Former Jackson County corrections officer guilty of raping woman from dating website gets new trial

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri man convicted of raping a woman whom he met on a dating website is getting a new trial.

A Platte County jury deliberated less than two hours before finding 31-year-old Bradley Everhart, of Independence, guilty of rape in August. When FOX4 previously reported this story, we learned that Everhart was a former corrections officer at the Jackson County Detention Center.

On Thursday a motion for acquittal was denied in Platte County, but Everhart was granted a new trial. It begins on January 28, 2019, court and jail records show he’s held in custody on a $20,000 cash-only bond.

Prosecutors previously said the 31-year-old woman met Everhart on the dating website Plenty of Fish. She went to his home in August 2016 and they watched a movie in a bedroom.

The woman told police Everhart raped her despite her repeatedly telling him to stop. The woman fled the house, went to a hospital, and reported the encounter to police.

According to a news release, the defense lawyer attempted shift blame to the victim during closing arguments. He asked the jury to consider the clothes she was wearing and her intentions for driving to the house.  He suggested the woman did not fight back hard enough, because she did not try to “scratch the defendant’s eyes out” and had no apparent signs of bruising.

Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said after woman left, Everhart sent her more than 60 text messages in less than an hour. He repeatedly apologized and asked her not to say anything because he would lose his children.