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Fort Bragg soldier accused of raping Auburn University student

Police handcuff suspect. (MaxPixel/Released)

A Fort Bragg soldier is accused of raping an Alabama college student last year.

Ryan Charles Petro, 27, is charged with five counts of first-degree rape, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Auburn Police Division. Petro is a private first class in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, according to an 82nd spokesman.

A 19-year-old Auburn University student told police on May 29, 2018, that she was sexually assaulted at a hotel, the statement said. Petro is an acquaintance of the woman, it said.

An investigation that included forensic examination and analysis of evidence by the Alabama Department of Forensic Science identified Petro, according to the statement.

Army Criminal Investigations Command agents arrested Petro on Sept. 16, the statement said. He had been deployed to Afghanistan.

Army officials turned Petro over to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. He waived extradition and was taken to the Lee County Jail in Alabama. Bail was set at $500,000.

Petro joined the Army about two years ago and was working as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, said Lt. Col. Mike Burns, the 82nd spokesman.

Burns said the division has zero tolerance for sexual assault in its ranks.

“When an individual enters into the military, they are held to high moral and ethical standards and the overwhelming majority of our paratroopers live by the Army values on a daily basis,” Burns said. “We are working with local authorities in any way we can.”


© 2019 The Fayetteville Observer