St. Mary's County law enforcement officials charged a Mechanicsville man on Friday with the rape of a 17-year-old girl.

The girl and Jerry W. McGinnis Jr., 22, were at the Relax Inn on Park Avenue in Leonardtown between 9 and 11 p.m. Thursday when McGinnis forced the girl to have sexual intercourse, said Sgt. William Rosado of the St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

The girl went to St. Mary's Hospital and reported that she was raped, police said. Police contacted her there after midnight.

McGinnis, a construction worker, was charged with second-degree rape; a felony conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, Rosado said.

McGinnis's mother, Dawn Murphy, 38, said the girl was a friend of her son's. The girl drove to the McGinnis home about 7 p.m. Thursday to pick up her son, Murphy said.

"I'm just really disconcerted, I'm very heartbroken over this. I know little Jerry is not capable of raping any female whatsoever," Murphy said.

Murphy said she had heard that about half a dozen friends were in the motel room. Rosado said evidence found in the room suggested that multiple people had been there, but he said investigators believe that McGinnis and the girl were alone at the time of the rape.

An employee reached by telephone at the Relax Inn declined to comment.

As of Friday afternoon, McGinnis was at the St. Mary's County Detention Center, where he was held on $20,000 bond for the rape charge and $5,000 bond for a second-degree assault charge from a separate incident.

Rosado said the second-degree rape charge applied because the incident did not involve weapons or drugs, which could have elevated it to first-degree status. Rosado said he did not know whether the girl was a student in the St. Mary's County public school system.

About 20 rapes have been reported in St. Mary's this year, police said.