Accused of raping, confining, beating and strangling a woman in his truck for more than four hours last month, a Riverton man could face life in prison.
The federal criminal charges against Tyler Joseph Roman, who turns 27 this year, did not become public until Thursday, one day after he was arrested on Fremont Avenue in Riverton.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Elmore charged Roman on Jan. 25 with one count each of aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, and kidnapping — each punishable by up to life in prison and up to $250,000 in fines — and one count of strangulation, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The case started Jan. 17 at about 11 p.m., when a woman went to a Riverton bar to pick Roman up, says an evidentiary affidavit filed in the case by FBI Special Agent Andrew Stiles.
She took Roman to another bar in Riverton, then to a saloon in Kinnear, Wyoming.
The woman didn’t remember leaving the saloon or getting into Roman’s truck, but she woke to discover Roman forcing her to perform oral sex in his truck near the Wyoming Indian Elementary School on the Wind River Indian Reservation, the affidavit alleges.
She had spurned Roman’s advances to have sex a week earlier, says the affidavit.
Roman beat the woman, strangled her and forced her to perform sexual acts, the document claims. The affidavit says when he strangled her, she drifted out of consciousness and soon awoke to find him pummeling her face and head.
She raised her hands to protect her face, reportedly.
“The anger of Roman was unlike anything (she) had experienced,” says the affidavit. She pleaded with him to let her go, but he allegedly reacted by beating and strangling her even harder.
‘You Deserve This’
Roman got out of the truck to relieve himself.
The woman tried putting the truck in gear to escape, but it didn’t work: Roman got back into the truck and told the woman if she tried to get away, he’d kill her, the affidavit says.
He wrapped his hands around her neck then crooked his arm around her throat and mouth, and then raped her, the affidavit says.
He allegedly told her he wanted to infect her.
“I am going to kill you,” he said, according to the affidavit. “You deserve this.”
The woman kept looking for an escape, but with the cold January temperatures, the scarcity of houses and with her clothes ripped off, she feared the dangers of exposure, the document adds.
The woman told investigators she believed she was going to die, and tried to deescalate the situation by agreeing with Roman.
Running To Her Dad
The woman reportedly didn’t remember when Roman drove his truck back to his house on 17 Mile Road just outside of Riverton.
She just remembered running to her dad when she got to where he was.
Wind River Police Department received the rape report at about 4:41 a.m., and they went to find Roman, but did not.
They did, however, find the woman with one eye swollen shut and injuries to her face, says the affidavit. She said she'd been confined and raped over the past four to six hours.
Ordinarily, rape cases are handled by local county and district attorneys in Wyoming. But because this case happened on the Wind River Indian Reservation, involved tribal members and is charged at the felony level, the FBI has jurisdiction.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.