For months, Robert Woods has been waiting for the news he received on Thursday afternoon. He will not be going to trial to defend himself on a rape charge.
Woods is the Tampa pharmacist who was arrested in November after a woman he met on a social media app accused him of sexually assaulting her in his apartment.
The state attorney’s office filed a letter of release saying, “After completing our investigation, carefully reviewing the facts and applying the applicable case law, the State Attorney’s Office has elected not to file criminal charges at this time.”
While Woods is relieved that the case is not moving forward, he’s not elaborating on what really happened that night.
He simply says her portrayal of the events was less than truthful.
“All of the accusations that were brought against me were completely false,” said Woods, sitting near the front door of the courthouse where he would have had to defend himself. “As soon as I was arrested, people presumed that it was fact. I never had a chance to tell my side.”
Woods had recently completed a pharmacy program at Tampa General Hospital. By all accounts, he was a rising star. He’d just landed a good job in his profession at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
When police showed up at his apartment in downtown Tampa, he didn’t really know what they were there for.
“You don’t even know what the police report says when you’re first arrested,” said Woods. “You don’t know what was written on that. I mean, everybody else knew before I did.”
Following his arrest, Woods was let go from his job and he lost his apartment.
Tampa police still classify Woods’ accuser as a victim, as do prosecutors. Her name is still classified and will not be released.
The letter of release simply means prosecutors felt there were issues with the case that may have involved evidence and/or testimony.
Laura Schinella is Woods’ attorney handling the criminal case. She didn’t go into specifics as to why she believes prosecutors made the decision not to go forward, but she does believe what the accuser told police could land her in a civil courtroom.
“There may be civil remedies that Mr. Woods has to seek compensation for those damages he suffered for being wrongfully accused,” said Schinella. “As of right now, his focus is to piece his life back together, and regain the respect in the professional and personal communities he worked so hard to earn.”