One of two men accused of raping a minor in Lake Elsinore will ask judge to reduce bail

The 14-year-old was sexually assaulted after leaving a party

MURRIETA, Calif. - One of two young men accused of sexually assaulting a drunken 14-year-old Lake Elsinore girl with whom the defendants had partied will ask a judge Tuesday to reduce his bail so he can get out of jail.

Michael Vance Petler, 19, and Tyler Gregory Romero, 18, both of Lake Elsinore, are each charged with rape of a minor, forced oral copulation, sexual penetration with a foreign object and distributing pornographic material to a juvenile in connection with an alleged May 12 assault.


Petler is slated to appear Tuesday morning for a bail-setting conference at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, during which his attorney will ask Riverside County Superior Court Judge Judith Clark to reduce her client's $165,000 bail based on defendant's lack of a criminal record.

Romero is scheduled to appear before the same judge on Sept. 26 for a felony settlement conference. He's also being held in lieu of $165,000. Both defendants are housed at the Southwest Detention Center.

The pair were arrested on Wednesday following a two-month investigation, according to sheriff's Sgt. Todd Pauling.

He said a 14-year-old girl, whose identity was not released, alleged that she met the defendants at a party in Lakeland Village, an unincorporated community near Lake Elsinore.

The victim acknowledged drinking alcoholic beverages and apparently left the party intoxicated, the sergeant said.

Petler and Romero accompanied the girl and allegedly assaulted her in the area of Adelfa Street and Grand Avenue, he said.

Romero turned 18 years old four days prior to the alleged assault, allowing prosecutors to charge him as an adult.

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