Conviction in rape tweet case - WFLA News Channel 8

Conviction in rape tweet case

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Convicted rapist Charles Newbold in court Wednesday, and his accuser on the witness stand. Convicted rapist Charles Newbold in court Wednesday, and his accuser on the witness stand.

Guilty on all counts.

That's the verdict for 30-year-old Charles Newbold, the man who raped a woman living in a converted bus in Ybor City, back in 2011.

The case gained attention because the victim tweeted about the attack afterwards.

During the trial, the defendant proclaimed his innocence on the stand and the victim spoke directly to the media for the first time.

In closing arguments, Newbold's attorney claimed the sex was consensual.

Marc Joseph, the defense attorney, said, "As far as we are concerned and from what the evidence shows she was not raped."

But the prosecution told the jury this was a clear case of burglary and sexual battery.

Assistant state attorney Aaron Hubbard said in court, "I ask that you find him guilty of breaking into her bus assaulting and battering her in that bus and I ask that you find him guilty of raping her during that incident."

During the trial one issue focused on the fact the victim tweeted about the attack within hours after it happened.

The defense claimed that wasn't a normal reaction following such a violent offense.

Defense attorney Marc Joseph said, "So imagine it is like going with a sign putting 'I have been raped' going on the street corner and holding it up that's what it is akin to."

In the end, the jury found newbold guilty of burglary and sexual battery.

Normally we would not identify a rape victim but she has given us permission.

Andrea Gorder said, "I am not embarrassed about what I did.  Twitter is something that is very important to me.  It's for my job and it's a way to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time."

Despite the verdict reached in the trial, Newbold's attorney says he plans to file an appeal within the next thirty days.

Because Newbold has prior convictions, the judge sentenced him to life in prison.

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