Ryan Romo Sues Rape Accuser For Defamation

Former Highland Park baseball star Ryan Romo has filed a defamation suit against the family of the girl who accused him of rape last October.

Filed today in district court, the suit alleges that the girl’s family hoped to use the incident as a type of money-making scheme, and that the family “acted with malice, fraud and oppression and/or in conscious disregard of Ryan Romo’s rights, and with specific intent to cause substantial injury or harm to Ryan Romo.” The Romo family is seeking an unspecified amount.

CultureMap originally reported the civil suit.

Back in January, a grand jury did not indict Romo for the alleged rape. On Jan. 29, Romo family attorney Mark Senter told reporters “truth and justice prevailed.” He also said the family has “not considered any civil litigation at this point”; that has obviously changed.

The suit claims that the girl’s parents exercised little control over the teen, allowing her to drink heavily before the Oct. 27 Ghostland Observatory show. The civil filing goes into detail about what, according to Romo, happened in the backseat of his SUV following the show, contending that the acts were consensual.

On Jan. 12, two months after Romo took a polygraph test about the incident, the Romo family met with the girl’s mother and stepfather. At this meeting, the girl’s parents allegedly informed the Romos “that they would seek to have the criminal charges dropped against Ryan if the Romos would meet their various demands.” The demands are not outlined in the filing, but included money, the filing reads. Two weeks later, Romo was cleared criminally.

The Romo family is suing for malicious prosecution, negligence and vicarious liability, negligence, negligent supervision, and defamation. Some counts are filed against the parents, some against the girl.


  • my2cents

    Sowing the wind or something like. that. Poor girl.

  • Edward

    “The suit claims that the girl’s parents exercised little control over the teen, allowing her to drink heavily before the Oct. 27 Ghostland Observatory show.”

    So, just like Steubenville and thousands of other similar cases, we are back to blaming the victim.

  • TruthBeTold

    Yeah, it’s always the guys fault. No girl has ever been caught by her parents and told them a lie about being raped when she actually had sex consensually. Classic case of blaming the teenage boy before all the facts come out. Both of you posters above should be ashamed for being so single-minded.

    Earth to Dallas, teenage girls can have sex consensually. Not all sexually active teenage boys are rapists. Let’s not let Ohio sway the truth in every case…

  • Edward

    My point was that similar to the defense presented in the Steubenville case (“she was drunk, she slept around anyways so what’s the harm?”), Mr. Romo’s attorneys bring up the fact that the girl had been drinking, her past sexual history, etc.

    It would be refreshing if they could make their case with more salient facts instead of dragging in the sexual history of the girl.

    For example, their allegations that the girl stated earlier in the evening that she was going to “target” Mr. Romo for sex, the meeting between the sets of parents where some kind of financial arrangement was presented, etc. I think they should be able to make their case without including gratuitous comments about the girl’s past sexual encounters.

  • BoZ

    The girl had her full opportunity to demonstrate to a grand jury that she was a victim. The grand jury found that the evidence did not support that assertion. It’s high time for the public to admit it’s *possible* that the girl lied. Not that she lied. But that it’s possible she lied.

    No one who wasn’t inside that SUV will ever have perfect knowledge of what happened that night. But it boggles my mind how many people cannot even entertain the possibility that the boy is telling the truth. Where has the concept of impartiality gone today?

    Rapists deserve to be dealt with severely. But so do false accusers. If I were falsely accused of something like this, and had my name forever associated with a vile act I did not commit, I’m pretty sure I’d sue as well.

  • Threeboys

    Since the boy has had his name dragged thru the mud since this started, why aren’t the authorities naming the girl who apparently made a false accusation?

    • Dallas Girl

      She is a minor.

    • Carolyn Perkins

      She is a minor. Frankly I’m not sure why he wasn’t charged with statutory rape – isn’t he 19? Alot of the publicity was from those who tried to smear the girls’ name on Facebook — the family keeps it in the news – but are complaining about bad publicity? None of this makes much sense —

  • Threeboys

    But the sexual history of the girl may very well be salient. Perhaps she has used her sexuality before to manipulate a person or situation. Not saying she has, but if so, that is very salient.

  • Dallas Girl

    I don’t blame the Romo’s. If I were in their shoes I might do the same thing.

  • Brett Moore

    Oh, did you have salient on your word of the day calendar too?

  • charis

    Great Editorial today in DMN… the elephant in the room is binge drinking. And, no, you cannot give consent if you are under the influence. So ironically, the argument that anyone was drunk undermines the argument of consent. In my opinion this is the pot calling the kettle black. Be careful what rock you turn over….you may not like what crawls out. May have to get a seat in this courtroom!

  • Avid Reader

    Edward had the calendar and then Threeboys latched onto the salient train.

