Highland Park Student Arrested on Rape Charge

A Highland Park High School student was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual assault of a child.

Ryan Romo, 18, was taken into custody by University Park police after a girl told authorities he raped her Saturday night. The senior, who is an outfielder for the Highland Park Scots baseball team, was transferred Tuesday to the Dallas County jail, where he posted $100,000 bond.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the victim said she knew Romo only through school and ran into the baseball player at Saturday’s Ghostland Observatory show at the Palladium Ballroom. After the concert, she rode with him in a taxi to his Chevrolet Tahoe. He then drove them to the 3200 block of Stanford Avenue, where the assault occurred.

There, the affidavit states, the victim and Romo were kissing in the back seat when he moved forward with acts that made the victim uncomfortable. Despite the victim’s multiple pleas to stop, Romo raped the girl, the affidavit states.

He then drove her home, where her mother noticed something was wrong. After being asked what happened, the victim recalled Romo’s advances and said, “I said no, but he didn’t care.”

She was taken to Baylor Medical Center of Plano, where a rape kit was taken. According to the report, a nurse noted several abrasions on the victim’s body as well as other signs of abuse.

University Park investigators were able to record two conversations between the victim and Romo. In the first, he tells her, “I had fun. We should definitely hang out again.” He then makes remarks about purchasing the morning-after pill if the victim was really worried about being pregnant.

In the second recording, the victim tells Romo, “I just wish it didn’t happen like that,” and recalls how she had told him to stop and said no.

Romo replies, “OK, you’re making me feel bad. Wow.”

Romo is the son of Adam Romo, the chief executive officer of Eatzi’s Market & Bakery. Attempts to reach the family were not returned.

By Andrew Plock Oct. 31, 2012 | 3:42 pm | 79 Comments | Comments RSS
79 comments to "Highland Park Student Arrested on Rape Charge"
  1. dennis beecherl @ October 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    i think thats terrible i think his life is ruined .

  2. XT @ October 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm
    HIS life? This story makes you think about HIM? How about her life?

  3. AB @ October 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    Congrats to the victim and her family for reporting this. Lots of kids, LOTS of HP kids think they are above the law when it comes to taking drugs, drinking and taking advantage of people. I have heard people say they feel sorry for BOTH kids involved . . I don’t. Ryan Romo is an alleged rapist and no one needs to feel sorry for alleged rapists.

  4. Parkie @ October 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm
    Feels voyeuristic to read this and seems inappropriate to give so many details about the medical exam and phone calls. I applaud her for having the courage to go to the hospital for the exam and reporting the assault.

  5. formerhpstudent @ October 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm
    If he’s innocent then his life isn’t ruined. If he’s guilty, then it’s his fault and he should face the consequences. The victim is who matters in this situation, and she did the right thing.

  6. DGirl @ October 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm
    I commend this young woman for her bravery in reporting this crime, and I hope the entire community stands with her in this dark hour. She certainly is already a role model for other victims just by speaking up.

    As for the boy, let us all remind our community’s young men that NO ALWAYS MEANS “NO”.

  7. Ray @ October 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm
    My thoughts and prayers goes out to this young lady. This is an unfortunate event in her life which is incredibly traumatizing, psychologically and emotionally. So I pray her friends an family will reach out to her an be supportive in every way. This person needs to know she is loved and this is not her fault, that and not everyone is this Aweful.

  8. FatherofaSonandDaughter @ October 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm
    Well his life is ruined even if he is innocent which we have to presume although everyone here is naming the plaintiff as the victim.

    With the internet this boy’s name even if he is innocent will always be associated with the accusation of this crime.

    Granted any 18 year old boy or older in today’s world better make sure he knows the age of his partner, because no matter what he is 18 (I’m assuming the defendant is younger) and that could be a crime depending on her age.

    This is just a tragic event for both parties and I’m sure fueled by alcohol.

  9. Dixie @ October 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm
    I guess at Lew Sterrett you don’t get Bubba’s chicken, you get Bubba’s . . Something else.

  10. JMB @ October 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    Well so sad that this young 16yr old girl Trusted this Star baseball player to drive her home after this RAVE concert……. But why would her parents let her go to the Pavilion in the first place …. Glad she had the strength And courage to tell her parents And go to the hospital and them report the crime …lets hope she was not drinking

  11. Scooter @ October 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm
    I remember back in the 70-80’s, this stuff took place all the time (regrettably). No one was wanting to come forward because it was smash the chance of them becoming Kappa Kappa Gamma at UT, SMU, Ole Miss. Am I wrong?

  12. nfw @ October 31, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    Texas has a Romeo and Juliet law I believe, so I don’t think this is a case of statutory rape. I’d slow down on the conviction though, folks. He’s innocent until proven guilty. Don’t know what’s in the tape, but, if what’s recounted above is it, it doesn’t sound like an admission. This doesn’t end well for either party.

  13. Dallas @ October 31, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    AB- first off this is completely misconstrued. Ryan is a standout baseball player that is a good hearted Young man. He would never forcefully rape a girl. She has changed her story multiple times. People need to wait until the verdict to see what happens because this is a girl who ruined an innocent boy’s life.

