A sessions court judge called a rape allegation against a former Erlanger employee "one of the most difficult" cases she'd seen before sending the charge to the grand jury Tuesday.
Judge Christie Mahn Sell ruled that evidence presented by prosecutor Lila Statom met the low burden of probable cause but also lowered the man's bond amount from $150,000 to $10,000.
Franklin Concepcion, 25, of Ringgold, Ga. has been charged with rape following an alleged assault on Nov. 9, 2011 while he worked as a technician at the hospital.
At the end of the 2-hour hearing Tuesday, Concepcion's attorney, Meredith Ziebold, argued that she had disproved any probable cause against her client.
"The evidence is shay at best, it's something that might not even make it out of the grand jury," Ziebold told the judge.
The grand jury hears cases bound over by sessions court judges on probable cause and decides if there is enough evidence to indict. It typically takes at six weeks or more before a case has reached the grand jury for review.
The alleged victim, a 25-year-old woman, testified during the Tuesday hearing that Concepcion began talking with her shortly after she arrived at the hospital for a nose injury.
She said he took her into a room on the second floor and performed sex acts on her. Police took samples of DNA evidence left at the scene. The DNA later proved a match to Concepcion.
It is Times Free Press policy not to identify sex crime victims by name.
Concepcion, still in custody during the hearing, testified that he talked with the woman and the pair went for a walk and talked about sex then mutually masturbated each other in the room and the acts were consensual.
Statom seemed confounded by Concepcion's version of events.
"Would you say it's routine to have a form of sex with an individual 20 minutes after you first laid eyes on them?" she asked Concepcion. He said no.
Ziebold argued that video footage and two 911 calls by the victim show her with a calm demeanor shortly after the alleged incident. She also noted four calls from the alleged victim to Concepion, that last of which was an hour after the incident and before she called police.
Contact staff writer Todd South at email@example.com or 423-757-6347.