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Courts rule when mental capacity diminishes

gavel2 1 Maryland criminal statutes protect persons with mental disabilities from sexual crimes. The Court of Appeals last week addressed what must be proven in a rape case to establish the mental condition of the victim in order to prove such a crime, in a case called Miguel Fuentes v. State of Maryland.
The Court’s majority opinion indicates that Fuentes was convicted by a jury of second degree rape and another sexual offense, arising from a sexual encounter he had with a 38 year old coworker at a hotel. The victim, who was deaf, testified through a sign language interpreter to the encounter with the defendant. Her mother testified that the victim was disabled and had attended a high school class for students with disabilities, but was able to work in housekeeping. After noticing a change in her daughter’s behavior, she later discovered she was pregnant and gave birth to a child whom DNA evidence showed had by fathered by the defendant.

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"Facts...do not support the charges"

  • Published in Local

Prosecutor drops rape case against teen charged in alleged Rockville rape

John McCarthy at press conferenceMontgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.                    PHOTO BY NEAL EARLEY

ROCKVILLE – A prosecutor from the State’s Attorney’s office for Montgomery County dropped the rape charge against Jose Montano, 17, in Montgomery County District Court Friday.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Herdman dropped the rape charge on behalf of the prosecution, spokesperson Ramon Korionoff said.

Police charged Montano and 18-year-old Henry Sanchez with first-degree rape and two counts of sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl on March 16 at Rockville High School.

According to Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy, the prosecution dropped the charges against Montano after its independent investigation showed that there was not enough evidence to prove that Montano raped the 14-year-old Rockville High School student.                                                            

“After a painstaking investigation and review of these matters, we have concluded that the facts of this case do not support the charges originally filed in this matter,” McCarthy said.

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Sanchez waives preliminary hearing for trial

  • Published in Crime

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.

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17-year-old accused in Rockville rape awaits trial

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Prosecutors will have until May 5 to decide whether to go forward with rape and sexual assault charges against Jose O. Montano, a Rockville High School student accused of raping a fellow student.

Montano, 17, along with Henry E. Sanchez, 18, was charged with first-degree rape and two first-degree sexual offense charges after police said the two Rockville High School students raped a 14-year-old girl during school hours.

District Court Judge Eugene Wolfe set Montano’s trial date for May 5, which means the state’s attorney will have until then to either proceed or drop the charges against Montano.

“Hopefully, they’ll make the right decision and realize Mr. Montano was arrested hastily without an investigation,” said Montano’s attorney, David Wooten.

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Attorney claims consensual sex in Rockville High case

  • Published in Crime

ROCKVILLE – Attorneys for one of the students charged with the rape of a 14-year old girl at Rockville High School say new evidence shows their client is innocent.

At last week’s bond hearing for Jose O. Montano, 17, attorneys representing Montano said text messages between Montano and the 14-year-old girl show that the sex between them was consensual and not rape.

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Rockville stays the course

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Rockville Seal

ROCKVILLE – Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said it is too early to tell whether a proposed ordinance to prevent city officials from enforcing immigration law could cause Rockville to lose federal funding. 

“The city council hasn't had the discussion yet,” said Donnell Newton when asked about whether Rockville could lose federal funding if the City Council passes the Fostering Community Trust Ordinance.

Monday night, residents each took their turn to mostly voice their opinions on one issue – immigration. For more than hour, during the usual public comment during city council meetings, residents told the City Council to pass the Fostering Community Trust ordinance, the proposed bill that would prevent city officials from complying with federal immigration detainers.

“This will ensure that our residents, citizens and permanent residents, visa holders and yes, also undocumented immigrants feel safe reporting crime and serving as witnesses,” said John Yang, president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a civil rights organization.

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