published Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Hamilton County grand jury does not indict in rape allegation

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    Franklin Concepcion, 25, of Ringgold faces a rape charge after he allegedly took a woman from Erlanger hospital's emergency room and sexually assaulted her in an x-ray room. Concepcion works as a technician at the hospital, according to a Chattanooga Police Department arrest report.

The Hamilton County grand jury chose not to indict an Erlanger hospital employee accused of attempting to rape an emergency department patient.

Franklin Concepcion, 25, of Ringgold, Ga., was charged with rape following an alleged assault on Nov. 9, 2011, while he worked as a technician at the hospital.

In a May Sessions Court preliminary hearing, Judge Christie Mahn Sell lowered Concepción’s bond from $150,000 to $10,000 and called the decision to even send the charges to the grand jury “one of the most difficult” cases she’d seen.

The alleged victim, a 25-year-old woman, testified during the May hearing that Concepción took her to a back room for an examination when she went to the hospital for a broken nose. While in the room, the woman claimed, Concepción performed sex acts on her.

Concepción testified in the same hearing that the acts were consensual.

His lawyer, Meredith Ziebold, said Wednesday that her client was “incredibly pleased that the ordeal is over” and he regretted bringing negative attention to the hospital.

“The victim, I believe, was an opportunist, who took advantage of a consensual encounter that, while unusual and poor judgment for Mr. Concepcion, was not a crime,” Ziebold said.

Though prosecutors could bring the charges again to another grand jury, Ziebold said she had “no indication that there is going to be any [further] effort to indict.”

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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