U.S. soldier charged in rape of Auburn University student

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Ryan Petro

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A U.S. soldier has been arrested in the 2018 rape of an Auburn University student.

Auburn police on Tuesday announced the arrest of Ryan Charles Petro, a 27-year-old Fort Bragg man. He was taken into custody Monday on five counts of first-degree rape.

Authorities said Petro’s arrest stemmed from an investigation into a sexual assault that was reported to police on May 29, 2018. The female victim, a 19-year-old Auburn University student, reported being sexually assaulted at a local hotel by Petro, who was an acquaintance. Additional details have not yet been released.

Through the investigation, which included forensic examination and analysis of evidence by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Petro being positively identified as the individual responsible for sexually assaulting the victim.

Petro, who had been deployed to Afghanistan, was arrested by U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division Agents on Sept. 16, 2019 and turned over to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina.

He waived extradition and was transported to Alabama where he was booked into the Lee County Jail and held on a $500,000 bond. This case remains under investigation by Auburn Police Division and the U.S. Army CID.