A woman has claimed she was raped in 2021 by the man now charged with the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher.
The woman has accused Memphis police of dismissing her case as that of an “average black girl”.
Alicia Franklin, 22, has claimed she was raped at gunpoint by Cleotha Abston, who appeared in Shelby County court Monday for murdering the Memphis teacher and business heiress on Sept. 2.
Franklin’s assault kit was filed with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) two days after the crime, but the Memphis Police Department did not request an expedited analysis, as in Fletcher’s case. News week.
TBI said the officers were not asking for a “rush” in her case and her equipment was stuck in the state’s sample backlog with unknown assailants, according to the report.
Franklin said she met Abston through the dating app Plenty of Fish last year and went to his apartment. But as soon as she went in, the suspect put a gun to her neck, covered her face with a T-shirt and raped her, she said. The Everyday Memphis.
“I was just your average black girl in the city of Memphis, you know,” she said. “I just think it wasn’t a priority.”
She claimed that detectives failed to collect fingerprints from her phone, show her a recent photo to identify the attacker or have her prioritized analyze her sexual equipment.
She said all of these actions could have put Abston behind bars before he allegedly killed Fletcher and regretted that the detectives abandoned not only her but also Abston’s other victims and Fletcher.
He is now being charged in both cases after TBI analyzed Ms. Franklin’s equipment, nine months after the crime and the resulting profile match for Abston.
“I’ve been up all night thinking about this beautiful soul. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat! my heart flows out for her and her family especially those babies because i know what she has been through first hand! may your soul rest in eternal peace Eliz,” she said on Facebook, sharing a family photo of Fletcher after her body was found.
New details emerge as Abston was ordered to be held without bond as he appeared in court charged with the murder of the 34-year-old kindergarten teacher and mother of two.
Fletcher was abducted while jogging near the University of Memphis campus and forced into an SUV at 4 a.m. Her body was found three days after she went missing outside an abandoned house.
According to court documents, Abston was convicted of raping a man when he was 14 years old. He is also a convicted kidnapper who was released from prison in 2020 after serving 19 years.