  14. XT @ October 31, 2012 at 9:39 pm
    I agree with the posters who reminded us that this is an alleged rape, and that everyone is deemed innocent until proven guilty. And that BOTH of their lives are now forever changed.

  15. JMB @ October 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm
    Really Dallas……. When the UP Police have two recordings of this young man talking to this 16 yr.old girl about this Incident

  16. L6SF @ October 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    It doesn’t matter how good of a baseball player he is. She has not changed her story one bit. She is an innocent girl with no history of promiscuity. What about her life? This is a real tragedy and for people to be attacking her is a tremendous travesty.

  17. DGirl @ October 31, 2012 at 10:40 pm
    @ DALLAS- congrats, it only took 6 hours for someone to make the girl out to be a “lying slut.” Disgusting. This is why only 1 in 4 rapes are ever reported. Not because they didn’t happen, but because so many people will turn on the girl- the victim- to support the “standout” athlete.

    Any girl I know wouldn’t make this up- why drag herself and her family through an absolutely embarrassing / emotional/ intensely revealing public spectacle unless it is true???

  18. up mom @ October 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm
    This is a really tragic story, all the way around. While Ryan Romo must be presumed innocent until he’s proven otherwise, to the people in school and who’ve written on various blogs that the girl “must be lying, because he’s such a stand-up guy”, why on earth would the victim put herself through the trauma of sharing this with her family and undergoing an invasive post-rape physical examination (which corroborate her claims), not to mention subjecting herself to a tidal wave of criticism from her peers unless it was true?

  19. ........ @ October 31, 2012 at 11:57 pm
    Why is it in highland park you are guilty until proven innocent??? Noone knows the full truth. Why is this so publicized, the media has no right staking out there home. This sickens me on so many levels.

  20. Scooter @ November 1, 2012 at 12:19 am
    @……. This just doesn’t happened in Highland Park. Check out Shaker Heights, OH, Hillsborough, CA, River Oaks, TX, Ladue, MO, McClain, VA, Greenwich, CT, Back Bay Boston. They all have these skeletons in the closet no matter what the neighborhood or social status.

  21. ........ @ November 1, 2012 at 1:02 am
    @dgirl a similar incident happened at hphs earlier this year only the cops found out the alleged victim was lying. The only difference between this and that case was that the boy was under 18 and wasn’t a star athlete. It happens.

  22. A @ November 1, 2012 at 4:32 am
    Good grief. Let’s all admit that absent hidden cameras and/or microphones in the vehicle, there’s simply no real way to know what happened here, except to take the participants’ testimony, scrutinize it, and evaluate it. One one hand, the fact that the male is an athlete and an apparent “stand up guy” is absurdly irrelevant. On the other hand, the fact that the female is claiming rape does not in and of itself establish that she was raped.

    Let me be clear: I am NOT saying the female is lying. I do not know. But the question has been posed above, “Why would a female claim rape, and submit to such scrutiny, if it did not really occur?” I can illustrate at least one possible reason why with a story from my own family. A cousin of mine, much younger than me, had a few drinks at a party while she was in high school and had sex with a classmate. When she got home that night, instead of making it straight to her bedroom as she usually did, she was confronted by her dad and stepmom waiting up for her. Her clothes, hair, and makeup were in disarray, etc., but she had not previously admitted to her parents that she was sexually active. So, to explain her appearance and condition, she admitted to having had sex, but told her glaring dad that it had been against her will.

    Long story short, police were called, statements were taken, names were dragged through the mud, etc. for about three to four weeks. But it soon became clear, based especially on testimony from several of her own girlfriends who had been at the party, that not only had she been a consensual participant in the sexual activity, but that she and the male had had sex many times before, and they were sort of a known “couple,” kept secret from her parents. My cousin then admitted the story had been false, and said that if she had made it to her bedroom that night without being confronted by her dad, she’d never have made up the story. (Almost as if it were her dad’s fault for waiting up.) But she did make it up, and it snowballed, and she didn’t know how to stop it. Unfortunately, she did a lot of damage to a lot of people. Not to mention damage of the “crying wolf” variety, that true victims bear.

    Now, does this little anecdote mean the female in the original post is lying? NO IT DOES NOT. I’m just saying it’s possible.

    I grew up in the HPISD, and when I was a 16, 17, and 18 year old male, guess what? I was having consensual sex with 16, 17, and 18 year-old females. Am I proud of that? I am not. Do I think it was a particularly wise or responsible thing to do, in retrospect? I do not. My point is, it happens, whether we want to think it does or not. I was also an honor student, and a kid who never did any sort of drugs (not some sort of sex-crazed, fringe oddball). It’s terrifying to think that if a girl I’d been involved with had decided to claim sex between us had been anything other than consensual, for WHATEVER reason, my life could have been ruined.

