to 298 other kinds of rapes every year?

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 7:30. The predictible "It's all facts. No speculation"
Followed by insulting me.
sigh...

Here are the statements in your original article that ARE NOT "facts."
1) "The only good news about Sanchez's bizarre legal strategy is that it will increase the chance of him receiving a life sentence, by not seeking a plea deal in what should be a slam-dunk case."

2) " Berliner sounds angrier when he talks about critics of the Council and MCPS for their role in this rape, than when he speaks about the rape itself."

3) "Luedtke was not moved to respond with horror for the victim's ordeal, nor with anger against the "alleged" perpetrators. Only after justified criticism started being aimed at Montgomery County's "leadership" did Luedtke feel compelled to respond, and address this gang rape on Facebook. It's beyond belief."

4) " Not only has the response by our county elected officials been weak, empty, and with no palpable feeling behind it, but it seems that only some actual "adult supervision" by officials at the state and federal level will result in any meaningful and necessary policy changes within MCPS and Montgomery County. Hogan and the U.S. Justice and Education Departments may well have to pull the proverbial car to the side of the road, and "come back there," if MoCo's childish leaders can't get a grip on one of the most horrific events in MCPS history."

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

The Montgomery County Police have stated several times that neither individual is a gang member.

The repeated claims by Dyer that this was a "gang-rape" and evidence of MS-13 invading the County are NOT facts.

Anonymous said...

Umm, Mr. Dyer, I posted the 7:30 comment and don't know who Dr. Smith is. I am a woman reader who is trying to present a factual, rather than purely emotional and politically-fueled view.

Anonymous said...

What a shame your blog has gone from a semi interesting "Whats going on" to a platform for your political views. You might want to remember that here in the US there is a presumption of innocence. In case you have forgotten here is a quote from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence) "Although the Constitution of the United States does not cite it explicitly, presumption of innocence is widely held to follow from the 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments. See also Coffin v. United States and In re Winship."

Robert Dyer said...

7:45: No, but given that the two gang rapes in the last year were both perpetrated by illegal immigrants, those both could have been prevented by not allowing those rapists into the county. They were preventable rapes.

7:48: 1) Is a fact, as accepting a plea deal would almost certainly mean a non-life sentence. 2) Is a fact. Watch the videos. Berliner and Smith are both noticeably angrier and more animated when they are talking about Evil Republicans than when discussing the rape and the victim. Watch the videos. 3) Did he post on Facebook about the gang rape those first several days, or not. (Hint: not). Another factual statement. 4) It's also a fact that if Montgomery County doesn't quickly reboot its sluggish and inadequate response to this tragedy, state or federal authorities may need to intervene to protect children.

You're welcome.

8:01: "Gang rape" doesn't mean they're in a gang. Gang rape is when more than one rapist is assaulting a victim at once.

8:11: It sounded like, from your and the Post's summary, there was nothing that could have been done differently, and no one was to blame. We know that is simply not true, as the two suspects couldn't go to a non-sanctuary jurisdiction after being released by the feds. If they had been in separate night school classes, they wouldn't have been associating with the victim in the hallway during school hours. If security had been patrolling. If there hadn't been a bathroom with an inside lock on it. There's quite a list of gaffes and mistakes in this case.

Robert Dyer said...

8:20: Never said there wasn't a presumption of innocence, Just questioning the legal strategy here, that's all. Usually, when there's so much physical evidence, and the perpetrators are caught and identified at the scene, a defendant would plead guilty or try to reach a plea agreement for at least a slightly lesser sentence.

Taking a "100% not guilty!" plea could wind up with his client behind bars for life.

Robert Dyer said...

8:20: I also wouldn't say that holding our elected officials accountable is "a platform for my political views." It's called journalism.

Anonymous said...

We've heard a lot recently that journalists need to be a check on elected leaders. That is exactly what Dyer is doing.

In regards to playing politics, isn't that what Berliner had been doing all along with this issue?

Anonymous said...

The defendants were arrested in another part of the building where the rape occured, sometime thereafter. That's not the same as being caught in the act.

Anonymous said...

Robert, I love your reports on the news. But a quick suggestion, maybe don't let people comment on a gang rape that happened, much like your crime report posts. Its a horrific incident that a) should not be used to push your agenda, b) is attracting too many trolls.

Robert Dyer said...

8:57: He's already admitted he was one of the two men involved, but he's claiming it was consensual. Detectives already collected a significant amount of physical and DNA evidence.

