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HomeNewsWoman says Memphis police failed to investigate her rape. The suspect is...

Woman says Memphis police failed to investigate her rape. The suspect is now charged in Eliza Fletcher’s murder.

A girl who mentioned she was raped final yr by the person charged with killing Eliza Fletcher says that Memphis police didn’t correctly examine her case and if that they had, Fletcher could be alive.

In a lawsuit towards the town of Memphis, Alicia Franklin mentioned she met Cleotha Abston on a relationship app final yr and that they talked for a couple of month earlier than assembly in individual on Sept. 21, 2021, at The Lakes at Ridgeway flats.

Franklin mentioned within the swimsuit that she and Abston, who she knew as “Cleo,” had deliberate to go to dinner however when she arrived he pulled a gun out on her and compelled her right into a vacant condominium.

Abston, who instructed Franklin that he was a upkeep employee on the advanced, blindfolded her along with his t-shirt and threatened to kill her, in accordance with the lawsuit filed Tuesday within the Shelby County Circuit Courtroom.

The swimsuit states that Abston walked Franklin by means of the condominium and out a again door to his automobile, the place she says he raped her within the backseat.

Abston was charged with aggravated rape earlier this month within the 2021 incident and pleaded not responsible.

Extra on Eliza Fletcher’s disappearance and demise

Franklin mentioned within the swimsuit she tried to cease Abston by telling him she was pregnant however he appeared “unmoved,” the lawsuit states.

The lady mentioned that Abston then stole cash from her and made her wait contained in the condominium till he drove away, in accordance with the courtroom doc.

Franklin mentioned she instantly sought medical consideration and reported it to Memphis police. The lawsuit says she submitted to a forensic medical examination, the place a sexual assault package was gathered and included DNA proof.

Cleotha Abston seems in a courtroom for his arraignment in in Memphis, Tenn. on Sept. 6.Mark Weber / Every day Memphian by way of AP file

She took officers to the scene, however the lawsuit states that police “took no bodily proof straight from the crime scene itself.” To assist investigators, Franklin gave them the title “Cleo,” his phone quantity, an outline of his automobile, and his social media together with the relationship app they met on, in accordance with the lawsuit.

Days after the assault, Franklin was requested to take a look at a photograph lineup of doable suspects. The lawsuit says that police included an older {photograph} of Abston within the lineup however Franklin couldn’t determine her attacker.

For months, Franklin was given no replace on her case. In accordance with the lawsuit, Memphis police despatched the sexual assault package to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) however didn’t request that or not it’s processed in an expedited method.

The Memphis Police Division declined to remark Wednesday, citing pending litigation. The town didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Wednesday.

Eliza Fletcher
Eliza Fletcher.Memphis Police Division

The sexual assault package remained untouched till June, in accordance with the lawsuit. It was not decided that the DNA matched Abston till Sept. 5, three days after Abston is accused of forcing Fletcher into his SUV whereas she was on an early-morning jog.

Abston, 38, was arrested the following day after police discovered the SUV in a car parking zone by his residence, an affidavit says. He was arraigned on a number of fees, together with first-degree homicide and kidnapping. 

Fletcher’s physique was discovered Sept. 5 in a vacant duplex condominium. A trigger and method of demise haven’t been launched.

Franklin’s lawsuit says that 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 … and the kidnapping and homicide of Eliza Fletcher wouldn’t have occurred.”

The TBI mentioned it not often is aware of the main points of a case and depends on native regulation enforcement companies to submit any pertinent info. It expedites a case solely on the request of native regulation enforcement, the TBI mentioned in an emailed assertion.

Franklin’s case “was put into the queue of unknown assailant kits, as no request was made for TBI evaluation to be expedited, and no suspect info or DNA customary was included within the submission,” the company mentioned in its assertion. Franklin’s package was pulled in June to be examined together with 19 different kits.

The company mentioned through the investigation into Fletcher’s kidnapping that it was knowledgeable by Memphis police of a doable hyperlink to Franklin’s assault.

Franklin instructed NBC affiliate WMC-TV of Memphis that she didn’t need to get into the “highlight” however felt sharing her story may “assist lots of ladies come ahead.”

The lawsuit is looking for unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for Fletcher’s household couldn’t instantly be reached.

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