• Orlando rape suspect declared incompetent to stand trial


    ORLANDO, Fla. - A man arrested on charges he raped a woman in a downtown Orlando parking garage has been deemed incompetent to stand trial.

    Investigators said Tobias Franklin attacked the woman in the garage on Jefferson Street in February.

    They said he admitted to the crime and was set to stand trial until several weeks ago.

    It was halted because Franklin was found incompetent to proceed.

    “It is very unfortunate for victims, but the law is quite clear:  you cannot try an individual who is not competent to proceed,” said WFTV legal analyst Belvin Perry.

    Perry said some suspects are never prosecuted due to their state of mind.

    “There are rare instances where someone can be incompetent for the rest of their lives,” Perry said.

    Joellen Revell of the Victim Service Center of Central Florida said it’s difficult for the victims to move on when there’s no trial.

    “We definitely see that victims really want some closure. They want to put that past them,” she said. “And a lot of times when that process isn’t able to happen, there’s a feeling that it’s continuous and it’s never going away.”

    Court records show two doctors determined Franklin wasn’t competent enough to go to court.

    He was sent to a mental hospital where his competency will be re-checked every three or four months.

    If doctors eventually agree he’s fit to stand trial, he’ll face the charges against him.

    Perry said most incompetent people go through a treatment program run by the state that attempts to restore their competency.

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