    One more thing to think about: My first sexual experience, at age 16, was against my will. I repeatedly said no. I admit, I was attracted to the girl physically, but I was in love with someone else. But the girl would not stop. Part of my body reacted in a way I couldn’t “countermand,” and she took advantage of the situation while I laid back, unhappy about it. I am unhappy about it to this day. Was I raped? Is it even possible for a male to be raped? I know it sounds ridiculous. I guess it depends on whom you ask. No one ever asked me how I felt about it, that’s for sure. I was a male, so everyone assumed I loved it. And I honestly don’t think the girl understood how much I didn’t want to proceed. All I know is that mentally and spiritually I didn’t want it to happen, and thinking about it makes my stomach hurt all these years later. What was going through my head at the time was that if I physically asserted myself (grabbed her and and physically pushed her off of me, etc.), and left a single mark or bruise on her in the process, I’d be setting myself up as being viewed as an aggressor/assailant. Because let’s face it, who’d believe a 16-year-old male claiming he was RESISTING sex with a pretty girl?

    My point? YOU NEVER KNOW, people. Appearances can be deceiving. Don’t rush to judgment.

  23. callie @ November 1, 2012 at 7:15 am
    The school system (not HPISD but schools in general) allowed this interaction to happen. This incident is an unintended result of holding back or repeating boys in school for athletic/academic success. Ryan is 19 next week, he is a MAN not a boy and belongs in college, not in HS with 14 and 15 YO girls. Do you think this girls mom would have said yes go hang out with a 19 YO except for that fact they go to school together. Maybe we need to look at why we are allowing adults in class with our children. Conversly, Mr. Romo only hangs out with children, he doesnt know college kids that are more on his maturity level. Or at 19 maybe students need to go to night classes with other adults. This is something no one in our district talks about becuase they want great athletes at the expense of younger kids becoming victims.

  24. nfw @ November 1, 2012 at 8:49 am
    @callie, Blaming the school system is ludicrous. I agree that holding kids back for the benefit of future athletic prowess is ludicrous, and it should be up to the school to ultimately decide if a child is ready to move forward. As for academic success, maturity plays a huge factor, and parents will push the envelope in favor of their kids. It seems as though you’ve already decided how this played out, but I believe we should stop the crucifying until the facts are in. Right now, we will only hear one side of the story because of an impending criminal trial. @A said it right. Don’t rush to judgment. There are plenty of examples where things turned out in ways least expected.

  25. XT @ November 1, 2012 at 9:08 am
    @ A, nice post. I too have seen both sides of these types of cases, one where the girl was dragged through the mud by the community to defend one of the so called good boys in the school, as well as one where the girl got caught in a bad situation with her parents, panicked, and tried to get out of it. We just don’t, and may never, know what happened that night.

    I do have a problem with publishing the names of ALLEGED rapists. Just really hard to put that jeanie back in the bottle.

  26. AB @ November 1, 2012 at 9:11 am
    The affidavit states that the victim had injuries consistent with forceable rape. UPPD and DPD aren’t going to send a “stand up athlete” to Lew Sterrett because of some “he said she said” allegation. These HP kids have no concept of consequences

  27. CP @ November 1, 2012 at 9:22 am
    Wow. Another he is a good guy defense. This is what happens when there is such an age gap between the boys and girls, since HPers love to hold the boys back a grade for sports. Too many adults in school with minors.

    I can already see the EDS defense, the girl had it coming. HP has become nothing more than a suicide infested, money and status seeking community. I am so glad I do not live their anymore

  28. Scots Mom @ November 1, 2012 at 9:38 am
    Both of these kids lives are destroyed and that is sad. And we will hear much more detail on this in the weeks to come. Ryan Romo is a good person and no way did he rape anyone, sex without a condom yes, a forceable rape no way. The audio tapes show concern for getting pregnant, not rape. This girl that he has known well left the club with him in a cab, then got out of the cab and into his SUV at his house and then climbed into the back seat to lay down and make out with him late at night after drinking. Why didn’t she go home? No doubt two sets of hormones were in overdrive that night! I would ask why this sophomore girl was out at Paladium so late anyway – why would her parents allow that? and from the reports she has a “regular” gyncologist, really? sounds like she told a story when she was late getting home and this has skyrocketed out of control to the demise of both kids reputations. But since Ryan is 18 this will be on the internet and follow him for his whole life, innocent or not. She can pretend she had no part in this but it doesn’t work for most and I doubt it will play out in the legal or public opinion courts.

  29. Parkie @ November 1, 2012 at 10:26 am
    Scots Mom, you said what I was thinking about how they ended up in his car late at night. I’m not blaming her or saying he’s innocent, but I am concerned about her being out late unsupervised, and his carelessness about having unprotected sex. Both are disturbing.

  30. Paladium Ballroom? @ November 1, 2012 at 10:35 am
    Isn’t the Palladium Ballroom the same location that the 16yo HP girl drank herself into a coma 2 years ago? Do any high school kids really need to be in south Dallas at 2:00 in the morning?

