As Martin Luther King, Jr., once observed: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
21 years in prison. That’s how long my client Brian Franklin languished in a cage in at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice before he finally won his freedom.
This last Friday – less than two weeks from Christmas – it took a jury less than two hours to find him not guilty of aggravated sexual assault.
Original Sex Assault Trial
Franklin’s nightmare began in 1994.
A friend’s daughter, who was 13 years old at the time, falsely accused Franklin of raping her. He was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child in Tarrant County Texas.
He went to trial.
At the trial, the complainant testified and came across very credible. The medical evidence against Franklin was compelling—a State expert testified that the complainant’s hymen damage was consistent with Franklin raping the complainant.
A jury convicted Franklin and sentenced him to life.
Challenging a Sex Assault Conviction
After Franklin was convicted, the complainant came forward in the late 1990s and said her stepfather had also been raping her. This aggravated sexual assault occurred before, during, and after Franklin supposedly raped her.
That’s when Dick DeGuerin and I were hired to challenge Franklin’s conviction.
Based on this revelation, I filed a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus challenging Franklin’s conviction due to the complainant’s false trial testimony. If the complainant’s stepfather had been raping her, I argued, she would have had a motive to falsely accuse Franklin (to cover up the stepfather’s rape). The hymen damage could have been the result of her stepfather (not Franklin), and Franklin was actually innocent.
This last summer, the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with me. The Court held that the false testimony had so infected Franklin’s trial that he was denied due process.
A new trial was ordered.
Recently we finally went to trial in Franklin’s case. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office put its best prosecutor on the case. The trial lasted a week and the complainant testified.
In the end, the jury promptly acquitted Franklin. Finally, he has been granted his freedom and good name back.
If you’ve been charged or convicted of sexual assault or other crime, contact our Houston law firm immediately. Let our experienced sex crime defense attorneys ensure you have the best possible case and protect your freedom.