Price man pleads no contest in child sex abuse case
A Price man who is accused, along with his wife, of sexually abusing several children, pleaded no contest to reduced charges on Monday.
Timothy Lee Romano, 25, was originally charged with two counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child. On Monday, he pleaded no contest in 7th District Court to two lesser charges of third-degree felony attempted sexual abuse of a child.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18.
"With regards to Timothy, there was conflicting evidence as to his involvement," said Deputy Carbon County Attorney Jeremy Humes. "And he was cooperative with the investigation. That's why we came up with the [plea deal] that we did."
Humes said Romano did not make any agreements in the plea deal in regards to testifying against his wife, Amanda Nicole Romano, or friend, Tyler James Barney, who also have been charged in connection with the alleged sexual assaults.
The Romanos are accused of sexually abusing at least six children in the past three years, ranging in age from 2 to 15 years old.
Amanda Romano, 26, is charged with five counts of object rape of a child, five counts of sodomy upon a child, four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child all first-degree felonies and class A misdemeanor child abuse.
The woman's competency is in question, according to court documents, and she is due back in court on Feb. 19 to discuss results of a mental health evaluation.
"There's two issues there," Humes said of Amanda Romano's case. "One is whether she is competent to proceed, the other is whether she had diminished capacity [during the alleged crimes.]"
The aggravated counts denote a position of trust between the adults and their alleged victims, such as that of a teacher or baby sitter. Humes would not discuss the relationship that the Romanos had with the children, but said they were not babysitting during the alleged crimes.
Barney, 25, has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony. He is scheduled to enter his plea to the charges on March 4.
All three adults were arrested in early November after the Utah Division of Family and Child Services notified the police about the suspected abuse.
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