Press Release (ePRNews.com) - TAMPA, Fla. - Jan 12, 2018 - The Rickman Law Firm announces that in a hearing on December 8, 2017, in Hillsborough County, Florida, a judge dismissed the allegation of sexual assault against current University of South Florida student, Andrew Thurston. Thurston, who maintained his innocence and denied sexually assaulting his accuser, was represented by Attorney Anthony Rickman.
Through the course of the hearing, evidence was presented which proved that the accuser, Samantha Garrett, was involved in a mutually consensual encounter with Thurston. It was established that Garrett voluntarily went to Thurston’s home after seeing a movie. While at Thurston’s home, she voluntarily agreed to spend the night there and sleep in his bed. During that evening, Garrett voluntarily traveled upstairs and into the defendant’s bedroom where she put on his clothes to sleep in. While in the bedroom, Garrett admitted to kissing and touching Thurston and allowing herself to be touched by him. It was undisputed that Thurston and Garrett did not have sexual intercourse. Afterwards, Garrett slept naked in bed next to Thurston. The next morning, she left without incident.
Following that night, Thurston and Garrett exchanged a series of text messages that further demonstrated that the encounter on the night in question was consensual. In these text messages, Garrett told Thurston that they merely “made out” and that it was not a big deal. It was not until after Thurston told Garrett that he did not want to be in a relationship with her that she began accusing him of inappropriately touching her. In addition to texting Thurston, Garrett sent text messages to a friend writing “he didn’t rape me”.
For approximately two weeks after the alleged incident, Garrett kept in contact with Thurston, which included over 1400 text messages, leaving him handwritten notes, and going to dinner and other locations with him. She also spent the night at Thurston’s home during this time period, sleeping in his bed. During this time, she used the threat of the allegation to force Thurston to cancel dates with other women and to spend time with her. It was established that it was not until after Thurston decided to start dating other women that Garrett made the sexual assault allegation.
On March 3, 2017, roughly five months after the alleged incident, Garrett appeared at the Temple Terrace Police Department and told investigators that she wished to withdraw her complaint against Thurston and that she did not want him investigated or charged in relation to their encounter. In April of 2017, Garrett decided instead to file an injunction for protection against dating violence. One year after the alleged incident, the accuser filed another injunction for protection against sexual violence, which coincided with her filing of a Title IX lawsuit against the University of South Florida. The injunction was dismissed by the Court on the ground that no evidence supported the allegation that the accuser was the victim of sexual violence.
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The Rickman Law Firm is dedicated to providing clients throughout the state of Florida with top notch legal representation. Founded by Attorney Anthony Rickman, a former state prosecutor, the Rickman Law Firm provides aggressive legal representation to citizens accused, investigated, or arrested for a crime in Florida state and federal court. With over ten years of experience defending the citizens of the State of Florida, Mr. Rickman has developed a reputation of being a fierce litigator and representative of his clients in the Courtroom.
For more information, please visit http://therickmanlawfirm.com/.
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