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Norwalk Mom Fights Son’s Rape Conviction

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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.

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  • Krista Sieve

    Finally!!!!! I wish they would have given more detail about the GYN's testimony that the girl's virginity intact as well as no trauma to the anal tissues (trying to word that as respectfully). Still praying for justice. Last week, a man in MO was released after being falsely imprisoned for nearly 20 years. He was convicted with ZERO evidence against, concrete evidence to his innocence; however the conviction was based on the lies that two "witnesses." They finally confessed to their purgery.

  • Rev. Gary Mammana

    I was at Frankie's trail every day and can tell you that what I saw go on in that trail was a travesty. In my opinion, the fix was in and Frankie was going to be found guilty no matter what. I was in total shock when the verdict of "guilty" was read, as was Frankie and his mother. Something must be done to release Frankie and hold those accountable who had him wrongly incarcerated for something he did not do. With the help of Almighty God and the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, this will happen.
    Rev. Gary Mammana

  • Liz

    I was also present at the trial…and I'm in total agreement that this trial was a travesty. But it was a travesty because of what that monster and his mother did. The court of law operates under the basic principle that "all are innocent until proven guilty". He was considered innocent of all crimes until proven guilty– which he was, and continued to be throughout his appeals, which were all rightfully denied. He confessed to his crimes of years of abuse, and to his mother's knowledge of such events. His mother sought out one of the top defense lawyers, Joanne and Frankie both maintained they were "innocent". They, and anyone else who can in good conscious, defend a rapist and his pathetic, lying mother, can continue with this quest of "innocence". But they were found guilty, and denied all appeals, FOR A REASON! They are both guilty. I can say this with full confidence. I would know, I'm one of his victims. This story has another side, and I'm no longer the frightened little eleven year old girl who is too traumatized to stand up for herself. It is time the world heard the actual, truthful recollection and testimony. My voice, the evidence and convictionS will stand up against the tragic lies spewed from these convicted child abusers. Joanne and Frankie Linarte are guilty of everything accused. Their pathetic words and desperate grasps at "justice" have not and will not change that fact. "Franisico Linarte is found GUILTY all of all charges"…"Joanne Linarte is found guilty of all charges". Guilty, Guilty, Guilty.

  • anonymous

    Is it just me or did the mother sound like she was reading cue cards or something?? And it shouldn’t matter if he had a learning disability if he knew the graphic detail of what happened to those poor girls than even if hypothetically he was innocent he would at least know who did and know about it which makes him just as guilty. And what would the girls have to gain from lying about what happened? Why go through the struggle? I wasn’t at the trial when it happened but some things just don’t add up.

  • The Voice

    Vigil is a period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, especially to keep watch or pray. So candlelights at an event for any love one to come home was appropriate. What a world we live in when it so common these days to be Innocent After Proven Guilty.

  • johnandholly12

    I am someone who has visited Joannes house numerous times when Frankie was about 14-15, I am not family or close friends of family. What I did notice when visiting there, numerous times, is that the girls were always poking, flirting and constantly trying to keep the attention of Frankie (who by the way was a minor as well) I have never voiced my opinion until now! That is not the behavior of girls who are scared, intimidated and being sexually abused!!! When I found out years later that he was being accused of assaulting them I was sickened. If I had to guess, It was experimenting or playing doctor (gone haywire) They never said a word until Frankie was older and not giving them attention? I was there! I saw them constantly jumping all over him! I remember thinking that the girls were lacking male attention:( (maybe at home?) regardless they were ridiculous.
    I was a victim of rape at 15 held at knifepoint!! My rapist got sent to jail and out in 2 years good behavior!! How long has Frankie served? For a possible accusation from vengeance? or lack of attention? From when he was a child himself!????
    I didn’t watch the trial, maybe I’m wrong!
    Maybe if I didn’t see those girls all over him!! Every time I was there I would feel differently.
    God will judge in the end and Karma will always prevail