Plea deals get Hempfield man time served in assault, DUI cases
A Hempfield man charged in two separate cases alleging rape and strangulation of a woman on Monday pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge.
Harold Franks, 36, was sentenced to serve the 251 days he has spent in jail. He was immediately paroled after pleading guilty to one count of simple assault in connection with a June 27 incident in Washington Township.
In that case, police initially charged Franks with strangulation, making terroristic threats and other offenses during a domestic altercation. Those counts were dismissed Monday.
Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway ordered Franks to attend anger management classes and to have no abusive contact with the victim.
Franks also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served for a drunken driving offense.
He still faces rape charges in connection with an incident police said occurred in October 2017. In that case, prosecutors said the same woman involved in the strangulation case came to a police station to report a sexual assault.
The woman has since recanted and claimed she was a willing participant in rough sexual activity that occurred while she and Franks were drunk.
This year, Common Pleas Court Judge Tim Krieger ruled much of the evidence in that case was inadmissible at trial even as the rape prosecution was allowed to continue. An appeal filed by prosecutors seeking to overturn Krieger’s ruling in the rape case is pending.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .