April 03, 2005

Records hint at dark past for convicted child molester

The Monitor

April 03,2005
Brittney Booth
The Monitor

EDINBURG — Court documents allege Robert Franklin viewed male pornographic Web sites, had a history of drug abuse and had several relationships with teenage boys before the former Trinity Worship Center music minister pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a young churchgoer.

The records reveal the dark side of a man once hailed as a charismatic minister who generously gave to help bring youths to Jesus.

Franklin, 38, pleaded guilty March 15 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy who had come to him for spiritual mentoring. Before pleading guilty to two felony counts of sexual assault, he faced 10 additional charges from a grand jury alleging he gave marijuana and cocaine to the boy.

On March 29, 332nd state District Judge Mario Ramirez sentenced Franklin to six months in jail and 10 years probation. He also must complete 240 hours of community service and pay a $10,000 fine. As part of his parole, Franklin will have to wear an electronic monitor, attend a 90-day drug-treatment program and enroll in the county’s sex offender program. He will have to register as a sex offender in each city he lives in for the rest of his life.

Posted by kshaw at April 3, 2005 04:13 AM