  31. up mom @ November 1, 2012 at 10:49 am
    @Scots Mom: are you disregarding the fact that 2 different doctors corroborated that physical evidence supported a case of rape? Do you know the girl in question as well as you appear to know the accused? I agree that there is likely more to the story than what has been published this far, but for you to assert (publicly) that “no way did he rape anyone” is a stretch, unless you were in the car with them. I am acquainted with both kids and families on a neighborly level and I can assure you that the victim is a lovely young lady and a good person, as well. As the mother of a teenage girl, I can also tell you that it’s perfectly normal for a girl to begin gynecological exams in high school. I had my first one as a senior and if my smart, involved mother hadn’t insisted on it, I would have ended up infertile (due to an asymptomatic ovarian cyst) and with a ruptured appendix (again, no symptoms, but it was highly inflamed and had to removed with the cyst). It’s really unfair to be casting blame on the victim and her parents without knowing all the facts, which none of us do.

  32. CP @ November 1, 2012 at 10:52 am
    Parkie and Scots Mom

    Its good to know that if you are out past midnight and a high school girl you are fair game for a sexual assualt or if you kiss a boy you have it coming. I will make sure to remind my teenage daughter to avoid the park cities after dark. Plus, I really hope that Scots Mom is just a moniker. To think that you are actually a mother makes me want to throw up.

  33. formerhpstudent @ November 1, 2012 at 10:53 am
    Can someone clarify the statutory rape laws in Texas? I’m sure someone must be a lawyer here… I kept getting conflicting information when I tried googling it. It seems that sex between someone over 18 and someone under 18 has a small window where it is legal if they are fewer than three years apart in age. Obviously I don’t know the girl’s exact age, but if she’s a sophomore (another report said she was an underclassman) there would be a high probability that she is 15 and if Ryan is almost 19 then they could definitely be more than three years apart. So in that case whether it was consensual or not does not matter, based on age alone it would be statutory rape.

  34. Edward @ November 1, 2012 at 11:08 am
    After reading these comments, it’s very easy to see why so many politicians are able to get elected after making asinine statements about rape and abortions.

    It’s easy to see why Highland Park is so Republican.

    “She was out late”, “she drank”, “she got in the back seat with him”, “she has a short skirt on”, “she wanted it”, etc. Talk about a war on women!

  35. formerhpmom @ November 1, 2012 at 11:13 am
    Really, Scots Mom? How are you so sure that he didn’t rape this girl? This is so typical of the culture at HP — the star athletes are treated like royalty and can do no wrong, so obviously this must be the girl’s fault, because making out with him in the back seat of his truck was clearly an invitation for him to have sex with her, right? This blame the victim mentality is sickening. I hope that you don’t have a teenage daughter (as I do), Scots Mom, but if you do I guess she must know that if she makes out with a boy, she will get his hormones going and then be required to allow him to have sex with her against her will. I guess the indications of injuries found during the medical examinations were just an indication that this girl enjoyed rough sex, right, Scots Mom?

  36. NFW @ November 1, 2012 at 11:51 am
    @Edward. Please stop the war on women line. Idiots exist in both parties. Think everybody needs to cool it until ALL the facts come out. Let’s not judge every HP kid by the actions of a few ether. I know some great kids at HPHS who are responsible kids who make great choices. Whatever happened here, it seems like both sides didn’t make the best choices. Not saying she asked for it, but the possibility of booze and sex never turns out well for either party. Boys and girls alike need to understand that.

  37. Parkie @ November 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    I’m not blaming the girl at all. Responsible parents, however, set curfews to keep their kids safe. Safe from what, you ask? Safe from situations just like this! Lordy, people. How about a curfew? Midnight seems quite reasonable for a sophomore. Make sure you know how your kid is getting home. Or pick up your kid after a concert. And maybe young girls shouldn’t go to concerts where everyone gets drunk and grinds on the dance floor! We need to protect our children to keep them out of harm’s way. Your job isn’t finished just because they are in high school.

  38. Edward @ November 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    @NFW – No judgement was made on my part about the guilt or innocence of anyone involved. I was just pointing out the rather consistent philosophy put forth by the current group of people who have taken over the Republican Party, and their repeated statements about “easy rape”, “legitimate rape”, “emergency rape”, etc.

    No matter what the case, their attention is on the victim instead of the perpetrator. And it’s all wrapped up in a “Christian” philosophy about the purity (or lack thereof) of the woman/girl involved. That is directly related to the comments on here about why the young lady was out, why she got into a cab, why she got into the truck, why she got into the back seat.

    It appears to that many people have the opinion that any one of those steps is a green light for sex.

  39. Dan Koller @ November 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm
    Some of you out there may be wondering why your comments are not appearing on this post. If you try to present any “facts” about the people involved that are not mentioned in the affidavit, I will not approve your comment. And I’m the only one who’s deciding which comments are approved.

    FYI, I’m about to go into a couple of back-to-back meetings, so don’t expect any new comments for a few hours, regardless of content.

  40. CS @ November 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    Both of them are responsible for getting in this situation to begin with. Everyone needs to stop blaming. We all know exactly what happens when a girl gets in the backseat of a car with a boy. Most of us, whether male or female, have been there and have regrets. Hopefully our HP teenagers will learn something from watching this unfold.

