08/03/10 — Rape suspect brought back to face charge

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Rape suspect brought back to face charge

By Staff Reports
Published in News on August 3, 2010 1:59 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Rape suspect Romeo Rosinos Villatoro, 32, was in chains and wearing a blue bulletproof vest when he was escorted off the plane at Duplin County Airport where Sheriff Blake Wallace was on hand to take him into custody.

The man charged with last month's rape of an elderly Mount Olive area woman was returned to Duplin County late Monday afternoon by sheriff's deputies and agents with the State Bureau of Investigation.

Villatoro is charged with two counts each of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault and one count of first-degree burglary.

Deputies and SBI agents had flown to upstate New York Monday morning to extradite Villatoro who had fled the Mount Olive area shortly after he allegedly broke into the woman's home and raped her. He is believed to have family or friends in that area.

Villatoro was escorted into a room at the terminal to finish up some paperwork before being taken to the Duplin County Jail.

He was arrested July 28 in a community just north of Syracuse in upstate New York. He did not fight extradition.

On July 25, at about 3:30 a.m., Duplin County deputies received a call that the woman, who is in her 80s, had been the victim of a break-in and rape at her home southeast of Mount Olive.

Villatoro, a migrant worker from Guatemala, had worked on the woman's family farm, fled the area either late July 25 or early on July 26, Wallace said.

Wallace said that the woman was "pretty bruised up and emotionally distraught." Emergency personnel responded and the woman was treated and released from Duplin General Hospital.

New York authorities contacted the Duplin County Sheriff's Office last Wednesday afternoon with news of the arrest. Wallace credits solid detective work and physical evidence as being the reasons for the quick arrest.

Wallace said that his deputies had conducted numerous interviews to develop suspects and that Villatoro had been among them. Physical evidence played a key role, too, he said.