A rape charge against a North Adams man was dropped Friday after new evidence surfaced.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that 33-year old Gerald Richardson was charged with raping a woman in a tent last July, after a night of drinking.

The incident, reported to North Adams Police the next day by a 26-year-old woman, was alleged to have occurred behind a North Holden Street residence.

However, Facebook messages between Richardson and the alleged victim were brought forward in February by his attorney, Edmund St. John III.

The messages, according to St. John, dated July 7, 2017, and July 8, 2017, demonstrate that the sexual encounter between the defendant and the complainant was consensual.

On Friday, prosecutors officially dropped the charges of rape and indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 years old. A single count of assault and battery against Richardson remains open.