5 Teens Testify at Joplin Campaign Man’s Sexual Abuse Trial | New
When Daniel Franklin took the three daughters and the brother of one of them on a first ‘camping trip’ in the summer of 2017, the pitch was they were going horseback riding, the teens said. Wednesday at Franklin’s child sexual abuse trial.
Franklin, 58 at the time, turned out to have more sordid pursuits in mind, they told a jury of eight women and four men.
“We wanted to camp, but we didn’t want to do what he wanted,” the girl who then became his main victim testified before Judge Dean Dankelson of the Jasper County Circuit Court.
Franklin, now 62, started with her by stroking her through her clothes as they watched TV at one of Carthage’s other girls before even leaving on one of his ‘camping trips’ , she says.
Another time he had taken her to a vacant house in Carthage where he touched her under her clothes.
She testified that Franklin raped her and forced her to have oral sex on her for the first time at a house near Carterville. At 16 when she appeared on the witness stand on Wednesday, she was only 11 at the time, she said.
Three of the four teenagers who made the “camping trip” with him in an old trailer on the property near Avilla testified that he gave them beer before playing strip poker with him.
The boy, who was 9 at the time, could not remember that there had been any alcohol and could not recall taking anything other than his shirt off.
But the girls testified that almost all of them ended up naked, including Franklin. He then led them to the bedroom where Franklin slept that night and showed them a game he called âsex ed,â which they described as a demonstration of various positions for having sex.
He used the boy’s sister, his alleged primary victim, as a partner for the protests. She told the court that she could remember that he had used her to show others how to do an act, but that she couldn’t remember if he had done anything else to her in front of others.
The boy said he and the other two girls slept in a second bedroom that night.
âWhen we got up the next morning, she (her sister) was still in the room with Daniel,â the boy said.
One of the other two girls testified that Franklin did take the boy’s sister to her bedroom that night and that he also inappropriately touched her while she was sleeping during one of the two ” camping trips’ to the old trailer she remembered was 11 years old.
A total of five teenagers testified for the charge, including the four who were on the first camping trip and an older sister of one of the girls, who told the court that Franklin assaulted her that same summer while ‘she was 13 years old.
While there were some inconsistencies in their testimony, Jason Hutchins, a former Jasper County Sheriff’s Department detective who was the lead investigator in the case, and Erin Crawford, who conducted the forensic interviews of the teens for the Joplin Children’s Center, testified that their accounts were substantially consistent.
Crawford told the court that their accounts were consistent with what happened on the trips to the trailer, the games the accused allegedly played with them, how they all went naked or nearly naked, which the only girl had ended up sleeping with him and Franklin either paid them or offered to pay them to play strip poker and keep quiet about it.
The only exception was the girl who became his main victim, she said. During a first interview, she made no disclosure. It took a second interview before she disclosed details of the games and sexual abuse she suffered from Franklin before and during the camping trips.
This girl testified that the accused threatened to hurt her if she told anyone what he was doing, even once threatening her with a knife.
“He had it against my side,” she said.
Testifying was obviously difficult for the five teenagers. The alleged primary victim collapsed at one point during cross-examination by public defender Craig Lowe and her testimony had to be suspended for a few minutes for her to pull herself together.
Lowe told the jury during opening statements that the teens made it all up because two of the girls had a bad life at home, with an alcoholic mother who had mental health issues. A couple who were friends of the family welcomed the girls and provided them with the love and attention they were lacking and the girls made up their stories about Franklin to continue to get that attention, Lowe said.
âThe stories got bigger with the stories,â he said.
His cross-examinations were difficult for both the primary victim and his brother, who he asked why he and the other teens had done nothing to stop the sexual assault of his sister if they knew it was happening. in the other room.
âWe thought there was nothing we could do to stop it all,â the 13-year-old replied.
Lowe asked the sister why she had never told anyone what she claimed Franklin had done to her. She replied that she had tried but was just afraid to tell anyone.
Lowe asked about an allegation she made that he tied her up when he raped her, and she claimed it was true.
“And yet you returned to camp with him,” Lowe asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Franklin testified in his own defense that the two daughters who are sisters made it all up because they were angry with him for trying to make rules in their poor home life with an alcoholic, bipolar mother. He said the girls were left to fend for themselves, but resisted being held back by him.
He denied playing sexual games with them or ever buying beer for a minor. But he did not deny taking them in the trailer near Avilla.
âWe went to the trailer in the country on horseback. It’s true, âhe said.
But the rest of their claims were false, he said.
“Have you ever done anything inappropriate with a girl?” Lowe asked him.
âNo,â Franklin said.
The state suspended its case on Wednesday before the defendant took the witness stand. The defense intends to call at least one more witness in the trial, which resumes Thursday in the Old City Library at 300 S. Main St.