Bristol Barman Rapes Drunk Lesbian, Gets 9 Years in Prison

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Wednesday January 22, 2014

A U.K. man was sentenced to nine years in prison for raping a lesbian in a Bristol bar where he worked. According to an article in Gay Star News, 30-year-old Charles Franklin claimed that he met the woman on the street and invited her into his bar to charge her phone when "one thing led to another."

The woman, who had left a wedding at 1 a.m., said she was drunk and did not remember leaving the wedding. She said that she woke up to find Franklin raping her on the floor of The Somerset House pub in Clifton.

The woman, whose name has not been released for legal reasons, told British newspaper the Daily Mail that she had three times the legal driving limit of alcohol in her system.

"The next thing I remember was being on the floor of this pub with a guy," she told the Daily Mail. "He stripped me. He was trying to force himself on me. I was struggling quite a lot. He told me if I kept struggling he would break my neck, so I let him do what he wanted."

The woman said that after the attack Franklin sat at the bar and watched TV while she lay naked on the floor. She said she then managed to find her coat and pretend to be sleeping. She said Franklin brought her upstairs and tried, but failed, to have sex with her again.

When he fell asleep, the woman put on his jeans and T-shirt before climbing out a window to escape. She borrowed a mobile phone from a kebab stand and called her mother, who came to pick her up.

Prosecutor Tara Wolfe said, "The attack had devastating consequences on the victim's life. She was forced to take medication after the attack and as a result she was unable to pursue her career for 12 weeks."

Mitigator Edward Burgess said that, "Mr. Franklin is a man of good character, as you heard from several witnesses in the trial."

Franklin pled not guilty, but Gay Star News reports that sentencing Judge Michael Roach sentenced him to nine years in prison, and that he must sign the Sex Offenders' Register, but also added that, "The sentence I am about to hand you should be in double figures, but your good character has reduced it to just under that."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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