A Tampa jury has found 30-year-old Charles Newbold guilty of rape. He was on trial for the rape of a woman who lived on a 1970's revamped bus she had made into her home in Ybor City.
Newbold was immediately sentenced to life in prison on the rape conviction and 50 years on a burglary conviction.
Thursday's closing arguments lasted about an hour in the case against Newbold.
He was on the stand in his own defense Thursday morning for about 40 minutes, giving graphic testimony of the events leading up to the alleged incident.
Newbold vehemently denied the rape.
"I was being charming," Newbold said to defense attorney Marc Joseph, of his first meeting with the alleged victim. "She asked me if I wanted to go to her place."
He says he met the woman on the club strip in Ybor City. He said he and a friend had been cruising the bar scene all night - not going in, just walking around seeing who was waiting in the lines.
Newbold said nothing happened that night, just a conversation, then he and the woman went their separate ways. He went on to detail the next morning, when he was headed to the Greyhound bus station so he could get a ride back to Lakeland, where he says the mother of his child lived. It was at that time he says he coincidentally ran into the woman from the night before.
"A female came around the corner," explained Newbold. "She remembered me and I remembered her. I started making flirtish remarks and she asked me did I live around here and I told her no."
He says there was a little more talking and then she led him to her converted 1970's school bus that she called home.
"I knew we were about to have sex and she started leading me down the side of the bus."
Newbold says once he got in the bus, he tried to have sexual relations with the alleged victim standing up, twice, but both times they fell. He told prosecuting attorney Aaron Hubbard that he didn't think she was hurt that bad and that she didn't really make a big deal about the fall. But he added after that second fall, the climate of the situation changed.
"She started saying I was breaking things in her place, said Newbold. "She started saying she knew better than this and I was like, 'what's going on?' I thought we was going to have some fun?"
The woman Newbold is accused of raping testified Wednesday that she was, in fact, sexually assaulted and that Newbold forced himself in her home and on to her; all of this while she was at home trying to take a nap.
Newbold tried to counter that statement in his testimony Thursday yet again, saying he was invited in her home and that he didn't force himself on her. He said he didn't rape her, they didn't have consensual sex and he said in fact they didn't have sex at all after falling twice.
Hubbard's questioning started in rapidly though as he continued to ask Newbold about the different stories he has been telling since this all began in May of 2011. He told the detective who initially interviewed him that he didn't even know what she was talking about. He said in court that was because he knows how the cops operate.
"They try to twist your words, so I didn't say anything," said Newbold.
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