Grand Jury Declines to Indict Highland Park Student After Rape Accusation

A Dallas County grand jury has declined to indict a prominent Highland Park High School student who was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl after a concert last fall.

Ryan Romo, 18, was arrested in October, accused of raping a younger female acquaintance in the back of his Chevy Tahoe after a Ghostland Observatory concert at the Palladium Ballroom. Because Romo was a prominent high school athlete, and because his father is Adam Romo Jr., the chief executive officer of Eatzi's, the case brought a flurry of media attention. Most memorable was this still-breathtakingly-stupid article from CultureMap Dallas, which we subsequently took to task.

We hadn't heard any updates in the case since October 31, when Romo was released from jail. Now, as the Morning News reports, a Dallas County grand jury has "no-billed" Romo. The case against him is closed, unless new evidence is presented to prosecutors.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Romo and the girl caught a cab back to his car after the show, climbed in the back and started kissing. But when Romo eventually removed his pants, the girl told him she didn't want to have sex. Romo told her "it would be OK and to allow it to happen," the affidavit says, then ignored her as she screamed "stop."

A medical exam by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at Medical Center of Plano found vaginal tearing and abrasions to the girl's buttocks. After a follow-up with her regular physician, that doctor told investigators he believed the trauma he observed "to have been forceful."

According to the News, Romo took a polygraph test, the results of which were presented to the grand jury. During the polygraph, he said the sex had been consensual.

The stepfather of the girl told the News the family is "extremely disheartened and dismayed" by the results of the grand jury. Romo's lawyer, meanwhile, says it is "unlikely" that the Romos will sue the girl's family.

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