Grand Jury Declines to Indict Ryan Romo

The Dallas Morning NewsMelissa Repko has the story, including reaction from the attorney for Ryan Romo and from his accuser’s stepfather.

By Dan Koller Jan. 28, 2013 | 10:16 pm | 37 Comments | Comments RSS
37 comments to "Grand Jury Declines to Indict Ryan Romo"
  1. Pete @ January 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm
    Thank God the grand jury viewed the actual evidence which included a lie detector test Ryan passed, as well as the real reasons why the “victim” would not go to a hospital within 10 miles of where she lives but instead all the way up to a Plano hospital. Now why would she do that?

    What a joke our police system is that you can arrest anyone in Texas simply based on someone’s sworn statement or who their wealthy family is or for whatever rooted issue the cop has–instead of evidence. Evidence and due process. This is supposed to be the United States of America.

    Ryan Romo IS innocent. He is also a great kid whose life has been ruined by this. He has not been allowed to attend school, he will not graduate with his class. He allegedly lost his ride to Duke. All because he stupidly agreed to have sex in the back of his car–after allegedly riding home, by the way, in a cab while making out and then transferring from the cab into his car and allegedly making out more with sex and then by the way allegedly walking her home.

  2. Curious @ January 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    The grand jury didn’t believe the case was provable. This does not necessarily mean she lied and he is innocent. (She might have been able to submit a clean polygraph too.)

  3. hpgrad @ January 29, 2013 at 12:47 am
    i think all the news outlets and people who trashed ryan owe him an apology including Park Cities People who are suppose to defend our own not slander their names.

  4. Pete @ January 29, 2013 at 1:46 am
    Good idea! Why doesn’t she take one, maybe her mom could too. After all, Ryan took one immediately. Maybe in the future the UP police will start requiring them of certain complaining “victims.”

  5. Hp @ January 29, 2013 at 7:25 am
    This destroys the credibility of the uppd for making a quick, now false, arrest without doing a thorough investigation. I.e. university of Texas football players. It’s a great day that the full truth came out and that RR now has his life back. Too bad they have to go through this awful situation in the first place.

  6. Neal @ January 29, 2013 at 7:39 am
    So either a rapist just walked free or an innocent guy had his life ruined. I don’t know which it is, but the grand jury (and the ADA who recommended whether to indict) must have listened to the supposedly damning “you’re making me feel bad” tape recording that we all heard so much about a few months ago and hasn’t been mentioned at all in today’s reporting.

    Any comment from the UPPD, who made the arrest?

  7. Scots @ January 29, 2013 at 8:23 am
    UPPD is going to be under a lot of fire here soon and this “Detective” Keenan should be scared for his job.

  8. Eliot Nester @ January 29, 2013 at 9:40 am
    Re, Scots:

    I doubt it was Keenan who made the call. UP is known for not taking the time to actually get evidence in these “he said she said” cases and or put complaining witnesses under a lie detector test before arresting, especially if the family has money or an attorney, or pulls an Oscar winning performance only to be seen laughing later that night on pics posted on FB about “getting away with it (not this case but another one.) Unfortunately the DA or ADA on the case many times will instruct the UP police to make an arrest and in those cases they follow the directive of the ADA on the case.

    But, truth always comes out as it did in Ryan’s case. The problem is nothing happens to the complaining “victim” and nothing will happen to her or her mother and stepfather in this case.

  9. up mom @ January 29, 2013 at 9:50 am
    @Pete, per a 2012 article in the Dallas Morning News, only 2 hospitals in Dallas County are actually qualified to perform a rape examination and collect evidence:

    “In Dallas, there’s another obstacle: a lack of hospitals staffed and equipped to receive victims and perform the required procedures to put rapists behind bars. Only two hospitals in Dallas County — Parkland Memorial and Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas — are qualified.”

    Sounds like there were very few options and her mother wanted to spare her the trauma of the Parkland emergency room on a Friday night. This incident is clearly a tragedy for all concerned and I hope that both kids are able to move forwaed with their lives.

  10. up mom @ January 29, 2013 at 10:00 am
    One more thought on this to the commenters implying that the victim lied…since none of us were in the car that night or heard the evidence presented to the grand jury, I would hesitate to pronounce guilt or innocence to either party, nor would I make accusations of incompetence toward the UPPD. With corroborating physical evidence from 2 doctors and no witnesses, they were obligated to bring charges; they were doing their job and would have been held accountable had they not done so. Just a terrible thing, all the way around.

  11. Curious @ January 29, 2013 at 10:31 am
    @Eliot Nester. The only “truth” that has come out is that he was not indicted, not that he is innocent or that she is a liar. Only the two of them know the truth.

    @hpgrad. How did news outlets trash this 18/19-year-old by covering the arrest? Comments to blogs may have, though I recall more comments trashing the accuser. Perhaps you want to lobby the TX Lege to raise the age when juveniles become adults?

