Black rape sufferer ‘attacked by Eliza Fletcher’s accused killer’ recordsdata lawsuit towards Memphis

Memphis lady Alicia Franklin says she was raped by Cleotha Abston, who authorities consider kidnapped and killed billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher on September 2

A girl in Memphis who was allegedly raped final yr by Eliza Fletcher’s alleged killer has filed a lawsuit towards the town’s police division accusing them of negligence for not sufficiently investigating her case.

The swimsuit, filed by Alicia Franklin on September 20, says Memphis police could have been in a position to forestall Fletcher’s kidnapping and dying if they’d adequately investigated Franklin’s assault in September 21 extra critically.

Franklin, 22, says she was raped by Cleotha Abston, who authorities consider kidnapped and killed billionaire heiress Fletcher on September 2 as she was working early within the morning.

‘Cleotha Abston ought to and will have been arrested and indicted for the aggravated rape of Alicia Franklin many months earlier, almost certainly within the yr 2021,’ says the swimsuit filed in Shelby County Circuit Courtroom.

The swimsuit comprises that if authorities had acted when Franklin reported her assault, ‘the kidnapping and homicide of Eliza Fletcher wouldn’t have occurred.’

A lawsuit filed by Franklin says Memphis police could have been in a position to forestall Fletcher’s kidnapping and dying if they’d adequately investigated Franklin’s assault

The suit says police failed to collect necessary physical evidence, such as fingerprints, from the scene of Franklin's assault

The swimsuit says police failed to gather obligatory bodily proof, comparable to fingerprints, from the scene of Franklin’s assault

After a four-day search in September, Eliza Fletcher's body was discovered near a dilapidated home, just yards from where police last spotted the vehicle she was forced into

After a four-day search in September, Eliza Fletcher’s physique was found close to a dilapidated dwelling, simply yards from the place police final noticed the automobile she was pressured into

Franklin’s swimsuit names the Metropolis of Memphis as the one defendant and seeks an unspecified quantity of compensation for ache and struggling and different damages.

‘I simply assume it wasn’t a precedence,’ mentioned Franklin on Sunday. ‘I used to be simply a mean black lady within the metropolis of Memphis, .’

Franklin mentioned she needed her identify and face to be publicized as to assist different girls keep away from comparable conditions.

The swimsuit, filed by Memphis attorneys Jeffrey S. Rosenblum and Gary Ok. Smith, says police failed to gather obligatory bodily proof, comparable to fingerprints, from the scene of Franklin’s assault.

In addition they allege the police division didn’t pursue Abston sufficient, who has now been charged with Fletcher’s dying.

‘As is customary follow, we don’t speak about pending litigation,’ metropolis spokesperson Dan Springer wrote in an electronic mail to the Each day Memphian.

When DNA outcomes got here again from the state’s crime lab days later, he was charged with Franklin’s rape.

Within the case of Fletcher’s abduction, Abston was recognized as a suspect in simply 18 hours, after a sandal left on the crime scene got here again with a match to his DNA.

However Abston’s mom, Virgie Abston, has insisted her son is harmless, claiming the convicted felon is a ‘variety’, ‘good particular person’ and is as soon as once more being ‘railroaded’ for a violent crime.

Rising from her low-income condominium advanced in north Memphis, the mom informed DailyMail.com she is standing by Abston, who declared his innocence to her from jail.

‘I talked to him and he mentioned he did not do it,’ she recalled of their dialog. ‘He mentioned [to me]: “They’re attempting to place me in some stuff, mother.”‘

‘I consider him,’ she continued. ‘I do not consider he did it. If it comes out of his mouth, that is what I consider.’

‘He is only a good particular person, variety, lovable,’ she added, disputing depictions of her son as a monster that the lawsuit alleges.

