For victims, overcoming child abuse is a life-long challenge
A former Springtown police officer stationed at the high school was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was convicted of indecency with a child.
A Springtown High School student who testified against Franklin “Frank” Carroll, an ex-school resource officer, told the jury he gained her friendship during her freshman year and began to pull her out of class to come into his office several times a week.
During a period of weeks and with the door closed so no one could see, Carroll first began hugging her, and then kissing her, and then touching her breasts over and under her clothes, and eventually started touching her genitals, the witness testified.
Another student said Carroll befriended her but their relationship ended after he grabbed her and French kissed her in that same office., a news release from the Parker County district attorney’s office said
A third high school student told jurors that after Carroll befriended her she confided personal information to him. Carroll used that personal information to try and persuade her to give him naked pictures of her, the release said.
“One of the best pieces of evidence that we admitted during the trial was a letter of a sexual nature that the victim wrote to Carroll which was found in his desk after he resigned,” said Parker County Assistant District Attorney Abby Placke, who prosecuted the case.
“Most reasonable folks working at a school, let alone a police officer, would freak out, take such a letter to someone in administration, and ask what to do. They wouldn’t hide and keep it. That was very difficult for the defense to explain, particularly since the victim testified that Carroll asked her to write it.”
Carroll testified in his own defense and denied the testimony from the former students. Jurors deliberated for more than two hours before they found him guilty of indecency with a child Thursday.
During the punishment phase of Carroll’s trial, a Springtown female business owner testified that, on several occasions and while in uniform, Carroll would come into her office and masturbate to conclusion in front of her.
The woman filed a police report with the Springtown police but no criminal action was taken, the release said.
A former co-worker of Carroll’s from a Saginaw business testified that Carroll took her cell phone when she was not looking and scrolled through it trying to find intimate pictures that she had taken for her boyfriend.
Suspicious, she downloaded an app that would take a picture of anyone trying to access files or apps on her phone. The app captured Carroll’s picture as he was searching her phone. Breach of computer security charges are currently pending in Tarrant County for that misdemeanor offense, the release said.
Jurors deliberated for about 20 minutes before assessing Carroll a 12-year prison sentence.
“School resource officers are entrusted with guarding the safety of our children,” said Assistant District Attorney Larry Fadler, who helped prosecute the case in Parker County. “The breach of that public trust in this case was particularly offensive. Were it not for his position and the knowledge and access that comes with it, he wouldn’t have had an opportunity to do what he did.”
Carroll will have to serve a minimum of half his sentence before he can be considered for parole, said Jeff Swain, Parker County assistant district attorney. Carroll will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Swain said.