A Chattanooga man cleared of rape charges opened up about his first few days of freedom in an exclusive interview with NewsChannel9 Monday.
Robert Bradshaw was accused of raping woman in July 2014, but DNA evidence cleared him of the charge last week after Bradshaw's DNA was not found to be a match on tests.
"(It's) surreal, it still kind of is," said Bradshaw to NewsChannel9's Briona Arradondo. "You're glad for it to be over, and the truth came out. In the end, that was my main concern."
Bradshaw said it was tough for him to be away from those family members who supported him while he was incarcerated for eight months. His attorney Brandy Spurgin said it was a good feeling to hear the evidence exonerated her client. Both said it was important for both sides of the story to be heard.
"I wish it happened sooner than it did. But it's never too late, thank goodness," said Spurgin.
Bradshaw said he met the woman while working at the Hair of the Dog Pub on July 19. He said he noticed she had a foreign accent, and he served her water.
"We went to go shoot pool after I got off at 5pm, shot a couple of games. We left to go back to my house. Then, I dropped her off in front of the Big Chill," said Bradshaw.
Then days later, he was jailed. The hearings before Hamilton County judges were emotional for the accuser, but details of inconsistencies in her report surfaced.
Currently, his record is to be expunged.
"The justice system is a great one but there are mistakes," said Spurgin. "There are times when innocent people sit in jail, and that's what happened in this instance."
Spurgin said she knew the accuser's story didn't add up and showed NewsChannel9 records from the woman's past.
"We did open records requests. There was a false report conviction where she had been convicted of filing a false rape report before. There was also a tampering with evidence conviction," said Spurgin about the woman's convictions in Florida. "When we got the reports and talked to officials in those jurisdictions, we realized that she left a trail of chaos everywhere she went."
For Bradshaw, it's now about focusing on his family and moving forward.
"I would like to explore possibilities into what I could do to make sure this doesn't happen again to somebody," said Bradshaw. "I feel a little nervous for anyone that honestly bumps into her, simply because this isn't a one-time thing, history has shown."
Bradshaw said that he is now applying for jobs to help support his family, but he won't be going back into the bar-tending business.
His attorney said they will discuss the possibility of filing charges against his accuser. The accuser said Bradshaw was impersonating a Marine, but Bradshaw said he actually served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years.
Read more at: http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/stories/man-cleared-rape-charge-speaks-nc9-exclusive-15657.shtml