Woman testifies about 1974 gang rape involving 'Grim Sleeper'

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Woman testifies about 1974 gang rape involving 'Grim Sleeper'
The jury in the penalty phase of the "Grim Sleeper" trial heard gut-wrenching testimony from a woman who said she was gang raped by three men, including Lonnie Franklin Jr.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In the decades before convicted serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr. trawled South LA streets for female victims, he was across the ocean terrifying women in Stuttgart, Germany.

On the stand, the victim of a gang rape, Ingrid W, told the jury through an interpreter about an April night in 1974. Franklin and two Army buddies rolled up in a car.

She testified that somebody grabbed her and pulled her into the vehicle.

"A man held a knife to my throat," she said.

Franklin, a former Army cook, stared into space as Ingrid testified that all three men raped her.

When the prosecutor asked how long the rape lasted, Ingrid replied, "All night."

A gasp sounded from the jury and the gallery.

Details of the attack were recorded in the Army report on the soldiers' trial in a German court. An hour before Ingrid's attack, the soldiers had tried to kidnap another woman. Witnesses heard screams: "Help! Please don't!"

Former JAG officer Capt. Frank Pyle says Franklin testified that the sex was consensual.

Ingrid testified that she suffered cuts on her abdomen and that she didn't fight, fearing they would kill her. The court convicted all three.

The assault on Ingrid took place in the car, just as investigators say Franklin attacked at least 11 others years later, killing 10. And just as Franklin took pictures of his victims, Ingrid says there was a camera at her rape.

"It sounded like after it was all over, they took pictures," Pyle said.

With her husband at her side, Ingrid says she never recovered from the trauma. Even now, he will not leave her home at night by herself.

The impact of Franklin's actions on her and so many others was presented to show aggravating factors that should be weighed in the penalty phase.

The prosecutor aims to show that the 64-year-old defendant should be sent to death row.