  • Avid Reader

    Pretty obvious repercussion to being falsely accused for something as horrific as rape. Culture Map’s article by Claire St. Amant has more details, read that one as well.

  • FRED

    More of the infamous alcohol abuse and underage drinking at HPHS to go along with the bomb threats, bullets and machetes. Folks do you really want your kids to be in an all-white school that much?

  • JR75034

    All this does is bring the issue to light again and it can only hurt both parties with more publicity. Both made very questionable decisions that night. One fact that does stand out is that Romo is 20 years old and still in high school. Is this an extreme case of parents holding a kid back for athletic purposes for not one year but two years. There are sophomores in college younger than him. He should be dating girls at SMU not 16 year olds in high school.

    • Avid Reader

      One fact that also stands out is that the grand jury decided not to indict Romo.

  • Long Memory

    Do you happen to remember what happened in the O.J. Simpson murder case?

  • marisa

    Which just says….there was not enought evidence to go to trial. It does NOT say Romo did not commit this crime against a minor.

  • Edward

    Then they can make that point without bringing up her general sexual history, right?

    “She has previously used sexuality to manipulate this other guy” vs. “She sleeps around”.

    I’m just tired of the old “Well, she wasn’t a virgin!” line of defense.

    And I just bought that word of the day calendar on sale, so I’m starting a bit late in the year!

  • Carolyn Perkins

    So the son is out partying too and having sex with an underage girl — but that’s OK. Can’t believe they are doing this — no more Eatzis for me. . .

    • charis

      My point exactly. Agreed on the shopping, too. The allegations are silly. Every court case has a chance to settle, and a settlement usually involves money. Asking for a settlement prior to trial does not indicate a get rich quick scheme. Getting dismissed by Grand Jury does not prove innocence, either. Polygraphs are even less reliable. Just let it go and move on! Lawyers!

  • Avid Reader

    He said-she said case is the same as a murder case. Got it.

  • Neal K

    All true, but if you are two parents looking for justice for your allegedly raped daughter (with a supposedly incriminating recorded call in your pocket), you don’t go to the accused rapist’s family to extract a monetary settlement in lieu of continuing with the case. Doing so doesn’t mean the rape didn’t happen, but it doesn’t look good. Remember, the girl’s mother said publicly that she herself was a rape victim in high school and wanted to see justice done.

    All that said, this suit is a terrible idea unless the Romos have a recording of the conversation where the money was supposedly demanded in exchange for dropping the charges. If it’s just a he said/she said between two sets of parents, the Romos would be better off just going on with their lives I would think. And they might have opened themselves up to a counterclaim from the accuser.

  • Neal K

    My recollection is that OJ was actually put on trial and after, I think, 9 months an exhausted jury found him not guilty amidst a nationwide racial maelstrom and an incompetent prosecution and judge. And he had the best defense money could buy – including Robert Kardashian, who was OJ’s original attorney and might have helped him conceal bloody clothes and other evidence immediately after the killings. I also recall that most people didn’t accept the verdict and OJ became a bankrupt pariah who eventually was convicted of kidnapping and jailed for many years – effectively a life term.

    Ryan Romo, on the other hand, was never even indicted despite the existence of a supposedly damning recorded call between him and his alleged victim along with physical evidence of what was, at best, a rough consensual sexual encounter and at worst a brutal rape. The grand jury obviously saw things that we didn’t (or that UP police didn’t make public) and made their judgment. It’s important to remember also that the standard of proof required for an indictment is “probable cause”, which is very low – they can pretty much rely only on the word of a prosecutor to hand down the indictment. An actual criminal trial requires that the state prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard and much harder to meet. Grand juries will indict for almost anything, so I think their failure to do so is relevant. It doesn’t mean the guy is actually innocent, but it suggests the grand jury thought so.

  • Threeboys

    Didn’t know that until today.
    My overall point is that the accused in many cases have their names and pictures splattered all over the media often before being charged, often eventually having charges dropped. Most false accusers don’t.
    I have no affiliation with either, but the name Ryan Romo will be associated with this incident for many years to come

  • Threeboys

    Okay, how about complicit?

  • A J

    She wasnt a victim though? Are you delusional?

  • michelle henderson

    I am so sick of these girls crying wolf and allowing their parents to eat these yong men up by filing charges and puting them on a se offenders list my son is going through this and he and the girl has twin boys and her mom is driven by anger not the truth plus she abuses her own daughter yet my son has to go thru this horrible thing the law also needs to prosecute the young lady who lied about her age and I know she lied because she even told me she was of age it’s not fair that my 20 yr old might serve a year and b on the list and still this girl wants to b apart of my sons life but her mom gas so much malice the young lady is now 17 so she can do something but want how sad