MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A lawsuit against the city by a woman who says Memphis Police failed to properly investigate her rape case was dismissed by a judge Wednesday, lawyers for the woman say.
Alicia Franklin told police she had been raped at gunpoint back in September 2021 by Cleotha Abston-Henderson, the same man who was accused a year later in the murder of jogger Eliza Fletcher.
Franklin’s attorney says MPD failed to investigate her rape, allowing Henderson to remain free until he allegedly killed Fletcher. She sued the city.
The city responded last December with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming police had no duty to investigate.
Attorney Gary Smith confirmed Thursday that Judge Mary Wagner issued an order for dismissal. Smith said they’re now considering other options, which could include appealing the order or filing a motion to reconsider.
Attorney Jeffrey Rosenblum said they have 30 days to file the appeal or motion to reconsider.
He also said that while Judge Wagner issued to order to dismiss, the court still found that there was a “duty to reasonably investigate” and that the duty is “not a discretional function but an operational function.”
WREG does not typically name victims of alleged sexual assault, but Franklin wanted her identity made public.