Robert Dyer said...

9:03: I think some of the commenters were new on previous articles, because they were attacking the County and the alleged rapists. Today we're back to the one paid troll,as every comment is attacking me.

Friends of Woodmont Triangle said...

The ex-Bethesda blogger continues fighting Robert Dyer in the shadows...long after the battle has ended.

With his blog deleted, all he can do is snipe at Dyer :)

Anonymous said...

Here is the email Jack SMith sent to all MCPS parents, ONE WEEK after the incident (it was sent today):

Dear MCPS Community:

As you may have heard or read, a serious incident occurred at Rockville High School on March 16, 2017. While I can’t share many details because it is an ongoing police investigation, I can share that the incident involves allegations of rape and the arrest of two students.

The allegations presented in the charging documents are horrible and unacceptable. They do not represent the positive values of our students and school communities. Our thoughts are with the student who reported the incident and her family. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to supporting them through these difficult times.

Please know that our school staff immediately contacted the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) once they were informed about the alleged sexual assault. MCPS continues to fully cooperate with MCPD and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office on this matter.

While I know this tragic incident has become part of a national political debate, I want to remind community members that the lives of real students have been forever affected. While many have chosen to engage civilly in the conversation, far too many have crossed the line with racist, xenophobic calls and emails. MCPS is working with law enforcement to identify those who are making threats toward our students and schools. This behavior will not be tolerated in our community.

Rockville High School staff, with the support of the MCPS administration, are working closely with their community to heal after this tragedy. Tuesday night, the Rockville High School Parent Teacher Student Association held a meeting where police and school representatives provided an update on the investigation, school security and MCPS policies. The community used this opportunity to express their concerns and ask questions of the principal, law enforcement and MCPS staff.

Watch the video of the Meeting

In addition to the questions we heard last night, we have received many questions from community members seeking to learn more about our policies. To help answer these questions we have created a web page that includes information and resources about our system policies; frequently asked questions and more. We will continue to update the page as more information becomes available.

MCPS is committed to the safety and security of our students and schools. In the coming days, we will share more about our efforts to ensure the safety of every student in our 204 schools.

Respectfully,
Jack R. Smith
Superintendent of Schools

Anonymous said...

@10:14 Let's think of how much fail is in Smith's letter:

- He sends this ONE WEEK later? Why not same day?
- He spends half the email admonishing people for making this part of the public debate.
- No mention of immediate steps to ensure security at ALL MCPS schools.

Let's get this guy fired.

Anonymous said...

The Council always desperately wants to be part of national political debate, except now they're telling folks they don't want to be? Which is it?

Anonymous said...

I too thought that Dyer was trying to have it both ways with the phrase "gang rape". Even if he didn't intend it to mean MS-13 gang members, it heightens the salaciousness. I'm just surprised he didn't say sodomized again. I love it though when he shows his true TeaParty colors by using Saul Alinsky as a epithet.

Anonymous said...

Don't let that 18 year old illegal alien gang member fool you all. He made a long journey here from Guatemala to rob, steal, rape, and whatever else he could get away with. This is the current state of our Montgomery County school system ! Scary

Thank God the new law and order President Trump will soon rid this disgusting filth from our streets.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer;

"No, but given that the two gang rapes in the last year were both perpetrated by illegal immigrants, those both could have been prevented by not allowing those rapists into the county. They were preventable rapes."

Rapes by white men, accounting for the vast majority, are "unpreventable rapes", according to Dyer.

Anonymous said...

"...by not allowing those rapists into the county."

Does Robert Dyer think that Mexicans and Central Americans are inherently "rapists", before they've even committed an actual rape?

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of underreported crime which goes along with illegal immigration.crime such as tax evasion and human trafficking and prostitution and this rape in a Montgomery County High school is horrible but there is so much that is undesirable about not knowing the identity of people moving into your neighborhood and the Police not being able to identify these people.most immigrants are wonderful people in my opinion but it's the MS13 gang members and the rapes in high schools that is ruining it for all immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Please learn the concept of sentences, 4:44.

Anonymous said...

Please learn the concept of the United States has a system of legal immigration that many people wait years to pass through legally.we don't want illegal immigrants who rape 14 year old girls in school here before someone with a degree in computer science who has to wait years to come in legally.

Anonymous said...

If Roger Berliner was raped in a public restroom by two illegal men, would the Council change their policies? Serious question.

Anonymous said...

Funny how conservatives protest rape by calling for more rape.

Anonymous said...

