72 F
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

23-year-old man accused of raping runaway teen

A 23-year-old Fort McCoy man was arrested on lewd or lascivious battery charges after he was accused of raping a 15-year-old runaway girl.

On April 30, 2023, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office detective was assigned to a case involving a juvenile victim who had been sexually battered. The MCSO report stated that the victim was a 15-year-old girl who had ran away from her home, and she was located at a residence in the 22300 block of NE 106th Court in Fort McCoy, according to the arrest report.

During a forensic interview on May 3, the victim told investigators that Hunter Jon Romanos had sexual intercourse with her on two occasions while she was staying at his home in Fort McCoy, according to the MCSO report.

Hunter Jon Romanos
Hunter Jon Romanos

The detective noted in the report that the victim had met Romanos through social media. The victim told investigators that one of her parents had recently left Florida, which made her upset. When she told Romanos about the situation with her parent, he offered for her to stay with him for “a short while.”

According to the victim’s statements in the report, she left her home and took several buses to New Port Richey. She advised that Romanos met here there and drove her back to his home in Fort McCoy. Later that night, she claimed that Romanos took her clothes off when they were inside his bedroom, and he had sex with her without asking for consent. During the sexual encounter, the victim stated that she told Romanos to stop, but he continued until he ejaculated.

The victim stated that she stayed with Romanos for approximately two weeks. She advised that the second sexual encounter occurred when they returned to Romanos’ residence after staying with one of his relatives for a few days. Inside Romanos bedroom, she stated that she was lying on his bed and playing on her cellphone when he took her clothes off, according to the MCSO report.

According to the victim, Romanos proceeded to climb on top of her, and he had sex with her for a second time without asking for consent. After the sexual encounter, the victim stated that she called a relative because she wanted to go home, and the relative immediately contacted law enforcement.

When asked why she left to meet with Romanos in the first place, the victim told investigators that she was “not thinking,” and she was upset about one of her parents leaving Florida. While at Romanos’ home, the victim advised that she mostly stayed in the bedroom, and she did not try to leave because “there was nothing around for several miles” if she tried to leave on foot, according to the MCSO report.

On Wednesday, May 31, the detective made contact with Romanos at the MCSO central operations center to conduct a non-custodial interview. The detective noted in the report that Romanos admitted that he had met the victim on Snapchat and Instagram, and he initially claimed that she had told him that she was 19 years old.

Romanos later admitted that the victim had told him she was in 10th grade and that she talked about taking the bus home from school. He advised that the victim had stayed at his home for “approximately a week or two,” and he further admitted that they had sex on two occasions. He claimed that both sexual encounters with the victim were consensual, according to the MCSO report.

The detective read Romanos his Miranda rights. Romanos refused to discuss the incident any further and requested an attorney.

Romanos was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $100,000 bond. He is being charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a juvenile victim (age 12 to 16).

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5, according to jail records.