Thursday, March 30, 2017

Backyard play equipment store moving into Congressional Plaza in Rockville (Photos)

A pop-up shop selling backyard play equipment for children is moving into the vacant space next to Child's Play at Congressional Plaza in Rockville. This appears to be the same pop-up that briefly leased space at Bethesda Row last year. Both properties are owned by Federal Realty.






Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Agenda for first Board of Education meeting since Rockville HS rape has no mention of the incident

The Montgomery County Board of Education will meet for the first time tomorrow, March 30, since the March 17th announcement by police alleging a gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom at Rockville High School. Yet the meeting agenda makes no mention of the incident, nor of any planned discussion of immediate steps Montgomery County Public Schools should take to prevent something like this from happening again. This is absolutely mindboggling, given that policies and security lapses by MCPS and the Board allowed this alleged rape to occur. They've had two weeks to plan this agenda, and it appears the amount of thought they've given to student safety speaks for itself. Disgusting.

A protest of citizens demanding accountability is scheduled outside the Board offices, the Carver Educational Services Center, at 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville tomorrow at 5:15 PM.

Attorney seeks freedom, asylum for Rockville rape suspect's father

Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, father of Rockville High School gang rape suspect Henry Sanchez, was arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency Friday. Now, the younger Sanchez's attorney is vowing to get Sanchez-Reyes out of immigration detention in Jessup, according to the Washington Post.

Attorney Andrew Jezic said he will also ask for asylum for the suspect's father. "We hope to get him out soon, and we will assert grounds for him to stay in the country," Jezic told the Post. While police in Montgomery County have said they never interacted with rape suspects Sanchez and Jose Montano since they arrived here illegally from Central America last year, Sanchez-Reyes has two Maryland traffic citations. The Post reported that one of those citations was for driving without a license.

It appears obvious that, because police were not permitted to check Sanchez-Reyes' citizenship status during a traffic stop, they never knew he was in the country illegally. That left Sanchez-Reyes able to continue living in Montgomery County. He would ultimately be able to serve as guardian for his son after Henry Sanchez was "caught and released" by Border Patrol agents, following Obama administration policy on "unaccompanied minors," after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border seven months ago.

In other words, the alleged gang rape incident might never have occurred at Rockville H.S. on March 16, had the father been deported after driving without a license.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rockville Town Square business owners push back against outdoor smoking ban

While several residents spoke in favor of a proposed ban on smoking in all outdoor dining areas in Rockville last night, business owners in Rockville Town Square told the Mayor and Council the ban would hurt their restaurants. "Are you trying to slow-poison business?" Mellow Mushroom owner Danny Trahan asked them.

"I'm running a business, how am I supposed to sell?" Trahan asked. "Why are you coming to us, and singling us out?" He noted that the City has yet to resolve the parking problems that business owners already blame for reduced profits, and the barrage of new taxes in the county. "Did I make a mistake in coming to Montgomery County?" Trahan asked pointedly. "I feel like I did."

Sonali Seth, who said she owns an Indian restaurant in town center, said she would be in "full support" of the ban if it applied across all of Montgomery County and the region. As it is, she predicted, Rockville businesses will suffer, as smokers go to other nearby establishments where outdoor smoking remains legal. "All the businesses will be hurt," she said. "It's going to hurt us, and we will close down."

The chef-owner of Spice Xing, one of the few businesses to have long-term success on Gibbs Street, said he recently quit smoking himself, and therefore saw the value of the effort. But he suggested the Mayor and Council could make a stronger health impact by spending money on helping residents to stop smoking altogether. 

Adam Zimmerman, a leading advocate for the ban, said that if smoking laws remain unchanged, 92000 Maryland children will die prematurely from smoking. Business owner and resident Joe Applebaum said that as a businessman in the health field, he thought the ban would be "phenomenal." He said allowing the 8% of people who smoke to impose health risks on the other 92% is "ridiculous."

Two other residents cited recent unpleasant experiences dining at Rockville Town Square as reasons they support the ban. Julie Mankowski of King Farm said she had just dined near the windows at Bar Louie before last night's meeting. Four people smoking outside sent smoke drifting through the windows into the restaurant where she was sitting, she said.

Likewise, a West End resident recalled her trip to Finnegan's Wake on St. Patrick's Day. "There was so much smoking" outdoors, she said, that she wound up leaving earlier than she had planned. "I just don't want to be here anymore. I just could not get away from smoke," she said.

