Federal immigration agents in Maryland arrested the father of an 18-year-old charged in a high-profile high school rape case, saying they had reviewed the father’s immigration history and determined that he was in the country illegally.
The father, identified as Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, a 43-year-old citizen of Guatemala, was picked up Friday, issued a notice to appear in immigration court and taken to the Howard County Detention Center, said Matthew Bourke, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
Bourke would not say whether Sanchez-Reyes’s arrest was related to his son’s criminal case in Montgomery County, or what prompted the review of the father’s immigration status. Bourke said it is not uncommon that ICE would look into the immediate connections of a primary target when reviewing a case.
Attorneys for the son — Henry Sanchez Milian, who is accused by police of raping a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School on March 16 — said Tuesday that his father came to the United States about 12 years ago.
The lawyers said they were unaware of Sanchez-Reyes having ever been criminally charged in Maryland. In a 2010 traffic incident, according to the lawyers and Maryland online court records, Sanchez-Reyes was cited for driving without a license and unsafe lane changing.
The attorneys said they will work to get the father released.
“We hope to get him out soon,” said one of the lawyers, Andrew Jezic. “And we will assert grounds for him to stay in the country.”
Jezic would not say whether he thought the father was arrested as a result of attention attracted by his son’s case.
“ICE has stepped up its enforcement nationwide,” Jezic said, “and he is one of many who are being detained who would not have been detained 100 days ago.”
Jezic said the father works 60 hours a week as a carpenter. Jezic would not comment on the father’s immigration status.
The son, Sanchez Milian, illegally entered the United States about seven months ago and was detained by the Border Patrol, according to federal officials. He was released from immigration custody, went to Montgomery County, moved in with his father and enrolled at Rockville High School in September, according to Jezic and school officials.
On March 16, according to Montgomery County police, Sanchez Milian and another student — 17-year-old Jose Montano, who has been charged as an adult — took turns raping a 14-year-old girl in a stall inside a boys’ bathroom at the high school. Attorneys for both suspects have said that the sex acts were consensual.