Georgia mother Diana Franklin, who used her staunchly held religious beliefs to justify abusing her adopted teenaged daughter, could face over 400 years in prison after being found guilty on 28 counts of child abuse.
On Monday November 23, Franklin was found guilty on 19 counts of cruelty to children, 8 counts of false imprisonment, and 1 count of aggravated assault. Her husband, Samuel Franklin, will stand trial in December, and is accused of sexually abusing their teenaged daughter.
As stated by court records, Franklin subjected her adopted daughter to starvation, a shock collar, and extended periods of confinement in a chicken coop. She believed that the bible justified these sadistic punishments. The teen testified in regards to the cruel abuse she suffered for six years at the hands of Diana and Samuel Franklin.
— 13WMAZ News (@13wmaznews) November 23, 2015
According to reports, Diana Franklin forced her adopted daughter to live in a hot shed without air conditioning and would imprison her there for weeks. Franklin was also accused of withholding food, forcing her to read and write Bible verses as punishment, forcing her to cut her hair, administering extended periods of confinement, and a number of other cruelties.
When concerned neighbors confronted the Franklins about their inhuman treatment, Diana Franklin replied that she was “doing what the Bible says” by punishing her daughter for not doing her chores the “right way.”
The 15-year-old victim told police that her adoptive parents forced her to spend days locked inside a small outhouse and chicken coop while wearing a shock collar to punish her for not doing her schoolwork. According to other reports, the girl was also forced to live on bread and water for long periods of time.
During her testimony, the teen said she was locked in different outbuildings on the family’s property whenever she menstruated. She was only permitted to wear a shirt and not allowed any undergarments.
Defense attorney Kevin Bailey argued that Franklin was only raising her adopted daughter in the way dictated by her religious beliefs. However, the jury disagreed. This religious defense was unsuccessful and it took only two hours for Franklin to be convicted on all charges. She could be sentenced to over 400 years in prison and is expected to be sentenced the morning of December 8th.