A Macon pastor accused of raping a then-15-year-old girl was released from the Bibb County jail Monday after the case against him was dismissed.
Yohandry Bravo, 39, was arrested in a May 4 traffic stop in Atlanta, more than two years after the girl’s allegations surfaced. He was held at the Bibb County jail without bond until his release about 8:45 a.m. Monday.
The prosecutor for the case cited a lack of investigation, lack of evidence and the girl’s false statements to law enforcement as reasons for the July 31 dismissal, according to the case file obtained by The Telegraph through an Open Records Act request.
Contacted Monday, Bravo’s lawyer Shane Geeter said the allegations and time his client spent incarcerated were hard for Bravo and his family.
“He didn’t do it,” Geeter said.
The girl and her family moved in with Bravo and his family soon after Bravo’s son Jose was fatally struck by a car Nov. 23, 2012, on Hawkinsville Road.
The rape allegation surfaced about three months later.
At that time, Bravo had been a pastor about 17 years, according to his Facebook page.
He was leading a congregation at Ministerio Internacional Jesús es el Señor on Hawkinsville Road of between 200 and 250 people.
Geeter argued at a May court hearing that his client, a Cuban native, went to Central America to officiate a funeral before warrants were issued for his arrest. He was asked to establish churches in Nicaragua and El Salvador and learned of the charges against him while he was abroad, Geeter said.
Geeter said Bravo returned to the United States voluntarily to face the charges.
At some point after making the rape allegation, the girl moved to Indiana and while there reported to local authorities in 2013 that Bravo was harassing and stalking her, according to an incident report included in the case file.
She later admitted sending the alleged harassing calls and text messages from her home computer, according to the report.
When interviewed by Indiana deputies, the girl said she sent the messages because “her mother never believed that she had been assaulted” and “she really needed attention from her mother,” according to the report.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398 or find her on Twitter@awomackmacon.