  41. Really @ November 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    now there is a free ryan romo page on facebook, claiming that he is 100% innocent. Its sickening to see these kids dont understand how serious this is, and are trying to discredit the alleged victim

  42. Edward @ November 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm
    @CS – Um, no I don’t know “exactly what happens when a girl gets in the backseat of a car with a boy.” When a girl gets into the backseat of a car, she automatically becomes fair game?

    I guess I’m confused as to specifically when in a sequence of events has a girl given the official “okay” to have sex. Is it at the concert when maybe her friends have left and she agrees to a ride with a guy that she knows? By doing that is she saying “I’m yours for the rest of the night, do as you will”?

    Or is it when they arrive at his car or house and she doesn’t immediately run to her own car, but instead goes inside? At that point is she officially saying “Yup, let’s do it!”?

    Or is it when she gets in the backseat or maybe agrees to go to a bedroom? So just setting foot in another area of a car or house, is that the clear-cut signal that she is 100% ready for sexual intercourse?

    It’s just stunning to me that so many people seem to – without a thought – make snap statements that just because a woman is in certain proximity to a man in a specific location then it apparently becomes 100% clear to everyone that she has agreed to have sex with him.

    I think we as a community need to take a step back and think about what kind of message we are putting out there for young men and women. Just because a woman is wearing a low cut dress, or has had a drink, or has accepted a ride home does not automatically make it okay for a guy to have sex with her. Or for US to think she is some kind of floozy or is “asking for it”.

  43. cynthia @ November 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm
    A choice to get in the back seat of a car is not a choice to have sex. When a girl says no and a man follows that with causing abrasions and vaginal tears, there is a problem. Rape is a crime, and I hope that this tragic event will help other men to understand that you can’t just overlook inconvenient feelings of the woman involved.

  44. Concert Attendee @ November 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    To set the scene at the Palladium, I have never seen more young looking people at Ghostland concert before. During the first song, the lead singer stopped to address the crowd and said, “stop taking drugs you stupid kids” after he saw 3 people (kids) pass out.

  45. bob's mom @ November 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm
    @ Scots Mom: wow, i am horrified by your Blame the Victim mentality, given that you are both a woman and a mother. while i do believe that the girl wittingly or unwittingly put herself in a dubious situation- (like walking alone in a dangerous neighborhood at night), in no way did she ask to be raped. i’m hoping that parents talk to their girls about avoiding potentially dangerous situations with boys, and talk to their sons about how no means no, no matter what. this is a wake-up call to the community. no girl or woman ever deserves to be raped. scots mom, if you anger someone, do you deserved to be physically pummeled? you just cannot justify either situation.

  46. dennis beecherl @ November 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm
    thank you for what you said about my comment his life is ruined i grew up in highland park and i now reside in bainbridge island washington.

  47. Scots Mom @ November 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm
    I am not “blaming” the girl for what happened, clearly both entered into the backseat and both are responsible for having unprotected sex. She could have gotten out of the car and gone home simple as that, nothing says he held her down against her will or that she fought him off. My daughters at HP were not and still not allowed to go to the palladium until senior year and we have had many many discussions why and about how to act and how to dress and how to AVOID these type situations. But kids and their parents want them to “be popular” so parents are submissive and allow their kids to go to this place and other places where drinking is rampant. No one deserves to be raped and clearly they had sex, but I don’t think the boy is the sole one to take the blame and absolutely not be prosecuted for it. And honestly, it doesn’t matter to me whether he is an athlete or not, that is irrelevant to this situation!

  48. Lars @ November 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm
    Dear HP Parents. Just raise your kids right. Stop them believing that there are no consequences to their actions. They need to learn that making bad choices will have consequences. Yea it’s tough and I feel horrible even saying this but your kids need to learn that $ doesn’t free them from being above the law. They need to realize that their actions have consequences I’m guessing this story is repeated many times but this time it’s an 18 year old so his name ends up in the paper.

  49. DGirl @ November 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm
    @Scots Mom – hopefully you will re-read you last post and realize how ridiculous you sound!!!! You absolutely, 100% ARE blaming the girl (even if it’s just assigning her half the blame) for “having unprotected sex”.

    She- the victim – SAID NO.

    She – the victim – had signs of forceful and traumatic intercourse, proven by medical experts. Girls who want to have unprotected sex and are into it don’t show signs of physical trauma afterwards.

    She – the victim – SAID NO TO SEX. Worth repeating again since it’s not getting through to your pea brain. Even though she said no after accepting the ride home and after getting into the back seat ( which is NOT the universal sign of wanting sex, despite what some crazies in this thread have suggested), SHE SAID NO!!! It doesn’t matter if it’s before or during sex, when one partner does not feel comfortable and wants to stop, a respectful and considerate human does not push on and proceed after hearing NO.

    The fact that you- as a mother – say because “she didn’t fight him off” that her no didn’t matter is insulting to every rape victim.

