Soldier charged with 5 counts of rape of Auburn student

Soldier charged with 5 counts of rape of Auburn student
Ryan Charles Petro is charged with five counts of first-degree rape of an Auburn University student. (Source: Auburn Police Department)

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - A North Carolina man has been arrested and charged with five counts of first-degree rape of an Auburn University student. Investigators took 27-year-old Fort Bragg, N.C., resident Ryan Charles Petro into custody Tuesday.

The Auburn Police Department says the arrest stems from an investigation opened in May 2018 regarding a sexual assault. The 19-year-old victim told police Petro, who was an acquaintance, sexually assaulted her at an area hotel.

Petro was positively identified through an investigation that included forensic examination and analysis of evidence conducted by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.

More than a year passed from the time the investigation was opened to an arrest. Petro, a member of the U.S. Army, had been deployed to Afghanistan, according to the police department.

He was arrested by U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Agents on Sept. 16 and turned over to the Cumberland County, N.C. Sheriff’s Office. He waived extradition and was brought back to Lee County.

He’s currently being held at the Lee County Jail on a bond set at $500,000.

The case is still under investigation by the Auburn Police Department and the U.S. Army CID.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.