Abston was charged with Franklin's rape just days after he was charged with Fletcher's murder as police finally received results of the rape kit a year later

Abston was charged with Franklin’s rape simply days after he was charged with Fletcher’s homicide as police lastly obtained outcomes of the rape equipment a yr later

Speaking outside her north Memphis apartment, the suspect's mother, Virgie Abston, 65, told DailyMail.com she is standing by her son who she said declared his innocence to her from jail

Talking exterior her north Memphis condominium, the suspect’s mom, Virgie Abston, 65, informed DailyMail.com she is standing by her son who she mentioned declared his innocence to her from jail

'I really thought he was going to shoot me in the back of my head,' Franklin said of her 2021 assault

‘I actually thought he was going to shoot me at the back of my head,’ Franklin mentioned of her 2021 assault

‘MPD already had sufficient data to suspect Cleotha Abston was the person who had raped Alicia Franklin, however MPD officers didn’t search to apprehend him,’ the swimsuit says.

Franklin’s attorneys additionally filed a second lawsuit towards the constructing homeowners of the condominium Franklin was raped in for not sustaining correct safety.

Based on police experiences, the rape occurred on Sept. 21, 2021, at a vacant condominium at 5783 Waterstone Oak Means, which Abston allegedly lives subsequent door to.

Franklin says she met a person she solely knew as ‘Cleo’ by the net courting app A lot Of Fish, and agreed to fulfill him in a big condominium advanced in southeast Memphis.

His invitation had initially been to fulfill for dinner at Olive Backyard, however when Franklin mentioned her automotive was driving on a spare tire and he or she did not need to drive that far, they agreed to fulfill at what he mentioned was his condominium.

However when she arrived, she says Abston held a gun to her neck and led her inside one of many residences, which gave the impression to be empty and beneath renovation.

There, he blindfolded her with a T shirt and led her to a white Dodge Charger, the place he assaulted her, after which took her again into the condominium. It was a terrifying order that she didn’t count on to outlive.

‘I actually thought he was going to shoot me at the back of my head,’ she informed the Each day Memphian.

Abston was identified as a suspect in Fletcher's murder in just 18 hours, after a sandal left at the crime scene came back with a match to his DNA

Abston was recognized as a suspect in Fletcher’s homicide in simply 18 hours, after a sandal left on the crime scene got here again with a match to his DNA

Well wisher Justaphine McGhee Crime scene where Eliza Fletcher's body was found after an intense search

Effectively wisher Justaphine McGhee Crime scene the place Eliza Fletcher’s physique was discovered after an intense search

‘Are you able to please let me go? Please let me go,’ she recalled pleading together with her attacker.

After the assault, the attacker rummaged by her purse, touching her keys and cellular phone, earlier than stealing some money and leaving her.

Based on a police incident report, the condominium is situated at 5783 Waterstone Oak Means, simply doorways away from the place Abston seems to stay, and the place he was arrested for Fletcher’s homicide a yr later.

Franklin additionally says she gave police her assailant’s telephone quantity.

Cops did current Franklin with a photograph lineup, however she says she wasn’t in a position to confidently establish Abston, as a result of the photograph of him they included was outdated, and confirmed him with a dreadlock coiffure that he did not put on any longer.

‘Memphis Police Division officers then indicated to Alicia Franklin that they might receive one other (and more moderen) photograph of a suspect for her to evaluation… however no officers obtained one other photograph of Cleotha Abston at the moment,’ the swimsuit alleges.

The swimsuit additionally claims ‘MPD had entry to extra up-to-date images of Cleotha Abston by the Tennessee Division of Correction.’

‘They by no means confirmed me an up to date image. I referred to as like two or three months later, and was like, ‘Hey, , (the detective) mentioned that she was going to, , attempt to do one other photograph lineup with up to date photos and … I have never heard from her,” recalled Franklin.

‘After which they have been like, ‘Oh, effectively, she’s really been promoted since then, so she’s not the detective in your case,’ the sufferer mentioned.

The swimsuit notes that police didn’t ‘rush’ Franklin’s rape equipment on the time of her assault, however requested it’s rushed after Fletcher’s dying, main them to Abston inside hours.

However the swimsuit comprises that police didn’t even want the rape equipment to seek out Abston, as they got greater than sufficient data by Franklin.

‘MPD already knew that Alicia Franklin had offered MPD the primary identify of ‘Cleo’ for the suspect who had raped her, a telephone quantity for him, social media data on him and an outline of the automotive he had pushed,’ the swimsuit says .

Abston beforehand served 20 years in jail for a kidnapping he dedicated at age 16.

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