Alicia Franklin, who filed a lawsuit against Memphis over how her case was handled, spoke on camera Wednesday for the first time since she was raped a year ago.
Franklin has been vocal about bringing attention to the incident and the negligence, she claims, by Memphis and the Memphis Police Department (MPD)
Franklin told Good Morning America that she was raped by Cleotha Henderson, the same man allegedly kidnapped and murdered Eliza Fletcher. According to her interview, Henderson assaulted and robbed her at gunpoint the first time they met after she messaged him on a dating site.
Her rape kit was delayed for testing, which she believes allowed Fletcher to be kidnapped and killed because of the mishandled investigation.
“When they interviewed me that night, they had more than enough evidence to get him off the streets, but they didn’t,” Franklin said.
Her story is that Cleotha Henderson forced her into a vacant apartment on September 21, 2021, blindfolded her, and then raped her.
After he stole her money, he told her not to move until he drove away in his car.
Franklin said, “I thought he was going to shoot me in the head because I didn’t see him letting me go.”
As in the lawsuit she filed against the City of Memphis on Tuesday, Henderson questioned why the rape kit results didn’t come in until this summer, days after police said Eliza Fletcher was abducted and murdered.
Every day, she thinks about the assault.
“I’ve always had paranoia since then,” Franklin said. “I’m always on edge, I don’t trust people.”
She provided investigators with information including Henderson’s nickname, a description of his car, his phone number, and a dating app profile after the rape, Franklin’s attorneys claim.
The Memphis Police Department should have investigated Franklin’s case “adequately and with due diligence” to prevent Henderson’s future crimes, including Fletcher’s murder, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
After Franklin was attacked, authorities knew who they were looking for, according to Franklin’s attorney, Gary Smith.
They gave her a lineup of 10 photos, including an old picture of him that was roughly 20 years old, which made it difficult to identify him. “[The police] said they’d give her a more recent photo, but they never did,” he said.
MPD failed to take reasonable steps to catch Franklin’s attacker, according to the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for the City of Memphis declined to comment on pending litigation.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Woman says Eliza Fletcher murder suspect raped her but wasn’t properly investigated The Guardian US
- ‘I Believe Him:’ Mother Of Man Accused Of Killing Memphis Jogger Defends Him Oxygen
- Woman claims she was assaulted by suspect in Eliza Fletcher case l GMA Good Morning America
- Woman raped by Eliza Fletcher’s alleged killer a year prior recalls horrific night FOX13 Memphis
- Alicia Franklin sues Memphis police, says Eliza Fletcher should be alive The Washington Post
- View Full Coverage on Goo