TAMPA (FOX 13) - The former Tampa police officer, accused of sexual battery against a woman he pulled over, has been vindicated.
But the damage has already been done for Adam York.
"They've taken everything from me. They’ve taken my kids' college. They've wiped us out," explained a tearful York, who was once a rising star at the Tampa Police Department.
He had a stellar, unblemished 20-year career as a law enforcement officer. However, it all came crashing down two and half years ago when a woman he pulled over on a traffic stop accused him of sexual battery.
He denied it, but it did not matter. He was arrested, charged, and fired from TPD. In the blink of an eye, he had lost everything.
Nevertheless, things slowly began turning around when his defense attorney, Rick Escobar began picking apart the evidence in the case. He called the TPD investigation atrocious and embarrassing.
Documents obtained by FOX 13 show the accuser boasted about flirting her way out of a ticket before.
According to records, she told detectives, "I would flash you if you asked me to flash you. Like, flashing is no big deal to me."
The accuser told investigators she was on a date with a man she had met on a dating app and on her way to meet another man in Lakeland when she was stopped by Officer York.
Investigators say so-called touch DNA belonging to Officer York was found on the woman's underwear.
Touch DNA is a transfer of skin cells left on an object after it's been touched. Escobar says York's touch DNA was on her driver’s license when he handed it back to her.
"It doesn't give me any joy to say the Tampa Police Department did an absolutely atrocious job investigating this case," Escobar said. "Ladies and gentleman, I hate to say that, but in this case, there's no question in my mind that this was a total setup."
Also, a text message sent by the accuser to her child’s father shows she was planning on "getting millions from this cop case."
With evidence casting more than a reasonable doubt York had acted inappropriately, the charges against him have been dropped.
York, meanwhile, is left picking up the pieces of his life. One piece he'd like back is his job.
"At no point did anyone seek the truth and at no point did anybody try to do the right thing," said York.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan released a statement saying in part, "...he was fired for not maintaining the expected standard of conduct and for untruthfulness. We stand by our decision."
The full statement from the Tampa Police Department is below.
The State Attorneys Office has notified us that the charges against former Tampa Police Officer Adam York were being dropped. The decision by the State Attorney has no bearing on our decision to fire Adam York. His status with our Department has not changed.
Tampa Police investigated the allegation thoroughly and with a sense of urgency. We consulted with the State Attorneys Office at every step in the process. As soon as we learned that our officer might be involved, we pulled him off the street in order to protect the public. As soon as we learned that DNA evidence incriminated Adam York, we gave him an opportunity to explain.
His response was contradicted by the evidence and he was fired for not maintaining the expected standard of conduct and for untruthfulness. We stand by our decision.
I hope that the comments made by Adam York's attorney today don't have a chilling effect on victims of sexual assault and cause them to be reluctant to come forward.