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said the record for public comment on the proposed ban will remain open until April 7, 2017. Last night's hearing failed to provide the entertainment value of the hearing held years ago to decide on the original indoor smoking ban. That evening included testimony from Hooters girls, and the legendary "Nobody forces me to go to the Apollo" speech.

MoCo Council, at war with their constituents, to fortify their building - literally

The next time you try to testify before the Montgomery County Council, or attempt to meet with your councilmember, you may find yourself being patted down at a TSA airport-style security checkpoint. While doing absolutely nothing in the last 12 days to secure Rockville High School - where one girl was repeatedly kicked in the head, and another gang-raped in a bathroom just weeks later, the Council is moving extremely swiftly to fortify and harden their own office building. In yet another tone-deaf move, and yet another indication of this Council's chronic inability to get over themselves, they are about to spend millions of dollars to screen constituents trying to participate in their own government.

Councilmembers and their staff are of course giving themselves a pass on the pocket-emptyings, patdowns and stripdowns - they will now have card access that allows them to bypass the TSA-style checkpoints you'll have to endure to criticize the budget or their latest crazy scheme. In a rambling dialogue with reporters on the expenditure, which the Council is introducing this morning, Council President Roger Berliner could identify no credible or imminent threat to the Council or their staff that would justify this exorbitant cost.

Directly across Maryland Avenue, Rockville City Hall has no such entry restrictions and security screening (although you can bet they will if the Council sets the precedent).

What's going on here? Do they know of something we don't know - a pending zombie apocalypse, perhaps?

As always with this Council, hubris is a factor, with their delusional sense of self-importance already off-the-charts.

But it's clear that their increasing conflict with their own constituents has led them to believe they must fortify their building against their own people, their own voters. The Council more and more has thumbed their noses at the people of Montgomery County, whether it is in the form of tax hikes, or in the approval of massive developments incompatible with surrounding neighborhoods. With their latest scandal, the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School, their incompetence and placement of ideology over the public interest has attracted scorching new criticism from across America. The thin-skinned babies aren't used to hearing criticism, and have been throwing one temper tantrum after another as a result.

Knowing that they plan to continue defying the will of the People, they have now concluded that the harsh criticism they've justifiably received is going to escalate into physical violence. For most rational public servants, that would be an indication that something has gone wrong, and that a change of direction is in order.

But not for these clowns. Instead, they're going to keep governing for their own personal and political gain, and simply fortify their building. They've made clear it's acceptable for girls in Montgomery County to live with the risk of being gang-raped, or beaten to the point of hospitalization. But for themselves, they are seeking guaranteed safety, at your expense.

The move is being handled quickly - the public hearing is already scheduled for April 4, 2017, at 1:30 PM.

It's also notable in one other respect. This fortification without any justifying security threat marks the only time the Council has proactively addressed an issue, and - surprise - it's all about them, not us.

The Council never bothered to ensure adequate backup for its 911 system until 2 of its constituents died when it failed. They never bothered to withhold redevelopment rights from older apartment buildings, so landlords wouldn't have an excuse to wind down maintenance and put tenants at risk - until one such building exploded, killing 7 more of their constituents. And even then, while they made a PR stunt of expanding apartment inspections, they quietly declined to actually appropriate the funds to pay for the additional inspectors.

No such problems here. As usual, the only jobs this Council has created have all are in county government. You'll be picking up the tab for the scanners, metal detectors, conveyor belts and pat-downs. In the war against their constituents, and no expense will be spared.

Rockville rape victim-shaming begins; ICE defies MoCo Council, arrests suspect's father

Lawyers for the two illegal immigrants charged with gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom at Rockville High School warned in media interviews they would stoop low to defend their clients. Yesterday, they began their campaign of victim-shaming the girl in a court filing. According to the Washington Post, an attorney for alleged rapist Jose Montano, 17, again claims the encounter was consensual.

The attorney, David Wooten, also claims that the victim sent Montano "explicitly compromising images of herself" in text messages, and that she agreed to the encounter in advance via text. There's no indication Wooten has actually provided such evidence to the court yet, as he attempts to get his client bailed out of the unspecified juvenile facility he is locked up in.