You still have no idea the meaning of "fact."
This is from a lesson in the PBS NewsHour's Student Journalism Lab:

News items that present the facts will carefully avoid appealing to emotion. Opinion pieces are trying to appeal to the emotion of the reader or viewer. Opinion pieces will try to evoke some kind of reaction (agreement, disagreement, move to action, etc.).

An opinion piece often uses language that is much more demonstrative, flamboyant, and sometimes inflammatory; that is how it often hooks the emotion of the reader. News items that cover only the facts do not use this kind of language.

Opinion pieces will often present only one side of an issue, with a small
acknowledgement somewhere in the piece of the presence of another side of the issue. A news item that covers the facts will strive to present all of the facts as they are known.


PBS has a great program going with their Student Reporting Labs for middle and high school students.

You're welcome.

Robert Dyer said...

4:44: I could cite any number of examples from any day's edition of the New York Times or Washington Post that would "violate" the standards laid out by the text you quoted. Both papers have changed significantly in tone and language in the last year. I stick to the facts here, and by the low standards of 2017, I'm confident I'm hardly the worst offender when it comes to these tactics. In fact, one of my now-defunct competitors, Bethesda Now, had in its instructions to reporters that each article should have "a call to action," whatever that means. But it sounds just like the "move to action" cited above.

It certainly does sound like a good program PBS has, if they are encouraging kids to enter the field of journalism.

Robert Dyer said...

4:34: I was referring specifically to the 4 alleged rapists in the 2 gang rape incidents in Montgomery County in the last year. You somehow are broadening it to include all of a certain race. No clue what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

I don't care about any other publications. I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to you. You present news with opinion. That is the fact. How do you think you are perceived when you blatantly break the rules you profess to follow? Don't you realize it lessens your credibility? When you take a factual piece of information and you infer reasons, intent, or feelings then you have changed from news to opinion. And, if your inference is wrong, then you've also weakened the fact.

Anonymous said...

DEMOCRACY DIES IN THE DARK SIDE OF WHITE FLINT!!!

Robert Dyer said...

7:47: "You present news with opinion." So do the Post, Times, and even the local small and slightly-failing magazine. Much more than I do. Why would you only criticize one of us, especially the one that is most fact-based?

Considering that, aside from Bill Turque at the Post, I'm the only reporter covering Montgomery County who actually reports facts that make the MoCo government sound bad, your criticism makes no sense. Go after the guys printing puff pieces and getting daily "attaboys" from the County Council. Then you might be in a credible position.

#Resist

Friends of Woodmont Triangle said...

Attaboy, Dyer!

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep bringing up other publications? I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about you and your blog. Interesting though, that you think I'm singling you out.

What are you resisting? Answering my questions? Your attempt to get me off-track has failed. I'm not taking the bait to change topics. Funny how you toss Saul Alinsky insults at others when you use some of the same power tactics.

I don't see all-fact pieces here. I see op-ed with more opinion than fact.
You insist it's all facts.
How do you think you are perceived when you blatantly break the rules you profess to follow?
Don't you realize it lessens your credibility?

Anonymous said...

The older defendant is 27 years old. This provides rich meat for the class action lawyers. Go for it/// Sue them and take all their money...

Robert Dyer said...

4:49: There are actually some rumors that both alleged rapists are older than they are claiming. With no records, and MCPS' admission of no background checks, how would they know either way? Politics is more important than student safety to these clowns.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dyer. It's always a good idea for a professional journalist like yourself to run with completely unsubstantiated rumors originating on rightwing hate sites.

Anonymous said...

3:02PM +1000

Robert Dyer said...

3:02: I've heard that a Microsoft face analysis program detected Sanchez to be in his mid-to-late 20s. No way to verify that, but prosecutors should most definitely investigate his birth records in his home country. If proven to be older (as many illegal immigrants falsify their ages), it would allow them to convict him of statutory rape just for starters.

3:22: -1000

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 4:40 AM - Thanks for confirming that your previous comment was indeed a completely unsubstantiated rumor from the fever swamps of the Alt-Right.

Robert Dyer said...

9:28: Much like many conspiracy theory outlets, there's usually a grain of truth among the storytelling. The reality is that many illegal immigrants fake their age, whether its to get free stuff from the taxpayers of MoCo, or to be a hotter Major League Baseball prospect. The State's Attorney's office should get their documents from their country of origin to verify their ages. Even just one year off could mean they're caught dead to rights on statutory rape, for example.