1. News

Sexual battery charge against Tampa cop dropped

Former Tampa police officer Adam York, left, is comforted by his wife Lisa during a news conference at his attorney’s Tampa office Tuesday. The State Attorney’s office has dropped a sexual assault charge against York that stemmed from a straffic stop in 2016. [JAMES BORCHUK | Times]
Published Nov. 14, 2018

Hillsborough County prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a sexual battery charge against a Tampa police officer accused of inappropriately touching a woman he pulled over in a traffic stop in 2016.

Adam York's lawyer demanded that the former officer get his job back with back pay during a news conference later Tuesday afternoon.

"My life is surrounded by carnage. Absolute carnage," said York, 45, who was fired in March 2016 after the woman accused him of sexually assaulting her. "This is never going away. This is the rest of my life."

Standing with his wife, Lisa, York said his family was "destitute" and he has been working for a friend's construction company to bring in some money.

His attorney, Rick Escobar, said the Tampa Police Department botched the investigation against his client.

"They did an absolutely atrocious job," Escobar said.

The Police Department issued a statement shortly after the news conference saying that State Attorney Andrew Warren's decision not to pursue a criminal charge wouldn't change the department's judgment.

"We stand by our decision," said police Chief Brian Dugan in a statement. "I hope 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

The woman said she was driving to a friend's house when York pulled her over at WestShore Plaza before dawn on Feb. 1, 2016. She later accused him of inappropriately touching her in a complaint to the Police Department.

Escobar suggested that York's DNA, which was found on part of the women's underwear, had been put there by the woman using the driver's license that she had handed to him during the traffic stop.

York had handled the traffic stop correctly and showed the woman, who said the father of her daughter was a paramedic for Tarpon Springs, a professional courtesy by not giving her a speeding ticket, Escobar said.

"There's a saying: 'No good deed goes unpunished," the lawyer said. "Boy, is that true in this case."

Tampa police didn't interview key witnesses or follow up on other evidence that would have exonerated York, Escobar said. Nor did they interview DNA experts, who he said could have explained how York's DNA may have been manipulated by the woman.

"There is no question in my mind that this was a total setup," Escobar said at a news conference at his W Kennedy Boulevard law offices.

The woman has never been publicly identified after she made her report of sexual battery so the newspaper couldn't reach out to her for comment.

Escobar appealed to Mayor Bob Buckhorn to make things right by York. He said he hoped York wouldn't be forced to file a civil lawsuit against the city to get justice.

"In our system of justice, politics has no role," he said.

Buckhorn didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Estella Gray, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County State Attorney's office, said prosecutors had decided not to pursue the charge against York on Friday. The office didn't release further explanation.

After the woman's claims surfaced, a Tampa Police Department investigation found sufficient cause to terminate York, who had worked for the department since July 2003 and earned $81,536 at the time of his dismissal.

A visibly emotional York said the accusations demolished his family.

"It's destroyed it," he said. " We have nothing left. They've taken everything from me. They've taken my kids' college."


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The teen sent texts naming two classmates and a faculty member as targets, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He did not have access to guns, however.
  2. Zephyrhillls police Officer Timothy Alan Murr II, 22, was arrested Monday on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. The police department suspended him with pay pending the completion of the criminal investigation. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    The officer is accused of grabbing a woman’s wrists. The Zephyrhills Police Department suspended him with pay.
  3. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. Florida State University professor Wenyuan Fan said the storm probably created "stormquakes" offshore in the gulf, too. [Photo courtesy of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]] NOAA
    Analysis of a decade of records shows hurricanes causing seismic activity on continental shelf
  4. Ken Jones, CEO of Third Lake Capital, has sold WingHouse for $18 million to a Jacksonville restaurant company. [Times 2016]
    Tampa’s Third Like Capital now major shareholder in restaurant’s new owners.
  5. Mama is available for adoption. Hernando County Animal Services
    Hernando County shelter pet offerings
  6. The Don CeSar Hotel is caught up in a lawsuit over liquid nitrogen being served and causing injuries at its restaurant. [Times (2011)]
    They say the other side has made inflammatory and misleading statements to the media.
  7. This Mobil Coast gas station at 16055 State Road 52 in Land O Lakes is one of 10 cited in a Florida Department of Environmental Protection lawsuit where inspectors said they found lapses in regularly required tests, maintenance, documentation or other oversight by Brandon-based Automated Petroleum and Energy or its related companies. On Wednesday, the company said the station had already been put back in compliance with state regulations. (Photo via Google street view) Google street view
    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection contends Automated Petroleum and Energy Company failed to do required maintenance or testing at 10 gas stations in the Tampa Bay area and beyond.
  8. FILE - In this Wednesday, July 10, 2019 file photo, 6-year-old elementary school students go through the lunch line in the school's cafeteria in Paducah, Ky. Nearly a million students could lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches under a Trump administration proposal that's expected to reduce the number of people who get food stamps. In October 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an analysis finding as many as 982,000 children could be affected by the change. ELLEN O'NAN  |  AP
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released details of an analysis that found that as many as 982,000 children could be affected by the change.
  9. A deputy's Sig Sauer P320, similar to this Glock 19, discharged in the cafeteria of a Wesley Chapel school April 30. The bullet lodged in the wall behind him. The deputy has been fired.
    Cpl. Jonathan Cross was lifting his pistol up and down out of its holster when it went off, Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
  10. FILE - This Dec. 28, 1987 file photo shows former “Tarzan” actor Ron Ely during an interview in Los Angeles. A woman was killed at Ely's Southern California home and sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a suspect on the property, authorities said Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. A Santa Barbara County sheriff’s office statement does not identify any of those involved but notes that a disabled elderly man living at the home was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The deaths occurred Tuesday night in Hope Ranch, a suburb of luxury homes outside Santa Barbara. REED SAXON  |  AP
    A 911 call after 8 p.m. reported a family disturbance and deputies found a woman who was the victim of an apparent homicide, authorities said.