Such legal boasts are clearly also an effort to intimidate the victim, in hopes that she will decline to provide the testimony that could put Montano and second suspect Henry Sanchez, 18, behind bars for life. They may also represent a craven attempt to appeal to a psychological weakness found in society regarding rape. "Why do we blame victims?" asked Juliana Breines, PhD, in a 2013 article. "The more innocent a victim, the more threatening they are. Victims threaten our sense that the world is a safe and moral place, where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. When bad things happen to good people, it implies that no one is safe, that no matter how good we are, we too could be vulnerable."

Yet, even if such texts exist (for the sake of argument), they fail to prove rape didn't occur. "No" still means "no," and police say they have physical evidence of forcible rape in this case.

Meanwhile, for the second time in a week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has delivered a cannonball to the gut of Montgomery County elected officials. Even as county politicians were declaring Montgomery wasn't a sanctuary county early last week, ICE at the same moment was releasing a list of such jurisdictions, and MoCo was on it. Yesterday, ICE struck again.

As first reported by Kevin Lewis of ABC7 News, the father of the other accused rapist Henry Sanchez, Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, has been arrested by ICE agents. This appears to have been the first ICE raid within Montgomery County since President Donald Trump took office. The Montgomery County Council has previously gloated that they have held ICE from conducting raids in the county. This arrest suggests otherwise. Sanchez-Reyes is in the country illegally like his son. He was living in an unidentified apartment complex on Bel Pre Road, and is now behind bars in Jessup awaiting an immigration hearing.

If that wasn't enough, Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted the Maryland General Assembly's Trust Act Monday, a proposed law that the Montgomery County Council played a major role in writing. Sessions said the Trust act would put "the State of Maryland at more risk for violence and crime," a charge with extra sting in the wake of the Rockville High gang rape and the execution-style murder of a Gaithersburg girl by the MS-13 gang she became involved with at Watkins Mill High School.

In his weekly news conference Monday, County Council President Roger Berliner stressed his belief that Montgomery is not a sanctuary county, but did admit "our county does not honor civil detainer requests," which he considers unconstitutional. He did not explain why he thought the federal government would ask the county to do something that was illegal. But as an attorney, he was careful to use some lawyerly language: "We fully comply with the law as we understand it to be."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Residents rally to demand change, accountability after Rockville HS gang rape (Video+photos)

Hundreds of residents gathered in front of the Montgomery County Council Building in Rockville yesterday to demand elected officials and MCPS be held accountable for their roles in the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School. Protesters held signs demanding MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith resign, and against Montgomery County sanctuary policies that allowed the girl's alleged attackers to live here and enroll in 9th grade despite being much older. The rape allegedly took place in a bathroom at the school on March 16.

Speakers and notable attendees included Montgomery County Executive candidate Robin Ficker, Montgomery County Council District 2 candidate Edward Amatetti, and Brigitta Mullican, a Rockville resident who has been one of the leading critics of the effort to officially declare Rockville a sanctuary city.

A small group of counter-protesters
were kept separate across the street
by Montgomery County police
A small group of less than 20 counter-protesters set up across Maryland Avenue from the protest, and attempted to shout down speakers throughout the event, despite lacking the numbers to do so. The poor showing was likely due to the fact that very few in the county believe the accused rapists should have been in the 9th grade. And to the mass outrage over the security lapses that facilitated the alleged suspects' brutal bathroom attack, during which they allegedly repeatedly raped and sodomized the victim, as she screamed for help that never came.
Robin Ficker is mobbed by
fans after lowering the boom
on the County Council and MCPS
in his speech
In a speech to the crowd, Ficker ripped County elected officials and MCPS for their mishandling of the Rockville H.S. rape, and of crime in their schools in general. Ficker cited recent reports of violent crimes that occurred at the school just weeks before the gang rape, and were covered up by administrators. In one, a girl was beaten and kicked in the head three times, he said - yet parents were never informed this happened. These were warning signs that should have resulted in tighter security weeks ago, Ficker said.

Ficker suggested the county move 9th grade back to junior high, and leave grades 10, 11 and 12 at the high school level, arguing that kids are being forced to grow up too fast. He noted that, while Rockville H.S. had more than 100 security cameras, no one was monitoring them.

