Courtroom Drama Averted

Highland Park families drop contentious lawsuits about alleged rape

Highland Park families drop contentious lawsuits about alleged rape

The defamation lawsuit and ensuing counter lawsuit surrounding an alleged sexual assault between two Highland Park High School students have both come to an end.

Ryan Romo was 18 years old when he was arrested for sexual assault of a child after a 16-year-old girl accused him of raping her in the backseat of his car. The pair were seen leaving a concert together at South Side ballroom, then called the Palladium, in October 2012. 

After a Dallas County grand jury declined to indict Romo on charges of sexual assault in January 2013, the Romo family sued his accuser for defamation and malicious prosecution. The Romos were seeking unspecified damages related to their son's lost athletic opportunities as a Major League Baseball prospect. 

The girl, who was referred to as Jane Doe in court documents, then filed a counter lawsuit against Romo for mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and medical treatment as a result of sexual assault.

Doe was represented by high-profile Dallas attorney Charla Aldous, who won a $9.3 million verdict against the Episcopal School of Dallas in 2011 for its actions in the aftermath of a teacher's sexual assault of a student. The case was later settled for an undisclosed amount. 

Aldous and Romo family attorney Mark Senter issued identical statements on the status of their clients' respective lawsuits. "All claims and counterclaims between all parties have been resolved," the attorneys said. 

Highland Park High School
The alleged sexual assault involved two Highland Park High School students.
Ryan Romo playing baseball for Highland Park High School
Ryan Romo's family has dropped the lawsuit it filed related to their son's lost athletic opportunities. Photo courtesy of Munck Wilson Mandala