Trooper, accuser exchange hundreds of explicit text messages; no criminal charges will be filed

RAW: DA Ben David clears Trooper Phillips
Trooper Bryan R. Phillips (Source: State Highway Patrol/First Sergeant Jeff Gordon)
Trooper Bryan R. Phillips (Source: State Highway Patrol/First Sergeant Jeff Gordon)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – No charges will be filed against Trooper Bryan Phillips concerning sexual assault allegations against him, according to District Attorney Ben David.

David said a preliminary investigation by the Wilmington Police Department found no criminal activity.

The accuser then requested a second investigation. The New Hanover County District Attorney's Office then asked the SBI to investigate allegations of sexual assault by Phillips.

"I find no evidence of criminal conduct by Trooper Phillips in this case," said David. "There's conduct that he engaged in and the alleged victim that neither should be proud of – but no crime was committed."

The two exchanged 563 text messages from July 20 to July 24, according to David. Those text messages included sexually explicit content along with inappropriate pictures. David said the alleged rape happened on July 23, 2012. According to records, three calls and nine text messages were sent after a police report was filed. Those texts clearly showed the sexual relationship between Phillips and the accuser was consensual.

David said the accuser had erased a number of those text messages but with the help of software, investigators were able to retrieve all the messages that proved no criminal activity had happened.

Phillips was placed on administrative duty, earlier this year, according to First Sergeant Jeff Gordon. He will remain there until an internal investigation is complete.

Assistant district attorney Connie Jordan was one of the people to review the case. She said this case was clear and cut when it came to determining if any criminal activity had gone on between the two. Typically, these kinds of cases border a fine line.

David also said this is not the first time the accuser has filed a false claim. She was charged and convicted of filing a false claim with law enforcement in Williamsburg, VA.

David said rape and sexual crimes are "under-reported" and any victim should feel safe to come forward with any allegations to the local DA's office. reached out to Phillip's attorney, Frank Jones, but he declined to issue any statement on the investigation.

A call made to the accuser's attorney has not been returned.

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