Trooper cleared of sex assault allegations, accuser upset
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After months under investigation, a state trooper accused of sexual assault will not face charges.
In July, a Brunswick County woman claimed the Wilmington-based trooper brutally raped her in his home. Today, the district attorney said the relationship was consensual.
When we spoke with the alleged victim this summer, we did not disclose her name or show her face. Now that the DA says no crime was committed, we feel it is only fair to the trooper that we do identify his accuser.
“In this day and age, it’s no longer a he-said-she-said case,” DA Ben David said. “It’s a he-texted-she-texted case.”
Investigators say Tpr. Bryan Phillips and Audrey Finch exchanged 563 documented text messages and phone calls, many sexually explicit, over four days in July. That’s what led them to determine the couple’s sexual encounter was consensual and not rape.
David says three calls and nine text messages between the two happened after the night Finch claimed the rape happened.
“I will not describe one of the pictures that the victim sent after the alleged assault, but suffice it to say that there was no indication that there was any lack of consent at any time,” David said.
Finch and Phillips met on an online dating site. Finch said the attack happened when she went to Phillips’s Wilmington apartment. After telling Wilmington Police she was raped, the investigation was handed to the SBI and the Conference of District Attorneys, which made the determination that no charges should be filed.
Finch is not happy with the decision.
“Tpr. Bryan Phillips brutally raped me, and I am devastated and outraged he got away with it,” Finch told WWAY today. “From nightmares to fear of men, I am forever tortured, and will never be the same girl again. I have nothing to gain from this.”
David says he also looked into possibly charging Finch for giving false information to law enforcement. He says Finch has been convicted of that crime in Virginia.
Tpr. Phillips remains on administrative duty as Highway Patrol completes an internal investigation.
We tried to call Phillips today for comment, but he did not answer our call.
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