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Ryan Charles Petro, 27, of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

An Army soldier returned from duty in Afghanistan is facing rape charges in connection to a 2018 sexual assault of an Auburn University student, authorities said.

Ryan Charles Petro, 27, Fort Bragg, N.C., was taken into custody Tuesday by Auburn police on warrants charging him with five counts of first-degree rape, police said.

Petro’s arrest stems from an investigation into a sexual assault, which was reported to police on May 29, 2018.

The victim, a 19-year-old female Auburn University student, reported being sexually assaulted at an area hotel by Petro. He was an acquaintance of the victim, said police.

“An investigation, including forensic examination and analysis of evidence by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, resulted in Petro being positively identified as the individual responsible for sexually assaulting the victim,” a statement said.

Petro had been deployed to Afghanistan and was arrested by U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) agents on Sept. 16. He was then turned over to the Cumberland Country Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, said police.

Petro waived extradition and was taken to Alabama where he was booked into the Lee County Jail and held on a $500,000 bond, said police.

The case remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division and the U.S. Army CID.

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