Highland Park High School senior arrested on sex assault charge

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by MATT GOODMAN & DAVID SCHECHTER

WFAA

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 11:04 PM

DALLAS – A prominent senior on the Highland Park High School baseball team was charged with sexual assault of a child on Tuesday, two days after an acquaintance told authorities he raped her, court records say. 

According to an affidavit requesting a warrant for his arrest, Ryan Romo and the victim ran into each other at a concert at the Palladium Ballroom on Saturday night. The document says the two knew each other, but “only in the school setting.” 

Romo, 18, is the son of Adam Romo, the Chief Executive Officer of Eatzi's Market & Bakery. 

After the concert, the document says Romo and the victim got a cab ride to the 18-year-old's vehicle, a 2008 white Chevrolet Tahoe. The two then drove to Romo’s parents’ house in Highland Park and parked on the street. 

The affidavit says both got in the back seat of the Tahoe and began kissing. The victim said Romo began inappropriately touching her and removed his pants. The affidavit says the victim ordered Romo to stop, but he did not and raped her. 

The affidavit graphically describes what the victim told investigators, including her numerous orders for Romo to stop. University Park police towed the Tahoe on Wednesday to search it for evidence, said department spokeswoman Alita Snellgrove. 

"It supports the story," she said regarding what investigators hope to find in the vehicle. "It tells the story of what happened." 

After the alleged rape, the document says Romo dropped the victim off at her house. Her mother noticed something wasn’t right and asked what was wrong. The victim soon told her mother of the assault, saying, “I said no but he didn’t care.” 

Records show her mother took the teen to Baylor Medical Center of Plano, where she was given a sexual assault examination. The doctor later told investigators that the test results showed proof of intercourse. The affidavit also notes that a second examination by a gynecologist found that “the trauma he observed appears to have been forceful.” 

Investigators also conducted two secret phone calls between Romo and the victim. During the first, the document says Romo told the victim, “I had fun we should definitely hang out again.” He also offered to buy her the morning after pill “if she was really worried about it,” the affidavit says.

During the second recording, made the next day in person, the victim told Romo, “I just wish it didn’t happen like that.” 

“Like, I wish, cause, I said stop…I said no…I wish you’d stopped you know or not done it,” the affidavit says. Romo then replied, “OK, you’re making me feel bad, wow.” 

Romo was jailed on a $100,000 bond. He is charged with sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony. The affidavit does not say how old the victim is. 

A lawyer representing Romo did not return repeated requests for comment.

Former Dallas County prosecutor Toby Shook called the case tragic. 

"It's going to have a lifelong impact on him, no matter what happens," he said. "And the victim's going to be affected for the rest of her life." 

Romo posted bond on Tuesday and was released from the Lew Sterrett Justice Center.

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