Amatetti paused during his speech to ask the crowd to "pray real, real hard for the young, brave girl" who was the victim in this case. He said the school system and the county have "real problems" that need to be addressed.
Ficker poses with a large
contingent of legal Asian
immigrants
The crowd was diverse, including Asians, African-Americans and Latinos. One attendee was overheard noting that the counter-protesters across the street were whiter than the crowd they were counter-protesting against.

Several immigrants who had legally achieved citizenship through great effort and cost, or were seeking to do so legally, decried the county's effort to give those who haven't followed the rules special status. Lucas, a resident of Kensington who did not wish to give his last name, said he has been in the U.S. for 3 years on a student visa. Now he has applied for citizenship, and has been told the process will take 3 to 5 years. It's "unfair," he said, for those who broke the rules to gain the rewards of citizenship in Montgomery County before those who play by the rules.

Mullican called it "unfair for the legal immigrants who waited their turn and came here through the system." She emigrated legally to America from Germany with her family in 1956, and had to wait until 1968 to become a citizen. "I understand the immigration process, and the privilege of being a U.S. citizen," she said.

Several attendees carried signs demanding the resignation of MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith, Smith has so far declined to comply with the growing calls locally and nationally for him to step down. He has gained national notoriety for seeming more concerned about immigration politics than about the rape victim. Smith "speaks far more harshly about xenophobia than he does about sexual assault of a child," said Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.
Bethesda resident Jerry Cave
was master of
ceremonies for the rally








Montgomery County
Young Republicans VP
Dan McHugh

Parents want
Smith out

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Citizens to rally Sunday for MoCo Council/MCPS accountability after Rockville HS gang rape

Community outrage over the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old student in a bathroom at Rockville High School last week has spawned a rally planned for tomorrow, Sunday, March 26, at 4:00 PM, in front of the Montgomery County Council building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Speakers will include community activists and organizations, and political candidates who will be running in 2018.

While emotions are running high over the gang rape, rally organizers say they're asking attendees to protest with a "firm but calm demeanor" - and to create and bring their own signs.

Many blame the County Executive, County Council and Montgomery County Public Schools for policies and security lapses which they feel allowed the bathroom assault to occur. Those officials' decision to wait several days to comment publicly, their often tone-deaf response, and the sense that they were angrier about criticism directed at them than about the rape itself, further outraged county residents. MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith was blasted for an inept response, and pilloried online for calling parents racists and xenophobes. A petition is now calling for Smith's resignation. It has 1387 signatures at press time.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Attorney for Rockville HS gang rape suspect says incident was "not a rape in any sense"

Henry Sanchez
Promises defense will
put 14-year-old victim's
"character into play"

A lawyer with the law firm representing one of the two alleged assailants in the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School last week outlined the defense his team will pursue last night on Fox News. His client, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez, is an illegal immigrant who was enrolled as a "freshman" at the school.

Graphic details in the police report suggest a violent, bloody scene, with the victim screaming for help as she was allegedly assaulted, raped and sodomized by Sanchez and Jose Montano, 17. But according to Sanchez's defense attorney, David Moyse, "This was a consensual encounter, not a rape in any sense."

Appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night, Moyse asserted that there is no evidence to suggest the incident was "in any way illegal." Despite being an attorney, Moyse was apparently unaware that any sexual encounter between an adult and a 14-year-old is, in fact, illegal. Even if all parties claim it was consensual, it is still statutory rape.

Moyse hinted that his team will potentially trash the victim in court. "I'm sure there could be a number of questions asked about all three of the people involved," he told Carlson. Moyse said the defense will put her "character into play."

Some have questioned how Sanchez can afford a respected defense team to represent him, while Montano has only a public defender. Pressed by Carlson on who is paying for the firm's services, Moyse declined to answer.

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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MCPS super "sounded like an idiot" as MoCo officials' weak Rockville HS rape response continues

Facing heavy local and national criticism over the Montgomery County policies that enabled two college-age illegal immigrants to allegedly gang rape a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom at Rockville High School last week, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith spoke at a PTA meeting at the school closed to reporters last night. Attendees I spoke to left disappointed in Smith's performance and the meeting. "He sounded like an idiot," one said. Reportedly, only a few people were even allowed to ask questions. But, along with Smith's 5-day silence and bizarre press conference prior to the meeting, expectations should have been low.

