Ask anyone on the street the worst imaginable crime, and they will say child sex offenses. When I was at the University of Texas School of Law, I was fortunate to take Advanced Criminal Defense with a legendary Texas attorney named Dick DeGuerin. He asked the class on the first day: "Is there any offense you would not defend?" Most students replied, "child sex crimes."
When I graduated from law school, I knew I wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer. That was my passion. I wanted to help people. I knew good people could be accused of bad things.
Dick DeGuerin hired me and that is how I started my career. I worked with him for over 12 years before opening my own law firm. We still share cases today.
I will never forget the first case I was assigned at his office. The State of Texas v. Brian Franklin. Brian was a young father and police officer. He had two beautiful young children. Life was great. But then his world was turned upside down when a teenager accused him of sexually abusing her in the mid-1990s.
Brian went to trial at a time in the 1990s when child sex abuse hysteria was at its zenith. Almost no one believed children lied about sexual abuse. They presumed someone accused of such a horrific crime must be guilty. The jury convicted him and sentenced him to LIFE in prison.
Brian then hired us to review his case. As I dug into the file, I learned that the entire prosecution rested almost solely on just the complainant's word. What's more, the prosecutor after Brian's trial admitted the complainant had lied and said someone else had sexually abused her.
I eventually obtained relief for Brian in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (the State's highest criminal court) and he received a new trial. It was not easy. The State fought us every step of the way.
Even with a new trial, the State of Texas did not back down. They were determined to re-try Brian and send him back to prison. We went to trial and he was promptly found not guilty. The jury deliberated less than an hour and hugged him after his acquittal. Today, he is free.
I know false allegations are made. I've witnessed them first-hand many times. I've handled innumerable adult and child sex abuse cases. Many were not filed or were dismissed because I was able to show the allegations were false. False allegations are a reality, and they are not uncommon. If anyone thinks children don't lie about sexual abuse, they're seriously mistaken. Just ask Brian:
Brian serving his sentence (2010)
Brian after his trial and today (2016)
Free at last! Neal Davis convinces Texas courts to give his client a new trial after serving over 20 years of a life sentence After serving 20 years of his life sentence, Brian Edward Franklin, a client of Neal Davis, was granted a new trial. The court held that he was denied due process...
Former Texas Police Officer’s Sexual Assault Case Reversed After 21 Years Brian Edward Franklin was a Fort Worth, Texas police officer for more than a decade before he was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sentenced to life in prison in 1995.
Ex-Fort Worth officer who spent 21 years in prison for rape is found not guilty in new trial A former Fort Worth police officer who served 21 years after being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl has been found not guilty in a new trial.
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