Former Passages worker sentenced for rape

2012-11-07T11:04:00Z 2012-11-29T19:35:28Z Former Passages worker sentenced for rapeBy ZACH BENOIT The Billings Gazette

A former inmate supervisor at a women's pre-release and treatment center in Billings was sentenced Wednesday for raping two women while he worked there.

As part of a joint recommendation of prosecutors and his defense attorney, District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Paul Steven Franklin, 30, to 20 years in the Montana State Prison, with 15 years suspended, for felony sexual intercourse without consent.

She also sentenced Franklin to six months for misdemeanor sexual assault. That term will run concurrently with the prison sentence.  She also ordered him to complete sex offender treatment programs and designated him a Level II sex offender.

"Mr. Franklin recognizes his poor choices and is accepting responsibility for his behavior," said his attorney, Lance Lundvall.

Court documents say Franklin worked as an adviser at Passages, a corrections facility for women on South 27th Street that contracts with the Montana Women's Prison and is run by Alternatives Inc.

An inmate at the center told investigators that in December 2010, Franklin grabbed her by the throat and made sexually suggestive comments. Several days later, he ordered her into an office and said he would "make things bad" for her if she didn't perform oral sex on him, according to the affidavit.

She complied and shortly after spit semen into a towel, which she later provided to investigators, who matched it to Franklin using a DNA test, court records state.

Another inmate at Passages also reported similar incidents with Franklin, in which he told her he wouldn't write her up or would help her stay out of trouble in exchange for sexual favors, according to court records.

The woman did so on two occasions because she was afraid of getting in more trouble, the documents state.

State law says inmates can't consent to sex with correctional officers or staff members.

In May, Franklin plead guilty to one felony count of sexual intercourse without consent. He did not dispute the misdemeanor sexual-assault charge.

Watters dropped a second felony charge of sexual intercourse without consent as part of the plea deal.

Before Watters sentenced Franklin, one of the victims read a brief statement to the courtroom.

She said that his actions took a physical, mental and emotional toll on her and that she can no longer maintain healthy relationships with people who have authority over her.

Addressing the courtroom, Franklin apologized.

"I'm very, very sorry and I just hope to put this behind me and move on with my life," he said.

Before being led out of the courtroom by a sheriff's deputy, Franklin hugged his wife — who earlier told the courtroom that he'll have a strong support system of family waiting at home — and told her to take care of their family while he is in prison.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(37) Comments

  1. ruby
    Report Abuse
    ruby - November 09, 2012 7:51 pm
    Lol! Where did you get that I am a small business owner? Your ASSumptions are out of control. This is the second one tonight!!

    A second degree burn is a severe sunburn. Factual. She was properly treated for the burns. Where is that bashing?

    Where do you get that I said being that mans victim is "no worse" than having a teller steal your money? I compared liability to the bank and facility. I honestly can't dumb this down for you anymore. If a proper protocol was in place when he was hired and he had no record, how were they to know what he would do!?!?

    Convenient that they are liable. Yes. Had he done it anywhere else who would be to blame? At home, is the mom liable? Is it sad and tragic that his life ended that way? Absolutely. He was in jail by his own doing. He had a small window and sadly took advantage of it. If you read the paper often, you would know that a similar situation happened in Butte. There was no lawsuit filed or cash awarded.

    My stand is and always will be that the person who commits the act is the one responsible.

    Again, I am only responsible for what I say not what you interpret.

    This is old and boring. You clearly need someone to fight with and I am sorry but it will not be me anymore. I just can't get down to your level to understand your method of madness. You go ahead on your little rants. I am clearly going to have to be the bigger person and just ignore your bait.

  2. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 09, 2012 6:55 pm
    As a "small business owner", you should know that one must have liability insurance to even be in business. Just the fact that this happened on their premisis makes them liable... Some business's bond their employee's to insure against losses they may cause... That would be the bank teller you're talking about... and you WOULD get your money as your money is insured at any bank you deposit it in, up to a certain amount, by the FDIC.. "Show me where I did that", saying that it was real convernient for the mother that her mentally ill son died in the jail, which makes them LIABLE... saying a flash grenade go off and burning a little girl's skin should be compared to a sunburn, and forced oral sex is no worse than having your money stolen by a teller, surely not enough to want to bring a lawsuit against the business that has you locked in the building with the man in authority that's doing it... Must I go on...
  3. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 09, 2012 6:20 pm
    Psycho Sally!! OK Grandiose Gertha!!! I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you that IGNORANCE really is not bliiss!!!!!!
  4. ruby
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    ruby - November 09, 2012 5:07 pm
    I actually didn't see it. I don't troll the gazette for your Psycho Sally style comments. I am sorry. I will be better at it from here forward.
  5. ruby
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    ruby - November 09, 2012 4:48 pm
    A mom forever~ I was wondering how long it would take you to come here and play your silly little games.

