CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The former head of a Charlotte nonprofit was found not guilty on assault charges Thursday.
Dr. Patrick Graham was arrested earlier this year, and charged with assault on a female in a case involving the mother of one of his children.
Graham and his attorney Harold Cogdell spoke exclusively to WBTV less than 24 hours after the verdict came.
"There were a lot sleepless nights going through this process, and I will also say I had supporters who I never had in this process before, contact me from day one and continuously check on me," Graham said.
The Urban League of Central Carolinas is a place where Graham made a name for himself before moving on to head up Charlotte Works.
"When I walked into the courtroom, there was a young man who saw me and said I spoke to him at the Urban League before about not giving up, and he said Dr. Graham I don't want you to give up. I couldn't make that moment up. It was divine. It was the extra strength I needed when I walked into that courtroom," Graham told WBTV.
However at this time when Charlotte Works is raising its community profile, Graham is now stepping aside.
He said, "So as of today, the decision made a couple weeks prior to this trial I am resigning from that role."
Attorney Cogdell says accusers like the one in this case have the upper hand in a flawed system.
"I had to work with Mr. Graham just like I have with other clients to have confidence in our system," Cogdell said. "We have got to take a deep dive at how this civilian initiated warrant process is occurring."
He was also asked about getting his good name back.
Graham said, "I think that I've been blessed that there have been many people who never questioned my name, and that gives me an advantage over many people that I have served before."
Over the years, Graham has spoken from a number of church pulpits, and he calls forgiveness against his accuser a work in progress.
"I had to forgive a while ago and it was difficult," Graham said. "God knows when you need help to handle adversity. He really does."
Graham understands his healing will not come easy or overnight but remains hopeful the future can provide what he's found in the past, which is living a life of service.
"What I would request from this community is to allow me to do what I do best, and that is to help people," he said.