SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The alleged victim in a rape case who has been held in custody to ensure she shows up a trial was released Monday.
With a soft-spoken apology Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown ordered the release of the 17-year-old, who will now be under GPS monitoring.
“To Ms. Franco’s client, let me say I am truly sorry for all that you’ve been through,” the judge said. “This case has charted thankfully rare legal territory. It represents a difficult balancing of protecting the community from an alleged violent criminal.”
It’s been 25 days since the court ordered the teen girl jailed not as an offender, but rather a victim of Frank William Rackley. After she failed to show to at least two court appearances for Rackley, the district attorney’s office demanded she be held to ensure she show up, a move that infuriated victims’ advocates across the country.
Amina Merritt is the teen’s juvenile dependency attorney. She maintains locking her client up was simply bullying a victim.
“It’s a good day for my client,” Merritt said. “Obviously she was suffering in incarceration. I do believe it should not have happened in the first place, I do believe there were less extreme measures to obtain her statement.”
Prosecutors are counting on that statement and the teen’s testimony to put Rackley away.
“You’ve demonstrated great courage for a young woman, and may you continue to do so in the upcoming trial of Mr. Rackley,” the judge said.
Rackley’s trial is scheduled to start April 23.