    Both admit to drinking and both admit to sex. I don’t think the rules for participating in extracurriculars and those middle school abstinence lectures are working. More useful lectures might be having police and DA’s explain how stupid high school mistakes–like drunk driving (not this case) and sex in backseats of cars–can ruin your life.

  12. nfw @ January 29, 2013 at 11:07 am
    up mom, isn’t Texas Health Presbyterian five minutes down the street? The Plano hospital did perplex me a bit. If it was my daughter, I would have broken the land speed record to make it to the nearest hospital. Perhaps there is a reason for the trip to Plano, but I’m having trouble understanding that one.

  13. AD @ January 29, 2013 at 11:18 am
    Ive known him literally my whole life. This girl is a liar and promiscuous. Think about how the Romo family is out hundreds of thousands of dollars cause some girl couldn’t keep her legs closed. What a shame. University Park Police you are the scum on the bottom of my shoes and you are too you immature 16 year old girl. Grow up.

  14. Hp @ January 29, 2013 at 11:50 am
    Yes you are all right that we cannot assume that RR is innocent or the girl lied, but for the grand jury to no-bill a so-called “rape” case, the evidence had to have been quite strong pointing to it was consensual.

  15. LM @ January 29, 2013 at 11:58 am
    I think people are confused. Best I can tell he was not charge with rape. He was charged with the equivalent of statutory rape (it is called something different in Texas – something like sexual assault of a minor). If that is the case, the only thing the grand jury had to determine for purposes of indictment was whether he was 2 years older. I think their non-indictment just means that he was not 2 years older. You can be charged with statutory rape as long as the girl is under the age of 17 (the police don’t have the job of figuring out age differences – that is left up to the grand jury). The grand jury won’t indict though if there is not at least a 2 year age difference. I don’t think he was ever charged with non-consensual sex — that is the difference between rape and statutory rape (one is about consent and the other is just about age). I think all of this talk about what she accused or didn’t accuse him of is hearsay and not applicable. It would be great if the reporters could ask the right questions to see if this was ever about rape or if it was actually just about whether there was sex and the age difference was greater than what is allowed in Texas.

  16. up mom @ January 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm
    @nfw, I googled it and there are 2 locations, one in Dallas and one in Plano. I don’t know why she chose to go to Plano, but @Pete seemed to be implying there was something untoward suggested by the Plano location, which makes no sense to me. I’m sure any doctor at any area hospital would be professional & thorough in their examination of a minor claiming sexual assault. Why would it matter where you took your child anyway? Like you, I’d pick the closest option, but maybe she knew people on the staff at the Dallas site and didn’t want people gossiping about her daughter.

  17. Curious @ January 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    @AD. Abstinence. The only 100% sure way for girls to avoid unwanted pregnancy. The only 100% sure way for boys to avoid unwanted rape allegations. A cautionary tale.

    Unless you were in that back seat with them, you don’t know that “this girl is a liar.” She was a mere acquaintance of his, picked up at a concert, so isn’t he “promiscuous?”

  18. Jen @ January 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm
    Not enough to indict does not equal innocent.

  19. AD @ January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm
    @Curious Call it what you want. Call me a sexist. But a guy who sleeps around is a just a guy. But a girl who sleeps around is a “Slut” we all know its true. Its not right but thats the way it is. Its up to a girl to keep her legs closed which this girl obviously CHOSE not to do.

  20. KT @ January 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    Grand Jury indicts more thank 95% cases brought to them. It is so high because all they need is less than probable causer I indict. Obviously there was lots of evidence presented that proved the girl and her family were lying. Glad the truth will finally be coming out soon

  21. Curious @ January 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    @LM. Many people here have put their ages as about three years apart, that he was almost 19 and she was almost 16.

  22. LM @ January 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm
    @Curious. I guess those people were wrong about the age difference or there would have been an indictment for statutory rape — it is a “per se” crime — no proof needed except for birth certificates and proof of sex (does’t matter if it was consensual). If there was a 3 year gap, he would have been indicted. I think all this “she’s a liar”, “she wanted it” and “he didn’t do it” is completely irrelevant to the charge and was probably never discussed by the grand jury.

  23. LM @ January 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm
    Correction. TX Statute says 3 years: “Sexual assault for anyone to intentionally or knowingly penetrate a person under age 17, other than his spouse. The actor has an affirmative defense if he is not more than three years older than the victim, who is at least age 14″. That is all the grand jury had to decide – whether he was 3 years older or not.

  24. dennis beecherl @ January 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm
    i would like to say if ryan romo is 19 years of age he has no business trying to asociate with girls under the age of 16

  25. a boysmom @ January 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm
    AD, i feel sorry for your future spouse, and children. Your attitude is just sad. With all the churches and bible studies and people praying for you can’t you have a little bit of morality?

    I’m sorry it happened but it’s his CHOICES that got him in trouble. Have not seen any regret or responsibility taken on his part – lucky she did not get pregnant.

  26. Edward @ January 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    Wow. Just wow.

    It’s shockingly sad to read the comments posted on here, and certainly clear that our students (and parents, obviously) need some real, come-to-Jesus meetings concerning the responsibilities of young men and young women. In particular young men.

