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Prosecutor defends James Franklin’s contact with alleged rape victim

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Prosecutors in the rape case involving former Vanderbilt football players took aim at allegations from defense attorneys Tuesday. A district attorney said the legal team representing Brandon Vandenburg filed court documents with baseless allegations designed to intimidate the victim and malign prosecutors. Those allegations also mentioned former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, now at Penn State, and linked to him to knowing and making contact with the alleged victim. Franklin’s¬†connection to the rape case has been one of comfort and care for the victim, a prosecutor says.

“He did,” make contact with the alleged victim, deputy district attorney Tom Thurman said in a phone interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer.¬†“I think he and his wife called and said they were praying for her and thinking about her. It was probably a pretty nice thing to do, and it gets thrown up like this.”

Defense attorneys mentioned Franklin had contacted the victim at some point in time about gathering female students to help with recruiting. Franklin has stated his involvement with the case has always been to cooperate with authorities investigating the case. Franklin is set to begin an extended bus tour to meet with Penn State alums throughout the Pennsylvania and mid-Atlantic region.

“Obviously, it wasn’t for any purpose of covering up or anything like that,” Thurman added. “It was showing support, which was a nice thing to do. That’s the only contact I know about.”

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17 Responses to “Prosecutor defends James Franklin’s contact with alleged rape victim”
  1. megary says: Apr 30, 2014 9:30 PM

    Oh I’m sure most of the posters around here will disagree. This does not fit The Narrative(TM) established be espn….

  2. dutchman1350 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:25 PM

    I’m sure ESPN will find a way to pin this on Joe Paterno.

  3. derekgorgonstar says: Apr 30, 2014 11:29 PM

    Yeah. Let’s go ahead and trust the coach at Penn State.

    What’s the worst that can happen?

  4. bigd88 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:39 PM

    Amazing how much fewer comments this story generates in 2 hours than previous stories filled with speculation and unsupported innuendo about Franklin just 24 hours ago.

    How dare he and his wife tell the girl they’re praying for her! That rotten snake!

  5. auburntigers34 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:49 PM

    He put her in a position to be raped by members of his football team. He needs to be praying for her.

  6. huskerzfan says: May 1, 2014 12:58 AM

    Spice, Spice baby.

    http://www.wsfa.com/story/17386306/former-au-running-back-michael-dyer-testifies-in-armed-robbery-trial

  7. auburntigers34 says: May 1, 2014 1:38 AM

    what does Michael Dyer have to do with anything?

    if it’s all about bringing up old news articles about former RBs from our favorite teams that have nothing to do with this story, i’ll play

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3624420

  8. longborer69 says: May 1, 2014 3:11 AM

    There’s a lot of idiots around here.

    An attorney for an accused rapist tries to trash the girl, dragging in the coach to make it look like she’s just a prostitute for the school. And everyone believes him and decides that since the coach went to Penn State he must have been running a prostitution ring for recruits at Vanderbilt.

    The allegation came from an alleged rapist’s attorney. You would think that alone would be enough to make people stop and think it just possibly might be either untrue or twisted. Right? Hello?

    What should a coach do if he finds out that his players have seriously wronged someone?

    Step one: Suspend the players until all the facts come out.
    Step two: Contact the victim, express sympathy, tell the victim that the players are suspended and that your organization will cooperate fully with the police and you want justice.

    Isn’t that what a coach should do? Even if he doesn’t know the victim, but especially if he does?

    But if an alleged rapist’s attorney can use that contact to spin it that the girl is trash who was just sleeping with guys because the coach wanted her to, well, then, it might help his guy get off the hook. It was consensual, you see. She’s just a slut.

    One wonders how some of these attorneys sleep at night.

    I am a fan of neither Penn State nor Vanderbilt, but I have a brain, so I know that you can’t always take what defense lawyers say at face value. Some people, apparently, think (if thinking is what they do with whatever resides in their skull) that you can believe everything defense lawyers say. LOL.

  9. gatorprof says: May 1, 2014 10:37 AM

    One would think that PSU would have been aware of this during the background check stage of the hiring and passed. They do not need any press related to a coach their program and a sexual assault…past or present.

  10. ipskipskyblue says: May 1, 2014 11:21 AM

    I am sure this was the scene in the Franklin bedroom:

    James: Damm my palyers went after one of the hosts,

    Wife: You knew that would happen when you asked her to get 15 attractvie friends.

    James: I know I know but I didn’t expect her to press charges for what the hosts do at every school

    Wife: Well let’s get the other coaches attractive wives stand up with the othe rcoaches at a press conference

    James: Godd iea and I will say we prayed for her.

    Wife: Nice play on the prayer thing.

    James: Let us pray, dear lord, please help me stop this problem I have with bringing in attractive women into my programs. I hope with your guidance we can win enough games to make this problem go away.

  11. ipskipskyblue says: May 1, 2014 11:32 AM

    I also wanted to add this-

    Maybe Maryland knew something about this guy when they decided they didn’t want him as their coach in waiting.

  12. eloso1 says: May 1, 2014 12:39 PM

    You people have gone off the deep end in the quest to shame Penn State at any chance. The notion that Franklin somehow set the stage for this young lady to be sexually assaulted by creating a host committee for recruits is outrageous. Rape/sexual assault are not reasonable behaviors by human beings. The suggestive nature that he then was somehow trying to cover his own ass is inhumane. Anyone with common decency would care about the well being of any victim especially one they know, no matter what that relationship is. Theses dudes gang raped a girl. They did it. No one else made that choice but them.

    How hard is it for people to think for themselves these days instead of just accepting a bunch of misleading statements, facts and spin that satisfies a specific agenda or a reporter/medium desire for page views. Will we never learn anything?

  13. noaxetogrind says: May 1, 2014 1:09 PM

    Not a big fan of James Franklin for my own reasons but my gosh to insinuate that he had anything to do with this in the absence of not even one shred of credible evidence is simply ignorant at best and bigoted at worst. @ gatorprof, seriously….PSU shouldn’t hire this guy because a member of his football team is accused with a sex crime? What coaches would be okay to hire? Every coach has had a player on their team arrested for something. Even West Point and the Naval Academy have had players arrested on sex charges. I assume you are a gator fan with your monicker. Surely you aware of the allegations against Muschamp while at Auburn that he paid players and while at Texas there were multiple players arrested. Come on, get a grip. Put the accountability where it belongs, on the perpetrator. By the way, lets not confuse arrested with conviction. (See Duke Lacrosse)

  14. musketmaniac says: May 1, 2014 3:07 PM

    axe, I almost completely agree with you. but ` even West point and the Naval academy.` suggests that it happens occasionally there. Way off there is a rape every month at both academies. over 5,000 last year in the military, many on campus.

  15. noaxetogrind says: May 1, 2014 7:03 PM

    Fair point musket, however I would still say that the vast majority of of Midshipmen and Cadets are men of integrity.

  16. ematusko says: May 2, 2014 10:01 AM

    gatorprof – serious question….How many violations and crimes did Meyer cover up during his time in the swamp?

  17. musketmaniac says: May 2, 2014 5:02 PM

    I can give you that, Experience tells me there are sides to every story, and every person. unfortunately for me the two people I know that went to West Point, and one person that went to VMI were total P.O.S.

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