The father of a teenager accused of raping a 14-year-old female student in a bathroom stall at a Maryland high school was arrested by federal authorities who said the man is in the U.S. illegally, officials said.

Adolfo Sanchez-Reyes, 43, is being held at a Maryland detention center and was ordered to appear in immigration court, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sanchez-Reyes is a citizen of Guatemala.

His son’s case garnered national attention this month and was spotlighted by the Trump administration as evidence of the need for stricter immigration laws as local jurisdictions across the country declare themselves “sanctuary cities.”

Earlier this month, Henry E. Sanchez-Milian, 18, along with 17-year-old Jose O. Montano, another classmate, approached the student in the hallway at Rockville High School, where Montano asked her to have sex, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.

She told police she refused.

Authorities say Montano then forced the girl into a boy’s bathroom, where he and Sanchez-Milian raped her in a stall while she repeatedly told them to stop, according to court records. Both teens were charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sex offense, records show.

An attorney representing Sanchez-Milian said text messages show the girl was planning a sexual encounter with Montano at the time of the incident.

“Everybody has jumped to an understandable conclusion, but the strong evidence indicates that both young men are innocent,” said Andrew Jezic, who is defending Sanchez-Milian. “All parties were willing participants.”

Last year, federal immigration authorities detained Sanchez-Milian on suspicion of being in the country illegally and let him go after 12 days, Jezic said.

“ICE investigated Henry thoroughly, found out he had no criminal history, he had no gang ties, he was no threat to the national safety,” Jezic said. “He was voluntarily let go by ICE.”

Jezic said the teen’s father has “zero criminal history” and is “just a very humble hardworking guy.” He would not comment on the man’s immigration status.

—Los Angeles Times


NCAA deadline to address House Bill 2 is close, event recruiter says

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina will lose out on six years of NCAA championship events if legislators don’t address House Bill 2 within 48 hours, a sports event recruiter said Tuesday.

“I have confirmed with a contact very close to the NCAA that its deadline for HB2 is 48 hours from now,” said Scott Dupree, who leads the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, which recruits NCAA and other sporting events to Raleigh. “If HB2 has not been resolved by that time, the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids. The NCAA has already delayed the bid review process once and has waited as long as it possibly can, and now it must finalize all championship site selections through spring of 2022.”

HB2 struck down local nondiscrimination ordinances and requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate while they are in schools and other government facilities.

Dupree’s comment, issued at noon Tuesday, adds urgency to the NCAA’s statement last week reminding legislators that the deadline is approaching.

“Absent any change in the law, our position remains the same regarding hosting current or future events in the state,” the NCAA said Thursday in a statement posted to Twitter and emailed to news media. “As the state knows, next week our various sports committees will begin making championship site selections for 2018-2022 based upon bids received from across the country. … Those decisions are final and an announcement of all sites will be made on April 18.”

—The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)


Trump administration ratchets up pressure on Venezuela

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is demonstrating willingness to ramp up pressure on Venezuela as the Organization of American States begins a new debate on what to do about the economic and humanitarian crisis in the South American country.

A month after the Trump administration issued sanctions against Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of drug trafficking and money laundering, the U.S. government is working with other foreign leaders to increase international pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government, including threatening to suspend the government from the United Nations-like OAS.

“We need to act with urgency and clarity of purpose for indeed, as the saying goes, the whole world is watching,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, a deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere. “This is an important day for the OAS, which is fulfilling its responsibility to safeguard democracy.”

Fitzpatrick emphasized that the goal “is not immediate suspension,” but that it was time for the 34 member OAS to consider all available tools to help the people of Venezuela.

In an emotional three-plus-hour debate on Venezuelan democracy during which one ambassador walked out and others threatened to do the same as Venezuelan Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Moncada insulted those that had spoken against his government.

While no action was taken, the OAS debated whether the embattled Venezuelan government was fulfilling its democratic obligations under the group’s Inter-American Democratic Charter. Last year, OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro issued a scathing 75-page report accusing Maduro’s government of repeatedly violating the group’s human rights and democracy standards.

On Tuesday, Almagro recommended that the OAS suspend Venezuela if it does not hold elections soon.

“We do not support any invasion,” Almagro said. “We want elections soon.”

—McClatchy Washington Bureau

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