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Ex-Fort Worth Officer Convicted of Raping Girl Set Free After 21 Years, But Prosecutors Plan New Trial

Source: Dallas News
Author: Tom Steele
Date: May 5, 2016

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A former Fort Worth police officer convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl has been freed after serving 21 years of a life sentence, but prosecutors plan to retry him.

Brian Franklin, 56, posted $10,000 bail Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

“We are headed to a new trial,” Tarrant County prosecutor Bill Vassar told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If the defense would like to plead, we will consider that.”

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled last month that Franklin's conviction should be thrown out because his accuser later admitted that she lied during his 1995 trial.

The court said that her testimony led others to give false testimony.

The woman, now in her 30s, admitted two years ago that she lied in part of her testimony. But she remains adamant that Franklin raped her in her father’s backyard in March 1994.

In 2014, the woman said her stepfather had repeatedly sexually assaulted her when she was a child — starting before she accused Franklin and continuing through his trial.

But during Franklin's trial she testified that she had never had sexual contact before. There was no DNA tying Franklin to the assault, and the prosecution's case hinged on the fact that injuries to the girl's genitals would've had to come from an assault by Franklin.

The girl's stepfather eventually received 10 years of probation as part of a plea deal. He died earlier this year.

Outside a Tarrant County courtroom Wednesday, Franklin's brother sounded relieved.

“The toughest thing has been knowing that he was wrongfully convicted for all these years,” Paul Franklin told the Star-Telegram. “For 21 years he’s been in prison and it’s all been based on false testimony. It’s all been based on a lie.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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