Sounding like an even-more-mellow cross between Stuart Smalley and the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Smith half-heartedly lamented the "terrible, horrible thing" that happened last Thursday at his press conference. His responses echoed the almost-sociopathic, emotionless comments of Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner, whose tone-deaf performance at a Monday press conference generated outrage and disbelief on social media after I reported on it yesterday (hard to believe I was the only media outlet that did, with empathy-free gems like "Bad things happen").

Smith said the alleged rapists "chose to do something very, very bad, from all of the allegations. People choose to do very bad things." I mean, the guy sounded like a 5-year-old tattling on a classmate. "We're talking about, 'Why was this student in this school?' And he was there to get to the services that were best suited to his needs. He chose to go outside of that purpose, and do a really bad thing." Give me a break! He's talking about a vicious gang rape, a brutal physical assault, a 14-year-old girl being raped and sodomized by two men in a restroom as if it was a prankster setting off a stink bomb at school.

"A really bad thing?" After the performances of Berliner and Smith, I think parents and the community would at least like to see somebody actually express real anger and outrage. Maybe pound a fist on a desk, flip over a tray of deli sandwiches, or otherwise display some other emotion than smug, defensive superiority and condescension toward the public. We're talking about one of the most horrifying things that has happened in the history of Montgomery County Public Schools here. For God's sake, show some humanity, remorse for your failure to protect your most vulnerable constituents - children, and an urgent resolve to change your ways and policies.

What's really scary and concerning for students and parents? Smith only got even slightly animated when he was on the attack against critics and enemies real and imagined, not when talking about the gang rape and the victim. He literally sounded more empathetic toward the illegal man-children trying to play freshmen at MCPS high schools than toward the victim. It's disgusting.

Smith admonished those who "want to make a political comment," and then proceeded to repeatedly make political comments. One of the most hysterical moments of the press conference was when Smith pointedly stated how closely Montgomery County supposedly follows "the law of the land." "We do our business by the rule of law," Smith said righteously, apparently unaware of the extreme hypocrisy of stating that in a sanctuary county that defies federal immigration law on a daily basis. Do you follow "the rule of law," or not? Smith apparently doesn't know. He also placed air quotes around the term, "illegal," clearly a political statement, whether you agree or disagree. Again, it's outrageous that during his political comments, he raised the volume of his voice and became more animated than when speaking about the rape and the victim.

Smith emphasized repeatedly that MCPS schools are "safe," when the reality is that some other parent's daughter is one mad decision away from being victimized by similar criminals lurking in our school system. No criminal background checks are run on any student, Smith revealed. For those parents trying to figure out why adults recently arriving in America are enrolled as 9th graders alongside their 14-year-old daughters, Smith had sobering news: "We have a great number of 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds enrolled across all 25 of our high schools."

The superintendent spoke of there being 5 security guards and one school resource officer on campus at Rockville High School, but couldn't explain where all six were during Thursday's bathroom assault. There is no evidence whatsoever that MCPS students are "safe" from similar sexual assaults in the future.

Officials appear to have completely misread the public's concerns about this particular incident, and what it means for student safety across MCPS. They instead seem to be reverting to the way they respond to immigration issues in general, which is to cast themselves as morally-superior, chastising the evil "racists" daring to question their policies. The problem is, we're not talking about the general immigration debate here, such as the future fate of the 13 million undocumented immigrants in America, and "deporting Grandma." That is, of course, the debate county officials wish they were having, and would like to divert attention to Donald Trump - who is highly unpopular in liberal MoCo - rather than the rape of a child that is "on them."

People are instead demanding answers about the specific policies and decisions of Montgomery County that allowed a 14-year-old girl to be gang-raped in a bathroom inside a Montgomery County public school by two college-age "freshmen" - one of whom MCPS does not even have a home address on file for, much less a criminal history.

Those policies and decision-making priorities need to change, and until they do, no student is truly "safe."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rockville residents weigh in on Rockville HS gang rape on national TV

