A Maryland judge denied bond for a 17-year-old accused of raping a 14-year-old in a high school bathroom, ruling that alleged salacious text messages and an explicit video did not prove his innocence.
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“I’m not persuaded. That’s not an argument that can be sustained,” Maryland District Court Judge James B. Sarsfield said during a court hearing Thursday. “The request is denied without prejudice.”
Prosecutors suggested an examination of electronic devices still under way contains evidence of the two rape defendants flashing “MS-13 gang signs.”
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Jose Montano, a 17-year-old ninth grader in Rockville, Md., is accused of raping the girl in a bathroom stall during school hours.
Montano’s lawyer asked for the court hearing to try and prove the sex was consensual. The lawyers said they had a video in which the 14-year-old accuser is masturbating and asking Montano, “do you like it?” They also said they had text messages that showed the two planned to meet up for sex and the girl asked him not to bring a condom because she “was having her period.”
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Montano’s lawyers denied he had any gang ties.
Separate texts between Montano and the other defendant, Henry Sanchez Milian, 18, indicate that Milian was invited to the sexual encounter, according to the defense. Asked if the texts are bad news for Milian, his attorney told Fox News: “Absolutely not. To the contrary, there is plenty of exculpatory evidence in the texts.”
Montano’s attorney, Maria Menas, said she was not surprised by the ruling.
“No!” Menas said. “It’s Sarsfield!”
She said the circumstances of this case have changed dramatically. She claims the accuser has lost credibility.
The judge said all of the text evidence the defense produced occurred before the accuser was dragged into the bathroom, and before she resisted by holding onto the sink.
“The encounter,” the judge said, “begins in the hallway.”
Doug McKelway joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in November 2010 and serves as a Washington-based correspondent. Click here for more information on Doug McKelway.