Red Line rapist who treated victim like a “caged animal” gets two life sentences

  • Published in Local

gavel2 1 ROCKVILLE — Circuit Court Judge Cheryl A. McCally on Friday sentenced a man who was convicted of the sexual assault of a woman on a Metro train to life in prison.

John Prentice Hicks, 41, will serve two consecutive life sentences in prison after a jury convicted him of first-degree rape and first-degree sex offense. Hicks raped a woman on the Red Line and ordered her at knifepoint to perform fellatio on him in April 2016.

The victim asked McCally to give Hicks the maximum sentence so he would not get out on parole.

“He already had other victims,” she said to McCally. “Let me be his last.”


Leisure World announces safety forum after resident’s arrest for child sex assault

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Residents of Leisure World want more transparency and cooperation from the retirement community’s governing board as they seek information from police about the registered sex offenders who live there after police charged one resident with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old-boy in his apartment.

On Dec. 14, officers of the Frederick Police Department charged 63-year-old Ramon Manuel De Los Reyes of Chiswick Court, Silver Spring, with sexual solicitation of a minor, third-degree sex offense and second-degree rape.

According to police, De Los Reyes befriended the boy through social media and drove to his Frederick County home to pick him up after his grandmother, who he lives with, had gone to sleep. After bringing the boy to his home in Leisure World and allegedly assaulting him, he drove the boy back to his home. The grandmother contacted police the next day.

The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act – a federal law which was part of the 1994 crime bill signed by then-President Bill Clinton – requires states to implement a registry of those who have been convicted of certain sex crimes and crimes against children. Frederick City Police Sgt. Andrew Alcorn explained that Maryland’s sex offender registration law requires sex offenders to register with law enforcement in the county they live in.

According to Montgomery County Police spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, it is also normal protocol for law enforcement in Montgomery County to post awareness flyers to notify neighbors when a registered sex offender moves into a new residence.


“Good Old Boys Club”

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Woman claims climate at WMATA discourages sex assault reporting

metro logoA union shop steward and veteran bus driver for The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority says the culture at WMATA discourages women from coming forward to report sexual harassment.

Linda Mercer, who has been a bus driver for more than 15 years, posted a video on her Facebook page making the claim.

"There's always been a good old boys club within WMATA," Mercer said.

“You can't tell, because when you tell, you're blackballed,” Mercer added.

In the video on her Facebook page she outlined the problem: “There have been plenty of women that have been sexually assaulted, touched in ways they don't want to be touched.”


MCPS unaware of investigation prior to HS counselor’s arrest for sex crimes

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ColinBlack e1508424533352MCPS officials said they were unaware of police investigation of Colin Black prior to his arrest.  FILE PHOTO  Officials from Montgomery County Public Schools said they were unaware police had been conducting an investigation of a local high school guidance counselor for sexual assault allegations until the man was arrested this week. The investigation began nearly seven months ago, according to Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti.

"We just learned of the investigation and arrest yesterday," Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Gboyinde Onijala said.

Colin S. Black, 33, a guidance counselor at Albert Einstein High School, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of second-degree sexual offense and second-degree assault, according to an Oct. 19 MCPD press release.


High school counselor charged with sexual assault

  • Published in Crime

Suspect met alleged victims for dates via Tinder 

ColinBlack e1508424533352Colin Black at the time of his arrest. COURTESY PHOTO A guidance counselor from Albert Einstein High School was arrested Thursday morning on allegations of sexual assault against two women he met on the online dating service Tinder.

Colin Sime Black, 33, of Rockville was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual offense and one count of second-degree assault. Both female victims were 18 years of age or older and were not students at Einstein, according to Montgomery County Police Spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti.

Police would not disclose the names, ages or residential information of either of the victims.


Drug users as competent witnesses

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It is up to a trial judge to make the determination during trial as to whether a witness is competent to be a witness.
Last week, for the first time, a Maryland appellate Court was called upon to decide whether a witness who admitted taking heroin on the morning she testified was competent to testify.
The case is called Jesus Garduno Cruz v. State.
The opinion from the Court of Special Appeals indicates that the sole issue on appeal involved the testimony of the victim who was the main witness at trial.
She testified that the defendant kidnapped her, drove her to a field and raped her at gunpoint. She said the fought with the defendant and escaped, and there was physical evidence admitted proving the sexual assault.
On cross-examination, the victim admitted that she was a heroin addict and a prostitute.
She also admitted that she had used heroin at 6:30 that morning.


MCPS employee charged in sex crime

  • Published in Crime

Security assistant accused of having sex with 14-year-old female student


Police charged a public school security assistant with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student following a short investigation this week.

The assistant, charged with sexual abuse of a minor, was released from jail after he posted bond Monday night, County State’s Attorney spokesperson Ramon Korionoff said.

Kimberly Hayden Williams, principal of Col. E. Brook Lee Middle School – where the accused man worked – said she was disturbed by the charges.

“These charges are troubling and completely unacceptable, particularly given that security staff are placed in schools to keep students safe,” she said. “The charges represent a violation of the core values of our school and school system.”


" not support the charges"

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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.


17-year-old accused in Rockville rape awaits trial

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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.


Outrage over high school rape

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Parents worry for safety while school system defends actions in wake of crime

Sanchez mug shotHenry E. Sanchez        POLICE COURTESY PHOTO

WASHINGTON D.C. – The federal government will take no special actions against Montgomery County or Rockville, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, following a rape of a 14- year-old female student at Rockville High School allegedly involving an 18-year-old and 17-year-old undocumented immigrants.

Both Rockville and Montgomery County do not cooperate with federal authorities on enforcing immigration law unless the person is a violent offender.

“Our policy and executive order speak for themselves,” Spicer said, but added there was “nothing special” planned against either the city or the county.

On Friday, police arrested two students from Rockville High School and charged them with first-degree rape, after allegedly raping a fellow female student Thursday morning around nine a.m.

Henry E. Sanchez, 18, and Jose O. Montano, 17, are both charged with one count of first-degree rape and two first-degree sex offenses and are being held without bond.

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