Woman allegedly raped by Eliza Fletcher suspect sues Memphis

The girl allegedly raped at gunpoint by Eliza Fletcher’s suspected assassin is suing Memphis officers for ignoring her case for practically a yr — insisting they might have saved the snatched Tennessee heiress’s life.

Mother of 1 Alicia Franklin, 22, filed her lawsuit towards the Metropolis of Memphis on Tuesday — a yr to the week that Cleotha Abston Henderson, 38, is now charged with kidnapping and raping her.

Her submitting got here two days after she identified herself to the Daily Memphian, blasting cops for ignoring her case as a result of she “was simply a median Black lady within the metropolis of Memphis.”

Her lawsuit towards the Metropolis of Memphis stated that the “Police Division failed to analyze the rape adequately and with due diligence,” together with fundamental testing on her rape equipment, the Daily Memphian said.

Had they acted, “the kidnapping and homicide of Eliza Fletcher wouldn’t have occurred,’’ the swimsuit contended.

When Fletcher — the 34-year-old granddaughter of a late native billionaire — was snatched on Sept. 2, police rushed via DNA exams which IDed Abston Henderson as a suspect inside 18 hours.

Alicia Franklin interviewed on Sunday.
Alicia Franklin claimed her rape case was ignored as a result of she “was simply a median black lady within the metropolis of Memphis.”

He was within the system, having spent 20 years in jail for an earlier armed kidnapping when he was simply 17.

Nonetheless, detectives ignored Franklin’s rape equipment for 11 months — solely finishing it and inputting it right into a state-wide DNA system on Sept. 5, getting a match for Abston Henderson three days after he allegedly snatched the heiress.

“Cleotha Abston ought to and will have been arrested and indicted for the aggravated rape of Alicia Franklin many months earlier, most certainly within the yr 2021,” insisted her swimsuit, filed in Shelby County Circuit Courtroom.

As an alternative, officers failed “to make use of present proof on a well timed foundation” to successfully arrest the suspect “in time to cease him from committing at the least one different violent felony,” it stated, referring to Fletcher’s homicide.

Eliza Fletcher with her husband and two kids.
Had police acted, “the kidnapping and homicide of Eliza Fletcher wouldn’t have occurred,” Franklin’s swimsuit stated.
Instagram/Eliza Fletcher

Franklin, who additionally spoke on camera to Action News 5, stated she met Abston Henderson on a relationship app, agreeing to a date in the identical Memphis condo complicated the place he was arrested for Fletcher’s homicide.

Instantly, “he drew a gun on her… threatened to kill her… pressured her into the again seat (of his automobile)… raped her and took cash from her…,” the lawsuit reads.

“I actually thought he was going to shoot me at the back of my head,’’ she had instructed the Every day Memphian on Sunday.

Last photo of Eliza Fletcher jogging just before she was abducted and killed in Memphis on Sept. 2.
DNA exams had been rushed via in 18 hours after heiress Fletcher was kidnapped, whereas Franklin’s took a yr, her lawsuit stated.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigatio

She recalled begging her rapist, “I don’t wish to… die this manner.”

“I stated, ‘When you’re going to kill me, simply kill me.’ As a result of at that time I didn’t really feel like I’d get away,’’ she instructed the native paper.

After raping her, the attacker stole money and fled. “I heard the automobile drive off I simply ran out,” Fletcher recalled.

She gave cops her rapist’s relationship web site profile, telephone quantity and first identify, “Cleo.” She additionally took them to the crime scene, claiming they left with out taking any fingerprints, together with on her telephone, which she stated her attacker touched.

Cleotha Abston Henderson in a booking photo.
“I actually thought he was going to shoot me at the back of my head,’’ Alicia Franklin, who is simply now charged along with her year-old kidnapping and rape.

“They didn’t care,’’ Franklin insisted, saying she “gave up” after calling again with no assist nor updates.

“I used to be simply a median Black lady within the metropolis of Memphis, you recognize … I simply suppose it wasn’t a precedence,” she instructed the Every day Memphian.

Her lawsuit names the Metropolis of Memphis as the only real defendant and seeks an unspecified quantity of compensation for ache and struggling and different damages.

“As is commonplace observe, we don’t discuss pending litigation,’’ a spokesman for Mayor Jim Strickland instructed the Every day Memphian.

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