Stilwell, Okla., man convicted of sexual abuse of a minor

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TULSA, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Stilwell, Okla., man was convicted Wednesday in federal court for sexually assaulting a minor in 2017 near Vinita, Okla., during a road trip, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

According to a new release from the U.S. Department of Justice, the jury found David Anthony Romannose, 45, guilty of aggravated sexual abuse by force and threat in Indian Country and sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country.

“David Romannose abused the trust placed in him by a 12-year-old child who, at the time, considered him a friend. Even though it was extremely difficult, the victim bravely testified this week about the abuse she endured from Romannose. She is to be commended for her courage and for stopping this defendant from preying on other children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

The release says on July 4, 2017, Romannose, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, accompanied a group who were traveling through northeeastern Oklahoma after attending a festival in Seiling.

While traveling, Romannose sexually assaulted the victim in the backseat of the vehicle, according to the release. The violation occurred on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Vinita in Craig County.

The victim told investigators she remembered the group stopping at a rest stop in Vinita shortly after the abuse occurred. Romannose also abused the minor after the group arrived home in New York, according to the release.

The release says during the trial, family members testified that following the road trip, the victim’s behavior changed dramatically, and they initially were unsure why, according to the release. They state that she became more withdrawn and started acting out. The victim eventually disclosed the abuse to a counselor and family member.

Romannose will be sentenced on June 3, 2022.

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