by Sonja Bochow | December 18, 2016 1:55 am
In a life changing turn of events for former Fort Worth, TX police officer, Brian Franklin, he has been exonerated of the rape of a 13 year-old girl, of which he was convicted in 1995 and has served 21 years of a life sentence. The verdict came at the end of a new trial that ended Friday. The new trial was based on the fact that the alleged victim, now in her 30’s, revealed that she had lied and he never raped her.
It was her stepfather who had actually been sexually assaulting her for years, including during the trial, but she was too afraid to testify to that because he was constantly present in the court room. So, based on her lie, and the fact that the jury gave more weight to the testimony of the girl than to the physical evidence, of which there was none, a man was wrongly imprisoned for 21 years. Clearly, it cannot simply be assumed that the alleged victim is telling the truth, it must be proven. 21 years in jail for a crime you didn’t commit is a long, long time.
Rape is a horrific and violent crime. But that is no excuse to suspend good investigation techniques and the quest for hard evidence and rely on unproven allegations. False rape accusations destroy lives. Here’s hoping that Texas has learned a lesson, one which they may pay for dearly if Franklin sues for wrongful imprisonment. And may Mr. Franklin enjoy every minute of his newfound freedom.
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