Former Harley dealer cleared of rape, groping charges
The former owner of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership in Shaler was acquitted yesterday of raping one woman and groping another.
Frank Terry Sanford, 65, of Hampton was charged with 12 counts including rape, unlawful restraint and simple assault. A jury acquitted him of 11 charges and a prosecutors withdrew one charge.
Sanford's attorney, John Elash, said his client was forced to sell the business — which he said had gross sales of $20 million annually — shortly after the charges were filed.
Sanford had been accused of attempting to have sex with the two women in May 2006. One woman said she left the house, but the other was forced to remove her clothing and allow Sanford to have sex, police charged in the criminal complaint.
Elash said the women were strippers and one had a lengthy criminal record. He said they wanted money from a civil lawsuit against Sanford.
"He lost his job and his 50 employees lost their jobs over this," Elash said. "But he won his freedom."