A Norwalk woman is fighting for her son’s freedom, nearly a decade after he was convicted of rape.
In 2004, 18-year-old Francisco “Franky” Linarte was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting twin 11-year-old girls at his mother’s Norwalk daycare
“It was like a nightmare. And it was like no one would hear you, and the truth wasn’t being said,” Franky’s mother Joanne Linarte, said.
At a prayer vigil Monday night held at the Parkway Association of God in Norwalk, Joanne argued that Franky was wrongly convicted. Members of the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, a group that battles wrongful convictions, were also present.
“It had the earmarks, if you will, of railroading and wrongful conviction,” Deskovic Assistant Director Richard Blassberg said.
Court documents reveal that Franky graphically confessed to raping the two girls over a period of six years. But Joanne and Blassberg argue that Franky has a learning disability that may have prevented him from comprehending what he was signing. They also claim the case lacked physical evidence.
“He was coerced to sign something, I dare say, he never understood or read,” Blassberg said.
During the trial Franky was represented by attorney Mickey Sherman. Sherman also represented Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel who was recently granted a new trial because a judge called his defense inadequate.
“Obviously, there are some difficulties with Mr. Sherman, clearly,” Blassberg said.
Mickey Sherman told Fox CT he had no comment. The State’s Attorney could not be reached for comment.