    The fact that you – as a mother – belittle her choice not to “get out of the car, simple as that” is insulting to the situation. Have you ever been in a traumatic situation? Fight or flight doesn’t always occur. Many times, the victim is paralyzed and simply cannot leave. Their bodies just shut down instead of fleeing. It doesn’t marginalize her saying NO.

    I’m glad the you’ve talked with your daughters about “how to act and dress” and hope that prevents them from every being one of the 1 in 4 women who become victims of sexual assault. But you should know between your girls, there is a 50/50 shot of one of them being a victim. I sincerely pray that never happens or you will realize top late how insulting, ignorant, and demeaning your posts have been regarding this young rape victim. Girls do NOT ever “ask” or deserve to be raped – regardless of how they dress or act.

  50. Edward @ November 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm
    @ Scots Mom – Yes, you ARE “blaming” the girl when you make statements such as “clearly both entered the back seat” and “she could have just gotten out of the car” and that she “didn’t fight him off”.

    I find it stunning the justifications that people are coming up with on this.

  51. Ash @ November 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm
    I have an honest question. If a girl has never had sex before and she gets a rape kit taken after her first time, will it come back as “forcible” sex? I am just looking for an honest answer. I’m not a hs student or HP mom. As a side note, I can recall one incident from when I was in high school when a close friend of mine said she was raped because it was her first time and she never had sex with her (older) ex boyfriend and felt guilty about doing it with an acquaintance.
    This doesn’t mean the girl isn’t telling the truth, btw. Just wanted to add my only experience with this (thankfully) at that age.

  52. southernbelle @ November 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    You can raise your kids to know right from wrong and teach them about consequences, however there are some kids who just DON’T get it and don’t want to get it. Parenting can be a very difficult task with certain children. Who knows where the girl’s mother thought she really was that night. She may have had no clue she was at the palladium. Some kids lie to their parents! Even GREAT kids lie to their parents. She may have also been a virgin and that would explain the bruising and tearing. In any event, very sad for all involved. Both of these lives have been damaged.

  53. Realllllllly? @ November 2, 2012 at 12:09 am
    As far as I can tell, none of you were in the car with these two people at the time of the alleged crime. Let our judicial system sort it all out. Objectively. Mind your own business. No one knows what happened. Period. It doesn’t matter what any of you think about the alleged RAPIST or the alleged VICTIM. Facts are facts and Statutory Rape is not any different than stranger rape or date rape in the eyes of the law. Thankfully.

  54. formerhpstudent @ November 2, 2012 at 1:26 am
    @Scots Mom : Just to add onto the others who have already criticized the many flaws in your comments, but “she could have gotten out of the car” is an awful understanding of sexual assault situations. She probably weighs about 120 pounds based on the average HP girl. He weighs something like 180-190 and is a strong athlete. Who’s going to win on strength there? Once again, we were not there. We do not know exactly what happened. Maybe it was rape. Maybe she is lying. But that is to be judged in court, not on blogs. It appears you know Ryan and this is how you are basing your comments. Take an unbiased approach on the situation and think about how you would view it if your daughter was the victim.

  55. LB @ November 2, 2012 at 7:16 am
    I’m with realllly. Unless you were in the car- you really don’t know what happened. That’s what the legal system is here for.

  56. XT @ November 2, 2012 at 8:17 am
    What DGirl said was perfect, given that facts at hand.

    Sadly, I’ve heard many moms and dads in HP say the same thing that ScotsMom said. So it’s no wonder that their kids mimic that behaviour. The “Free Ryan Romo” facebook page says it all. Maybe if the parents stop acting like they are in high school, and start protecting our kids, we can teach them something.

  57. khakijack @ November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am
    @Realllllly Actually statutory rape does appear to be different under the eyes of the law, at least under the Romeo & Juliet type law enacted last year.

    Somebody asked a question about the laws in TX. I went and looked. If a minor over 15 has consensual sex with an adult within 4 years their age, the older may still be charged with a criminal offense like statutory rape, but they might be able to escape having to register as a sex offender. This is a pretty significant change in the law. The registration is also potentially retro-active. So if somebody was already on the sex offender registry for such a charge, they can petition to be removed.

    I don’t know the characters of either parties involved, so I have no opinion on guilt or innocence. However, two young lives will be forever changed by their decisions. Hopefully their peers will use this as a learning moment. They will all go to college soon where the people they might get in cars with or go home with aren’t the kids that they’ve watched growing up & whose parents are minutes away. Those decisions could be exponentially more dangerous.

  58. Dad of daughters @ November 2, 2012 at 10:21 am
    I just believe that if the girl really did not want to have sex she would have fought to get out of the car. I know she said no but doesn’t every girl have to act like they might not want to.If they don’t then they would be called promiscuous. I just don’t want an 18 year old to go to jail if the girl just was upset she lost her virginity, and losing your virginity can be painful and cause tears.

