U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced Monday that a man had pleaded guilty to groping a woman after he pushed her into a car-for-hire.
Twenty-seven-year-old Darnell Franklin of Washington, D.C. pled guilty under the Alford doctrine in which defendants do not have to admit guilt, but agree the court has enough evidence to secure a conviction.
Around 7 p.m. April 22, Franklin approached a woman who was shopping in a store at 35th and Clay streets. He told the woman she was pretty and attempted to engage her in small talk. She responded by telling Franklin that she had a boyfriend, paid for her items and exited the store, according to court documents.
When the woman was getting into a car-for-hire, Franklin shoved her in the backseat and got in beside her. He then began to fondle her, while she tried to fight him off. The driver came to her aid and Franklin fled the scene. The woman and driver alerted Metropolitan Police Department officers in the vicinity of the incident, according to court records.
Police canvased the area, located Franklin and charged him with third-degree sexual abuse.
Franklin’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 27, 2017.