Fox News host Tucker Carlson
discusses Rockville HS rape
case with Rockville resident
Brigitta Mullican
Rockville has found itself on the national stage over the last four days, and it's just about the worst look possible for the All-American City-award winner. The alleged brutal gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School by two illegal immigrant classmates quickly went viral, and has been picked up by the national press. Tweets about the incident are cranked out every few minutes on Twitter, and yesterday, the story hit national cable television news.
Rockville resident Dan McHugh
on Special Report with Bret Baier
Two Rockville residents, Dan McHugh and Brigitta Mullican, weighed in on the horrifying story on Fox News yesterday evening. McHugh, who is the current Vice-President of the Montgomery County Young Republicans, started his day on WMAL radio. But he made a TV appearance on Bret Baier's Special Report on Fox News Channel, as well, telling reporter Doug McElway of the impacts of Montgomery County's sanctuary city policies on taxes, school performance and crime.
Brigitta Mullican
Three hours later, Rockville resident Brigitta Mullican joined Fox host Tucker Carlson to discuss the "horrifying news," in his words. Mullican, an American citizen who emigrated here legally decades ago, asked how the illegal immigrants had "the opportunity to commit this kind of crime" at Rockville High School.

Carlson read from Mullican's testimony at last month's public hearing regarding a push by some Rockville elected officials to formally declare Rockville a "sanctuary city." Mullican said the driver who brought her to the Fox studios told her his father spent eight years trying to navigate the legal steps to becoming an American citizen. She said giving undocumented immigrants special preference, and exemption from the law, is unfair.

Briefed on the current situation of undocumented immigrants flooding Montgomery County Public Schools, Carlson offered his assessment of MCPS: "At this point, [MCPS is] saying, 'we don't care about education' - isn't that the message?"

MoCo Council President on Rockville HS gang rape: "Bad things happen"

After hiding from their constituents and the press for four days, Montgomery County elected officials yesterday began to react to the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old girl by two illegal immigrants at Rockville High School last Thursday. It was notable that County Council President Roger Berliner did not begin his weekly press conference by making a statement about the incident, which is foremost on the minds of county residents and parents. Only after being asked about the rape by a reporter, did Berliner comment. "Bad things happen," he suggested at one point.

Asked about the hot topic of why adults (the accused rapists are 17 and 18) are allowed to enroll as ninth-graders in Montgomery County Public Schools, Berliner endorsed the idea as a sound education policy for those with poor English skills.

In regard to the County's de facto sanctuary policies regarding citizenship status, a reporter asked if officials thought the incident should bring those policies into question now. Berliner disputed that idea in a puzzling way, asserting that the rape incident "reinforces why Montgomery County does what it does."

What was perhaps most troubling, was the passive, past-tense description of how the County would respond to the threat of serious crime, such as the gang rape incident. While most illegal immigrants do not engage in serious crime activity, Berliner said, "some of them do terrible things...and then we need to take care of it." In other words, our elected officials will allow a scenario in which we know "terrible things" will indeed happen, and then the County will "take care of it." That cannot be comforting to the victim of Thursday's brutal sexual assault in a bathroom at the school, who was allegedly gang-raped and sodomized. Wouldn't it make more sense to remove the criminal threat from the community and our schools before "bad things happen?"

Berliner went on to say the County does cooperate in limited circumstances with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when the agency alerts them when prisoners in custody "have committed federal crimes." But just yesterday, Montgomery County was placed on a new federal list of jurisdictions that "limit cooperation with ICE."

"Is there some coddling [of illegal immigrants] here that might have contributed to this crime?" asked a reporter. Berliner denied that was the case, and claimed those being "coddled" by the Council are longtime residents, whose only crime is being "undocumented." "We're coddling, and I'm proud of it," Berliner said.

Amidst fallout of brutal Rockville HS gang rape, MoCo lands on new ICE sanctuary city list

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division included Montgomery County on a list of jurisdictions that have ignored federal detainers on jailed criminals ICE sought to deport between January 28 and February 3, 2017. It also placed Montgomery on a separate list of "Jurisdictions that have Enacted Policies which Limit Cooperation with ICE." That designation directly contradicts assertions by MoCo officials that the county is not a sanctuary jurisdiction. And it comes only days after the alleged brutal gang rape of a female student at Rockville High School by two illegal immigrants.
Line 3 of this chart details just
one of the ICE detainers ignored
by Montgomery County on an
illegal immigrant charged with
assault here in the county
According to the report, during the six-day period studied, ICE placed a detainer on an unidentified illegal alien from El Salvador who had been charged with assault in Montgomery County, and was being held in the County detention center. Montgomery County declined the detainer in that case, according to ICE records, meaning that individual is back on the streets here in the county after his release.
MoCo lands on list of
jurisdictions that "limit
cooperation with ICE"
four days after two illegal
immigrants sought by ICE
were charged with the brutal
gang rape of a 14-year-old girl
at Rockville High School
Montgomery County's informal sanctuary policies indeed make it an outlier - the list of jurisdictions included on the limited-cooperation list is fairly short, when you consider how many cities and counties there are nationwide. Its inclusion on the list, and refusal to assist ICE in deporting an individual charged with assault here in the county, is not a good look after two illegal immigrants were charged with the brutal gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School last week.