  59. FatherofaSonandDaughter @ November 2, 2012 at 11:42 am
    It seems many are focused on blame and that young women can and should be able to do anything they want including climbing into the back seat of a car with an older male after midnight and in whatever mental safe. I agree she should be able to do that. But at the same time being right doesn’t mean you are safe from events that sometimes spin out of control. I never understood how parents would let their freshman or sophomore daughters go to dances with seniors. (For that matter I can’t understand why parents would ever let their junior sons take freshman or senior sons take freshman or sophomore girls to dances either. The reason why statutory rape laws exist is for this very reason. There is a huge jump in emotional maturity between 16 and 18.

  60. Seriously Y'All @ November 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm
    First Sandusky & Paterno, OJ Simpson and Mike Vick, and now this!

    All these guys “taken advantage” of by the same lying “victims.” It’s like a trend or something.

    Why can’t people just keep their mouths shut when they get raped?

  61. Bill Johnson @ November 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    Can any of you lawyers tell us if this young man is in trouble even if it was consensual due to the girl’s age? If so, it looks like he has already admitted to the sex on tape. He might be up a crik as we used to say.

  62. Neal @ November 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    @Ash: I can’t – and won’t – comment about this particular case because I know nothing about it or the people involved, but the evaluation by a physician or nurse of whether the sex was consensual is somewhat subjective. ANY medical diagnosis is subjective to some degree. Usually, the attending doctor/nurse will classify the injuries as “consistent” with sexual assault, without specifically saying whether it was consensual because they weren’t there when it happened. But a professional with the right experience and training is certainly in a position to make an educated diagnosis.

    Sometimes, and I don’t know how often (I hope very rarely), they get it wrong. The most spectacular example I can think of was in the Duke lacrosse case. The sexual assault nurse specialist at Duke University Medical Center examined the purported victim and found injuries consistent with sexual assault. It turned out she wasn’t raped at all, although it that case there still is some question whether the nurse deliberately falsified her findings to favor the alleged victim.


  63. XT @ November 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    @ Dad of Daughters,

    For some reason, I don’t actually believe that you are in fact a Dad of Daughters. If you are, god bless your daughters. Same ignorant logic as “why don’t the abused wives just leave their abusive husbands”.

  64. been there... @ November 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm
    I was raped as a teen by someone I knew.

    I’m an adult now and most still blame me saying I should have run away or fought back or what was I doing out past midnight.

    I was young and naive.

    It was like being in a bad dream where I was saying no and then just froze in terror.

    I had no idea that it was so easy to be raped. So fast. The clothes I had on were no barrier and were just easily pushed aside.

    Sex was something that was so foreign to me.

    Looking back, I was easy prey. Naive and young.

  65. wondering @ November 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm
    My daughter considers Ryan a friend. She is horrified by the whole situation. She has chosen to support her friend until he is convicted in court, if that comes to pass. She cannot imagine her friend, who has always been kind to her, committing an act of rape. As a female, I am having a tough time watching her stand by him, but I am proud of her decision to let the judicial process resolve where her alliances will fall.

  66. Seriously Y'All @ November 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm
    That Free Ryan Romo Facebook page is called doing the DA’s job for them.

    You idiots saying horrible things about this alleged victim are very efficiently building “a culture of rape and slut shaming in Highland Park” prosecution case.

    Uh, hello, you stupid, Parkies. The Free Ryan Facebook Page is currently being screen captured by the DA’s office and some of Ryan’s “friend’s” nastiest comments about the alleged victim are going to read at Ryan’s trial. You can bet on it. Way to do the DA’s job for them. Way to smash Ryan’s defense. Way to exercise your free speech you morons.

    What is Slut Shaming? Here’s a ticket to the clue train, Parkies. All aboard!

  67. Jen @ November 3, 2012 at 4:18 am
    I am outraged and disgusted by the comments on this post who are blaming the victim.

  68. Allie @ November 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm
    My comment:

    @A. Thank you for your comments. I think you represent reality, and I appreciate what you wrote.

    I live in HP and my 3 daughters were born and raised here and went through the HPISD.

    I do not appreciate the blame people are placing on the victim or the perpetrator, since none of us were in the car with the couple….as has been said many times.

    I do wish that the victim knew that if she didn’t want to have sex with the guy, that she shouldn’t have put herself in that position (of getting in the back of the suv to lie down).

    This does not put the blame on her, but it would help her to convict a rapist.

    I hate that this whole scenario happened at all! But there is nothing new about any of this.

    Consensual sex among minors and rape have been around since the beginning of time.

    Parents who try to make things right for their children (whether by accusing a young man of rape when it did, or did not happen, or by claiming that their son had consensual sex with a girl) have been around as long as I can remember and have read about.

    I do not appreciate the remarks of those who bash HPHS parents.

    Overly involved parents and those who bail their children out of everything exists everywhere. The HPHS and other high schools everywhere, public and private, where the parents are successful and educated, are going to be involved, caring, and want the very best for their child. Having financial resources makes it easier, but it isnt necessary.

    In other words there will always be mothers and fathers who take things to extremes regarding their children’s lives.

    I’m sorry some feel the need to say that they’ve left the Park Cities and are glad they are gone. Something obviously upset them, but I doubt that they won’t find a similar situation in the schools their children go to.

