Man who raped girl gets 60 years
MITCHELL, S.D. - Convicted child rapist Larry Franklin was sentenced Tuesday to 60 years in the state penitentiary. Franklin, 55, of Mitchell, received his sentence following a hearing at the Davison County Public Safety Center courtroom in Mitchell.
MITCHELL, S.D. - Convicted child rapist Larry Franklin was sentenced Tuesday to 60 years in the state penitentiary.
Franklin, 55, of Mitchell, received his sentence following a hearing at the Davison County Public Safety Center courtroom in Mitchell. The victim testified during the hearing, but, due to her age, the courtroom was cleared during her testimony.
Franklin's lawyer, Chris Nipe, said Franklin still asserts his innocence. Franklin was given a chance to speak but said nothing and showed no obvious sign of emotion.
Davison County State's Attorney Pat Smith said in asking for a 60-year sentence that Franklin's crimes could be summed up with one word: "heinous."
"He was in a position of trust," Smith said, "and he abused that trust in the worst possible way."
Court documents said the victim lacked a relationship with her own father, and she developed a relationship with Franklin, in which she looked up to him like a father.
Franklin was convicted by a jury in February on two counts of raping a girl younger than 13. The crimes occurred in 2007. The maximum sentence for the crimes is life in prison.
According to court paperwork reviewed by The Daily Republic shortly after Franklin's arrest, he tried to convince the victim that if she spoke of the rapes, she would be breaking an "Indian pact" and would therefore be in grave danger from an "Indian god."
According to court papers, part of that pact included burying several containers of urine -- a mixture of Franklin's urine and the victim's -- near a local park and in a residential backyard. Law officers later recovered containers from those sites.
Court papers filed at the time of Franklin's arrest also stated that he told the victim that if she spoke of their relationship, he would be arrested and she would be put in foster care.
The court papers said that he told her that he would escape from jail, find her and take her to Canada.
Judge Tim Bjorkman said Tuesday that Franklin's crimes "demand a harsh sentence."
He ordered Franklin to serve 30 years for each of the two counts, and he stipulated that the sentences be served back-to-back. Bjorkman recommended no parole eligibility for Franklin until the year 2042, when Franklin will be in his late 80s.
Franklin will have 30 days in which to file an appeal.