    The comparison was clear. The teller would hold the crime NOT the bank. The disgusting excuse for garbage harmed those women and HE is responsible to pay for his crimes. IF you could read I also said that if the company followed protocol when hiring him, there is no fault to them. If they hired someone with a record larger than your imagination, they ARE at fault for not protecting those women.

    The tragic part here is that you are portraying that I am dismissing the victims. Matter of fact, in another post you clearly said I bashed on them. Show me where I did that.

    I am only responsible for what I say NOT what you interpret.

    Seriously, you have got to find something better to do with your time than sit in my pocket.
  6. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 09, 2012 12:00 pm
    Still waiting for your "highly educated" explanation of this comment Ruby... I know you've seen it..
  7. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 08, 2012 11:08 pm
    I'm sorry but I just don't see the similarity between a bank teller embezzling funds and being forced by someone in authority to perform oral sex because you're afraid of getting in more legal trouble... Besides, banks have insurance to replace what was stolen from you. These women will never have what was stolen from them replaced... I'm sorry Ruby, I'm really not trying to pick on you, but you just keep putting your foot in your mouth with your ridiculous comments...
  8. ruby
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    ruby - November 08, 2012 9:47 pm
    MT~ that is a hard call. I am sure that he didn't go to his interview sporting a wife beater and brandishing all his "ink". As long as he fit the criteria and wasn't "on paper", the rest they can't question.

    I am not by any means excusing or justifying him. Make no mistake. The situation is similar to suing a bank because a teller embezzled your funds. The teller is the one prosecuted and required to pay restitution.

    It would be very difficult for me to reign in the anger and hostility if one of my daughters or I was a victim of his. It is easy to want to blame the facility but, the responsibility falls all to him. UNLESS, the facility didn't follow a governed criteria and or "overlooked" a record of any degree that has him as a risk of any kind. If that is the case and only if that is true, then I would support some action taken against the facility.
  9. a mom forever
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    a mom forever - November 08, 2012 8:35 pm
    They are in custody and were hurt by someone that was placed in authority over them... They have grounds for a lawsuit. People can stomp all they want about lawsuits, but I will bet if it had happened to you or your loved one in whatever situation it was, you'd be flipping through the yellow-pages looking for a lawyer just as fast as I can type this!!
  10. MT INBREEDING Program is Working
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    MT INBREEDING Program is Working - November 08, 2012 8:12 pm
    Affirmative action at work in Billings. Of course it isn't the tatoos that say "Killafornia". I'm sure that would be a beneficial qualification in hiring to help at risk women (not).
  11. ruby
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    ruby - November 08, 2012 7:04 pm
    Best~ and? It doesn't matter if they hired him. He committed the act. I am sick of everyone else having to be responsible for another's actions!!! If he didn't have a record and his experience fit the criteria, they aren't at fault!!! While I would have passed judgement, it is illegal for them. That would be a different lawsuit I am sure.
  12. bear
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    bear - November 08, 2012 6:13 pm
    ruby - they hired him, maybe you are sick of all these money grabbing lawsuits, But there needs tobe alot more screening on their employees & thinking it might cost them money makes everyone be more resposible. i think this is totaly uncalled for.
  13. Dave Bovee
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    Dave Bovee - November 08, 2012 2:26 pm
    Rainman; The South 27th HoJo Female Junkie Walkaway Center is owned by Alternatives Inc. Our Chamber Council will make sure that their corporate masters do not a face any sort of liability whatsoever, but why do you think these victims would be suing the state?
  14. grannybean
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    grannybean - November 08, 2012 9:21 am
  15. ruby
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    ruby - November 08, 2012 9:18 am

    Lawsuit on the center? Are you kidding me? They didn't commit the crime, HE did. I am sick of all these money grubbing lawsuits!

  16. bear
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    bear - November 08, 2012 7:02 am
    Wow, is right. I feel so sorry for the women that has been put in this place & have emplyees, subject you to this type of treatment. A lawsuit needs to be brought down on the pre-release center. Need to be accoutable for the type of employees they have.
  17. Rainman
    Report Abuse
    Rainman - November 08, 2012 6:17 am
    Angel Eyes-This was tragic for the victims but why would you encourage them to sue the state for a boat load of money... when they sue, we pay.... the creep doesn't.
  18. TeresaML
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    TeresaML - November 08, 2012 5:34 am
    Wow, that's all I can say, just WOW!
  19. ruby
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    ruby - November 07, 2012 8:44 pm
    For those who are confused about the sentence passed down. 20 years with 15 suspended means that 5 will be served behind bars and if he so much as farts sideways for 15 years after, back he goes for the rest of the time plus what he gets for the new offense.

    I know you aren't supposed to Jude a person by their looks but, I can't help it. I would think that a professional with a degree or professional training (such as a detention officer) should be in his role. Clearly, he has a long list of "bad choices". His tattoos scream warnings of past and current behaviors. They aren't typical "decorative" tattoos.