    For those who live outside the Park Cities; give it a rest! We read about ESD all last year. It’s everywhere! And it is at your school too!

    My question is:
    if the young victim is under age in the state of Texas, and Ryan is charged with rape, will he also be tagged as a sex offender?

  69. Anne10012 @ November 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm
    This is to all of the people who say “I Know Ryan.”
    People only show you the side of them that they want you to see.
    There were only two people in the car that night.
    They both have two different stories.
    A judge and jury will have to figure out whose telling the truth.

  70. Edward @ November 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm
    @ Allie – This sentence in your post says it all:

    “I do wish that the victim knew that if she didn’t want to have sex with the guy, that she shouldn’t have put herself in that position (of getting in the back of the suv to lie down).

    I’m having trouble with what appears to be an opinion held by a heck of a lot of people (apparently both students AND parents) that somehow girls are “asking for it” by doing x,y, or z.

  71. Scott @ November 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    Regardless of consent, a crime has been committed here by Romo if the victim is 15 years old, as many indicate, and Romo is turning 19 this week. Sexual Assault under Texas Penal Code 22.011 defines a child as 17 and younger. There is a Romeo & Juliet defense if the individuals involved were not more than three years apart in age. Romo and the victim are more than 3 years apart in age if the victim is still 15. In this case, Romo has committed sexual assault, by his own admission, per the quotes from this article.

    Many blame the victim for putting herself in a situation where she could be sexually assaulted. Just as important is that an adult, Romo, put himself in a situation where he was alone with a minor under he age of consent. Regardless of consent, this was a very poor decision that led to this awful outcome.

  72. southernbelle @ November 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    If her story is true and she asked him to stop then he should have. Just because a girl gets into the back seat doesn’t mean she wants to have sex.

    I am sure that Ryan wan’t even thinking of their age difference at the time and the ramifications of the age difference. I am not justifying his actions at all and fully believe he crossed the line in my opinion.

    It may be a good time to visit with your teens and explain to them how a different set of laws is in place for them when they turn 18! They are then considered adults! Scary….

  73. khakijack @ November 5, 2012 at 10:08 am
    @Scott, from what I can tell the 3 year age difference is part of the old Romeo and Juliet clause, and it applied to teens that were both under 17. There was a new Romeo and Juliet law/clause enacted in Sept. 2011 that includes a four year age gap that crosses above the age of 17. It doesn’t apply do the statutory charges themselves, but may save the older from being labeled a sex offender.


    If I’m reading this wrong, feel free to correct me. I found this information multiple places on the web, but I also found a couple of news stories that seemed to be a little mixed up on the details.

  74. Scott @ November 5, 2012 at 11:26 am
    @khakijack, great point to bring up. SB198, as you mention, only applies to the requirement to register as a sex offender as a consequence of a criminal act if the two parties were within 4 years of each other. Statutory rape still applies here, as SB198 does not change the three year affirmative defense in 22.011(e)(2)(A).

    Per SB198, Romo will not have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life if, and only if, age is the sole reason for the criminal case, even though he is within 4 years of the victim.

  75. khakijack @ November 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    Thanks for the clarification Scott. While this case alleges non-consensual sex, more students should know these laws. I can think of several HS romances that if sexual would have still been considered statutory and might even have resulted in sex offender status.

  76. Ps @ November 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm
    As awful as the whole thing is, my kids (who would REALLY prefer to not talk with their parents about anything sexual) have had quite a talking to as a result of this…
    Maybe everybody could step back and not be judge and jury at this stage.

  77. Edward @ November 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm
    Every young man who is involved in a relationship that qualifies under those age difference rules needs to REALLY think about what is going on. There are many cases where the parents become involved and file charges.

    These laws are even more important in schools like HP where so many “athletes” have been held back as kids and are 19+ year old seniors. The old “we’re just kids” doesn’t apply anymore.

  78. Billy @ November 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm
    He should get the death penalty

  79. Lynn @ December 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm
    The girl is 16. The facts of this case are not public but are different from many of the comments that are negative toward RR.

    In terms of the comment about the UP police not putting someone into the county jail unless they are guilty, boy is that so not true. All it takes in Texas is two people swearing something happened and you can have anyone arrested. Certain persons have been very effective crying and lying on cue in order to have someone arrested. But, the truth ALWAYS comes out. Those who lie have lied before and will lie again and the evidence always proves out.

    It’s incredibly sad that RRs name is thrown through the mud under the assumption of guilt, and that he cannot attend school, that his entire future will always be tainted by this.

    I’m not saying this applies in this case although I will say I do not believe RR is a liar, and he certainly did not confess to any rape in the taped conversations by GI JOE detectives who “are sure they got him!” in the cases where a juvenile lies and is found later on to have lied that juvenile is generally not charged with a crime. And, in reality when adults do it they also are not charged, because the UP police then want to forget the entire case and the person accused is the one whose reputation is ruined, who has spent a fortune in legal fees while the lying accuser has nothing happen to him or her.

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