    I feel such sympathy for any woman or young lady who is sexually assaulted and has to deal with the neanderthal attitudes so prevalent in our community.

  27. Neal @ January 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    @dennis beecherl: He was 18 at the time and a senior in high school. She was a student at the same high school.

    Otherwise, I can’t comment on the case since I know nothing about it and generally don’t trust the reporting, especially after the allegedly damning taped phone call seemed to evaporate into irrelevancy. But I think you stumbled onto a good point. Parents now routinely hold their kids back in kindergarten – especially boys – to give them a size and maturity advantage in later years. When you have a senior class full of 19 and 20 year old guys and a bunch of girls eager to please them, things like this are bound to happen, whether it’s rape, false accusations of rape, casual familiarity with the morning-after pill, or general hormonal stupidity. I know what I was like at ages 19 and 20, and someone like me at that age would have no business going to school and hanging around with 9th and 10th grade jailbait, however much I would have enjoyed it at the time. I graduated from HP before I turned 18, for what it’s worth.

  28. Friend @ January 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    Ryan is innocent and deserves an apology from everyone who slandered him. If he was guilty then the court would’ve deemed it so.

  29. Scott @ January 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm
    @edward, I agree completely. Truly sad.

  30. Curious @ January 30, 2013 at 8:02 am
    @LM. If it is non-consensual it is assault, no matter the age. She was a child because she was under 17. It would be sexual assault of a minor (statutory rape) automatically except that he was fewer than three years older than her. BUT it is still sexual assault of a minor if it was non-consensual.

    Being an almost 19-year-old, he was playing with fire anyway by picking up a sophomore, a 15-year-old. Had his birthday come before hers, even consensual sex would be statutory rape and he could be in jail and on the sexual offender list. He came within a few days or weeks of being out of both school and a baseball career even if the girl had asked him to have sex. Another cautionary tale for old high school boys: check her ID.

    @AD. You are not only a sexist, but you are hurting your buddy’s PR. At least his family is taking a higher road.

    @Edward. Thank you. Acquaintance rape is not easy to prove. I think this child would have had enough of the repercussions and asked the police to drop the charges against this adult if she didn’t truly believe she had been assaulted. But only those two will ever know.

  31. HPer Parent @ January 30, 2013 at 10:13 am
    Both kids made bad choices but only one was crucified and branded for life and that is not right! I hope RR is finally allowed back at school where he deserves to be, be allowed back on the baseball team where he belongs and gets the recruiting opportunities he deserves. And I hope the right to know act allows for all the facts to come out so everyone can make judgements based on facts-which I might add is what SHOULD have happened BEFORE he was arrested!!!. @nfw on the Plano hospital, there was a presented fact for taking her to that specific hospital so far away

  32. Boy and Girl dad @ January 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    @edward. You have 1/2 of it right but you are missing something very big. I feel sorry for both families. There are a lot of stupid neeanderthal comments made here but I think the stupidest are the ones that ignore what happened yesterday. Implying in any way that because of the press or what you may have heard that “he sexually assaulted her” even though he was no billed by a grand jury is crazy. This is not a case of “not enough evidence”, rather it is a case of LIES and misrepresentation. Being falsely accused of sexual assault is horrible. RR and his family have been though complete hell and deserve the sympathy that many are sharing. Anyone that doesn’t see that doesn’t know the truth!

  33. friend2 @ January 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm
    @johnbeechral he was 18. Please know your facts and the court knows all the evidence that is not in the public yet. When it all comes out I will be excited to say you are wrong and you will know it too.

  34. Skeptic @ January 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm
    Are we really using a polygraph as evidence? Of course he passed the polygraph test, he probably never thought it was rape in the first place. I think vaginal tearing is far more evidence for rape than a polygraph test, a totally ineffective means of evidence. Studies have come out showing polygraphs are ESPECIALLY ineffective on sex offenders, the rapist probably sees nothing wrong with their crime as opposed to other criminals. And we’re really okay with attacking an alleged rape victim? There’s something remarkably wrong here.

  35. thank you neal for what you said about my comment

  36. Curious @ January 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    @Boy and Girl dad. You are yet another person claiming to KNOW the truth and KNOW hers was a case of lies. Must have been really crowded in the back seat of that car with all of you eyewitnesses.

    “Being falsely accused of sexual assault is horrible,” but being sexually assaulted and not believed is also horrible. No-billed does not mean innocent, but maybe it means they can both get on with their lives. I hope so.

  37. perspicacious @ February 4, 2013 at 6:36 am
    If a female of any age is a virgin at the time of a sexual encounter (consensual or otherwise) she could suffer tearing of the hymen (some more severely than others). Other tearing may also occur simply because the vaginal orifice and canal have not been stretched enough yet to accomodate penetration. Many consensual virginal “deflowerings,” often on wedding nights, result in tearing and pain as those areas are explored for the first time. Such signs of aggressive penetration are not exclusive to unwanted sex but happen with willing participants every day (and night) all over the world.

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