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

The Berkshire Eagle reports Gerald Richardson, 33, 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.

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

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

A single count of assault and battery against Richardson remains open.

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