Former One Life to Live actor Sean Ringgold has been cleared of sexual assault and rape charges filed against him in 2013. Nearly a year and $70,000 in legal fees later, all charges against Ringgold have been dropped.
Ringgold, who was once a bodyguard for celebrities like Tom Cruise, LL Cool J, and Queen Latifah, said he had been talking to a women online for about a year, then he agreed to meet with her at a restaurant in Secaucus, New Jersey. But when he showed up the woman wasn't the same person he had been talking to online, so he decided to drive her home. Then three days later detectives called to tell him there was a warrant out for his arrest.
"I get a phone call, I have to go turn myself in, finger printed, pictures, everything," Ringgold recalled.
He said he couldn't believe he was being charged with rape when all he did was drive her home.
Prosecutors tried several times to get him to agree to a deal including a pre-trial intervention, but Ringgold refused because he knew the allegations against him were false.
"If I wasn't strong and didn't have good people, I would have taken a deal. My life wouldn't have been over, but I would have been screwed,” he explained. "If I did not have the resources, I would have been messed up."
When asked how it felt to be labeled a rapist for over a year of his life, Ringgold got very emotional.
"It hurts a lot, it hurts a lot," he said with tears in his eyes.
Ringgold starred as Shaun Evans in ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live from 2006-2012. He reprised the role in 2013 when the soap returned as an online series for one season. Production company Prospect Park put the show on hold in September 2013, pending the outcome of their lawsuit against ABC. Two months later, Ringgold was charged with rape.
Court documents show the woman's statements changed over time leading to the charges being dismissed. Now that the ordeal is over, Ringgold hopes he can move on with his life.