ROCKVILLE -- An attorney for Henry E. Sanchez, one of the students charged with the rape of a 14- year-old girl at Rockville High School, waived his preliminary hearing Friday.
David Hollenberg, one of the attorneys representing Sanchez, said last week he expects that a grand jury will indict his client.
“When the time does come, Mr. Sanchez will testify in front of 12 voters pulled from the rolls of the Motor Vehicle Administration that are residents in Montgomery County and he will testify to that – to indicate that this was purely a consensual sexual encounter,” Hollenber said.
Sanchez, 18, along with fellow Rockville High School student Jose O. Montano, is charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense.
Hollenberg said electronic messages between Sanchez and Montano show that the two male students planned to have consensual sex with the 14-year-old girl. Hollenberg said “as far as I know” that the message between Montano and Sanchez did not include the girl. Montano’s attorneys claim that message between Montano and the girl show the two planned to have sex at school.
Hollenberg said Sanchez is friends with Montano, but said as “far as I know” that Sanchez did not have a prior relationship with the girl.
“This was a consensual encounter from well before it actually initiated and until it concluded,” Hollenberg said.
According to the statement of probable cause, Montano and Sanchez approached the girl in a hallway at Rockville High School and after she refused a sexual advance, Montano and Sanchez forced her into a bathroom, removed her clothes and raped her.
“This was clearly a conspiracy to rape her and commit other sexual assaults,” said Debbie Feinstein, one of the prosecutors for the State’s attorney office for Montgomery County, during Montano’s bond hearing.
While Hollenberg maintains that his client had consensual sex with the girl at Rockville High School, he said after the preliminary hearing was waived April 14, that it was likely that a grand jury would indict Sanchez.
Sanchez’s immigration status has turned the case into a national issue. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a U.S. border agent stopped Sanchez in Texas for illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico in August.
After Sanchez’s arrest, Sanchez’s father Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes is being detained for illegally entering the U.S. and is being held at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup.
Jezic and Moyse, LLC, the same law firm where Hollenberg works, is representing both Sanchez and his father in their respective immigration cases.
“I can’t really say anything on the immigration case, we’re solely focused on the criminal case at this point,” Hollenberg said.