TAMPA - In less than two hours of deliberations, a jury convicted Charles Newbold today for raping a woman in Ybor City back in 2011.
The guilty verdict came down just a few hours after Newbold took the stand in his own defense. He told the court he thought the two were going to have consensual sex in what she called her home in Ybor City -- a converted 1970's school bus.
The jury clearly disagreed with his version of events.
The victim, Andrea Gordor, spoke to reporters after the verdict came down.
"So thankful. This man is not someone we want on our streets. He is someone who is a repeat offender and needs to be put in jail for a long time," she said.
While Newbold testified that Gordor invited him into her home, the state argued that's not at all what happened.
Prosecutors claim Newbold forced his way into the bus and on top of her, while she was sleeping.
The jury agreed with that version.
"It makes me sad that our court system is so broken that they can stand up, say whatever they want about me, drag my name through the mud, when most of those things are not true," she told reporters.
Gordor has never shied away from what happened -- quite the opposite, in fact.
Right after the attack, she became international news partly because she posted about it on twitter and on her blog. She told reporters it helped her to write about it in social media.
She has since turned her experience into an opportunity to fight for other survivors.
"I'm not going to hide. We are victims and so many people -- unfortunately, more people reached out to me who hadn't reported their crimes than people who had. And that's not ok," she said.
As for Newbold, he likely won't ever see freedom again.
Due to prior convictions, the judge handed down the maximum sentence: Life in prison.
"Obviously I'm disappointed with the verdict," said Marc Joseph, Newbold's attorney. "I thought that based on the lack of forensic evidence in this case that we'd have a favorable verdict."
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