A man has been convicted of raping a young family member 20 years after the incident took place, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.
Franklin Gilmer, 80, of Texarkana, Texas, has been convicted of rape, statutory rape and child molestation. He was found guilty on June 18 after a one-day trial.
In 1998, the 10-year-old victim was at her aunt’s Lawrenceville apartment for a Labor Day party. Her aunt and other family members left to get party supplies, leaving only her and Gilmer, then 60, in the apartment. Gilmer “lured” her into playing a “body part labeling game of the ABCs,” according to the DA’s release. When Gilmer got to the letter “V,” he made the victim take off her pants and raped her.
Gilmer told the 10-year-old girl that it would be a “special secret” between the two of them and “this is what her parents did as adults,” the DA’s office said. The other family members returned after the rape and proceeded with the party.
The victim told her parents about the rape four years later, but they did not tell police “out of desire to protect the family,” the DA’s office said.
While living in Leesburg, Georgia, Gilmer pleaded to federal child pornography charges in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal agents found more than 5,000 images of child pornography on Gilmer’s computer. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. There is no parole for federal prison sentences, so he would not have been released until 2023.
The same year Gilmer was sentenced on the child porn charges, the victim reported her rape to Gwinnett County police. He was charged, but could not be prosecuted until the federal case was resolved. Gilmer requested to be tried on the Gwinnett County charges in 2017.
He was sentenced to life in prison for the Gwinnett County case.
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