Andrea Gorder went on Twitter to track down the man who raped her. A year and half later, she went looking for justice and got it.
"I'm so thankful. This is a man we don't want on our streets," Gorder said.
Charles Newbold was convicted of rape and burglary. He will now spend the rest of his life prison.
Gorder is relieved it is finally over.
" I'm so glad I was part of that to keep other people safe," she said.
Gorder, came out of the shadows to speak, she says, for every rape victim who hasn't. She said confronting her attacker on the stand wasn't easy.
"There are so many fears that come in with victims. We are afraid we are going to say the wrong thing. Cross (examination) is very difficult, we're so terrified they're going to bring up stuff, they try and drag you through the mud. And victims just have to be strong and know they are right in this," Gorder said.
It was May 2011, when Gorder was living in a refurbished bus in Ybor, and Newbold broke in and brutally raped her.
The sexual assault made headlines after she tweeted about the rape shortly afterward.
During her testimony, the suspect's attorney questioned her motives-- even saying she should have been too embarrassed to tweet about it.
"I'm not embarrassed by what I did. Twitter is very important to me. It's for my job, I do social media marketing and it's a way to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time," she said.
But the defendant took the stand and told the jury a much different story. He said he didn't rape Gorder; it was consensual.
Newbold claimed the two met in Ybor, began fooling around at her place, and things got out of hand.
"She started saying I was breaking things in her place, and at that point I was like, ‘I'm not breaking anything we doing this together,' " Newbold said.
But the jury didn't buy it. It took them a little over two hours to find Newbold guilty.
Gorder doesn't consider herself a victim, but rather, a survivor who won't be defined or silenced by rape,
"It's not something we should be ashamed of. This man did something awful to me and I need to have the strength and the support of my community to stand up and say what he has done, and put him in jail, " Gorder said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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