    As for his wife, are you kidding!?!?! No self respecting woman would dream of sticking around a monster of these capabilities. I can only hope that she answered out of fear and thru the time he is gone she finds the courage to move on and lead a healthy life. Perhaps she was a victim of his as well.
  20. Angel eyes
    Report Abuse
    Angel eyes - November 07, 2012 8:38 pm
    Tattoos and long hair dnt make him a bad person hello people tht has nothing to do wit it!!!!!! But Wht he did is out right wrong and makes me sick I knw who this man is and if this would of happened to me I would b rich I hope the 2 women tht it did happen to knw they can sue the state for this and get a ton of money I knw they can for a fact cuz jus like the article states women inmates can not consent to any sexual contact wit any correction staff and I knw of a woman tht was actually consenting to it in prison and whn they found out he got fired and she sued the state and won and got a grip of money out of it!!!!
  21. cme
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    cme - November 07, 2012 8:12 pm
    is he married to a blind woman, by any chance. otherwise, she must be something her self.
  22. csprmtn
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    csprmtn - November 07, 2012 6:00 pm
    ".......a great support system at home". Hmm...what about the support system these women are trying to build for themselves? Quite a character builder huh. Well, I hope "bubba" provides the same "support system" for you in jail, because dude, you are about to go through a life-altering experience. Whatever you do, don't drop the soap.
  23. lefty the cowboy
    Report Abuse
    lefty the cowboy - November 07, 2012 6:00 pm
    Well, there are tattoos and long hair, and then there is the deliberate 'gangsta' look. This fellow was making a statement, and the fools at Alternatives failed to read it. Have a son with more tatts than I think wise, and had a green mohawk for awhile, but he never looked like a street gang's hitman.
  24. Dave Bovee
    Report Abuse
    Dave Bovee - November 07, 2012 5:43 pm
    I voted to retain no local judges. What can we do when there's only 1 candidate? It is not the tattoos or the long hair, it is this thing's deliberate thug image. Unlike all the home grown thug wannabes, this monkey apparently meant it.
  25. Bullride21
    Report Abuse
    Bullride21 - November 07, 2012 5:25 pm
    Why would anyone hire a Californian?
  26. KingRichard
    Report Abuse
    KingRichard - November 07, 2012 3:05 pm
    Well now don't be too tough on the administrators. I mean who could tell that would happen just by looking at him???

    as to walk away Sue, you folks had the chance!!! She was on the ballot!!! What is wrong with all of you?????????????????
  27. Dave Bovee
    Report Abuse
    Dave Bovee - November 07, 2012 2:51 pm
    Just this guy's deliberate personal appearance should have told anyone with a brain to not put him in charge of people who could not easily escape from him. How about some charges for the predator government contractors who hired this criminal? Does Montana have anything like Accessory before the Fact?
  28. NKV
    Report Abuse
    NKV - November 07, 2012 2:30 pm
    "Poor choices?" Really? Grabbing a girl by the throat and threatening her if she doesn't perform oral sex is considered a "poor choice"? It would be laughable if it weren't so infuriating and tragic.
  29. jubjubs
    Report Abuse
    jubjubs - November 07, 2012 2:24 pm
    And yet a vast majority of people voted for her to stay. Nobody to blame but yourselves. It's very unfortunate
  30. dugger
    Report Abuse
    dugger - November 07, 2012 2:23 pm
    Sounds like you can judge a person by his looks. Maybe we should take all people with tatoos and fire them. or better yet put them in jail caise they have long hair. these are your kids and spouses and kin.
  31. Hairy Stickman
    Report Abuse
    Hairy Stickman - November 07, 2012 2:16 pm
    The tatoo's (sic) what should have spoken volumes? I don't believe the tattoos (notice the correct spelling and grammar?) own any possessions.
  32. HUUH
    Report Abuse
    HUUH - November 07, 2012 1:27 pm
    So he gets 5 years!!! Come on! Sexual intercourse without permission? isn't that rape? Absolutely outrageous. And for his loving supporting wife.....really?
  33. booboo
    Report Abuse
    booboo - November 07, 2012 1:20 pm
    I hope this is counted towards his three strikes and that he does the full 20 years!
  34. booboo
    Report Abuse
    booboo - November 07, 2012 1:19 pm
    Just looking at this loser shows he's not capable of good judgment. I really hope this counts towards his third strike
  35. Mr Toad
    Report Abuse
    Mr Toad - November 07, 2012 1:17 pm
    He should be executed. Just send him to the YWCA for an evening. We'll treat him right.
  36. lefty the cowboy
    Report Abuse
    lefty the cowboy - November 07, 2012 12:10 pm
    Alternatives hired this charming and obviously upright citizen to supervise women prisoners and now are shocked it went badly. Afterall, they are professionals, and this is why it is good to have a private prison industry.
  37. Abraham
    Report Abuse
    Abraham - November 07, 2012 11:19 am
    What gets me is how a clown like this can get a job in a pre-release center. The tatoo's should have spoken volumns.

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