Friday, 07 Oct 2022

Woman says Eliza Fletcher murder suspect raped her but wasn’t properly investigated

Woman says Eliza Fletcher murder suspect raped her but wasn’t properly investigated


Woman says Eliza Fletcher murder suspect raped her but wasn’t properly investigated

The murder of a Tennessee teacher who was forced into a car near the University of Memphis could have been avoided had police properly investigated an accusation of rape against the suspect, a lawsuit filed on Tuesday claimed.

Alicia Franklin said she was raped last September by Cleotha Abston, who is now charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the death of Eliza Fletcher.

In court earlier this month, Abston pleaded not guilty to aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

In an earlier hearing, he did not enter a plea to the murder and kidnapping charges.

According to Franklin's lawsuit, despite immediately seeking medical attention and reporting the rape to Memphis police, she was given no update for months.

A sexual assault kit including DNA evidence was gathered, WMC reported, but not tested until this year. The DNA information was entered into the Tennessee bureau of investigation data system on 5 September, according to WMC, days after Fletcher was abducted while out jogging.

Fletcher's body was found the same day behind a vacant duplex, police said. She was abducted at about 4am on 2 September, when a man forced her into a sport utility vehicle after a brief struggle, police said.

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