The list is a new publication that will be updated regularly by ICE, and should be interesting reading as MoCo officials continue to make false statements regarding the true nature of their "cooperation" with ICE. This report suggests they have earned a Four Pinocchio/Pants-on-Fire rating with such statements.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rockville sanctuary city push likely dead-on-arrival after brutal Rockville HS gang rape

Henry Sanchez, 18, had an
"active alien removal" case
pending against him - but was
allowed to enroll as a
freshman(!!) at
Rockville High School, where he is
accused of raping a 14-year-old girl
The alleged brutal gang rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School by two immigrant classmates last Thursday has likely doomed legislative efforts to formalize the existing sanctuary policies of Montgomery County and the City of Rockville. It's inconceivable that any elected official could press forward with that agenda item, now that the horrific details of that sexual assault were followed by word that at least one of the accused is an illegal immigrant who should have been deported - but mysteriously wasn't (shockingly, as of press time, the Maryland House of Delegates is expected to vote today on a similar statewide sanctuary measure).

But beyond the always-controversial immigration issue, the rape incident has exposed two additional security flaws at Montgomery County Public Schools. First is the question people across America have been asking on social media since the rape story went viral Friday: How did a 17 and 18 year old manage to get enrolled as "freshmen" at Rockville High School? And, second, how could Rockville High School and MCPS not have a home address on-file for one of its students?

So far, MCPS is not revealing the details of how adults can enroll in regular 9th grade classes. Most illegal immigrants are working during school hours, so clearly neither of these gentlemen came here to work. Stunningly, MCPS and its bumbling superintendent were completely silent on a gang rape that occurred in their school four days ago until yesterday. But don't expect any answers, according to said-bumbling superintendent Jack Smith, who arrogantly wrote that "I know community members have many questions about this serious incident. To ensure we do not unintentionally prejudice an ongoing investigation, MCPS cannot provide any additional details about this specific case at this time." And we pay this guy's salary? There is no reference to the bathroom assault on the system's Twitter feed, even as parents have pressed for answers on social media all weekend.


Equally troubling is the fact that Rockville High School and MCPS could not provide Montgomery County police detectives with the home address of Jose Montano. The official police press release described Montano's residence as an "unconfirmed address." Yet a home address was readily available for Henry Sanchez, the 18-year-old illegal immigrant who has only been in the country for seven months.

How can you enroll at MCPS without a home address? How would they have confirmed Montano's identity? How would they know he lived in the Rockville High School cluster?

How many other students does MCPS not have a home address for? How many students are illegally attending schools outside of their actual school cluster, because MCPS is not verifying their home address? Is this part of an exceptional process that applies to undocumented immigrant students? Because I have a hard time believing that an actual legal resident living in Aspen Hill would be able to enroll at Walt Whitman High School without proof of a current address in the Whitman cluster area.

So many questions, for a school system already found to have extremely-lax cybersecurity (including personal student information), and - as we found during recent vandalism incidents - a lack of security cameras on its campuses.

So many questions about how this devastating crime was allowed to happen, yet none of them are being asked by the elected officials whose policies actually did allow this rape to occur - the Montgomery County Council. Constituents took County and Rockville City Council members to task for their silence, which was deafening this past weekend.




Just this morning, the Washington Post is reporting that MS-13 gang kingpins in El Salvador are sending additional gang members north, specifically to Montgomery County, with orders to increase the gang's power in our county. This is serious business, especially in a county where our political leaders have so far claimed we don't have a gang problem. And Montgomery County has now earned the dubious distinction of being the only jurisdiction in our area where two underage girls have been gang-raped by illegal immigrants in a single year. Last April, two illegal immigrants living at taxpayer expense in Montgomery County public housing in Wheaton were arrested for kidnapping and gang-raping a 12-year-old girl.


Both of these girls were let down by our elected officials, and our school system. It's a disgrace. Silence is not the answer.