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Man found dead in jail cell

12-23-2010 Nevada:

A man awaiting trial on sexual assault charges was found dead in his jail cell on Wednesday night.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said Rodrigo Enrique Romero, 20, who pleaded not guilty earlier this week to sexual assault, kidnapping, destruction of property and battery with intent to commit sexual assault, was found in a segregated cell about 7:30 p.m. unconscious with part of a sheet around his neck. The other end of the sheet was attached to the bed, said Furlong.

Jail staff and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive Romero.

Furlong said according to the preliminary investigation, Romero was last seen alive by detention staff some 15 minutes before he was found unresponsive.

He said Romero had been having issues with other inmates which was why he was in a segregated cell.

In addition to being held on $50,000 bail, Romero had an immigration hold on him because his status in the country was questionable, said Furlong.

Romero has been in custody since his arrest Nov. 23 for the Nov. 21 rape of a woman outside a downtown bar.

According to the arrest report, Romero allegedly dragged the 21-year-old woman down a darkened stairwell at the corner of East Proctor and Plaza streets about 3 a.m. and raped her. The assault was interrupted by passersby who heard the woman screaming. The assailant then fled.

Surveillance video at a nearby casino offered police a photograph to show bar patrons, and some identified the fleeing rape suspect as Romero. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and a trial was set to begin on Feb. 22.

Furlong said the death is under investigation. ..Source.. by

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