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Third elderly abuse charge filed against caregiver

by Charmaine Engelsman, Islander Reporter

Franklin

An Anna Maria woman, already accused of abusing two elderly persons in her care, was re-arrested Aug. 12 and charged with battery of a victim over the age of 65.

Joan Franklin, 68, of Hammock Lane, already faces two charges filed earlier this year, one for the abuse of a 95-year-old Holmes Beach man and a second case involving an elderly Island woman.

Franklin was apparently a housekeeper for a Holmes Beach couple when the wife died. Franklin is said to have assumed the role of caretaker for the 95-year-old widower. It is not known how soon after this shift in roles the alleged abuse began.

The 95-year-old victim’s grandson, John Kirschner, was both anxious and reluctant to discuss his grandparents’ plight and any abuse his grandfather may have suffered.

According to Kirschner, there is “much more to this story” than abuse.

“If I told you what happened, you’d see it’s like a movie,” Kirschner said.

He said there were instances other than the reported abuse. “Oh yeah, (Franklin) has done a whole load of stuff to our family prior to that. She’s very clever, she just tripped up,” Kirschner said.

He said Franklin worked in his grandparent’s household for about two years before the abuse allegations came about. Kirschner, concerned he could hurt the case, refrained from elaborating further.

According to public records dated April 10, the alleged abuse was physical and psychological. Reports state that Franklin refused to take the victim to a scheduled doctor appointment for treatment of three fractures, that she tied him to the bed against his will because, she said, he was not supposed to get up, and that she threatened to “break his bones” if he tried to move around.

It is further stated that she pulled the elderly man up by his hair, which is similar to another allegation of abuse Franklin is facing.

In the case of the abused woman from March 2014, Franklin is again accused of abusing a person over age 65.

According to statements from the victim and a witness, Franklin’s son, Clinton Franklin, Joan Franklin slapped the victim on the side of the head on several occasions, causing the victim to fall to the floor and causing injury. The witnesses allege that Franklin grabbed the victim’s hair and pulled her around the kitchen; scraped the victims head with a screwdriver; and washed the victim with bleach.

Attorney Henry Lee is representing Franklin. She posted a $1,500 bond and was released from jail Aug. 12.

Further details on the most recent charges were not available. Assistant state attorney Lisa Chittaro is assigned to prosecute the case. Another representative at the state attorney’s office said they were not releasing information on the new case.

Franklin’s arraignment is set for 8:55 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at the Manatee Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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