Affidavit: Buna man choked, stabbed girlfriend, tried to set her on fire

Affidavit: Buna man choked, stabbed girlfriend, tried to set her on fire

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Editor's note: This story contains graphic sexual language.

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrested a 26-year-old man on April 28 in connection to allegations that he choked his girlfriend, stabbed her in the chest, and tried to set her on fire.

Charles Benjamin 'Ben" Franklin IV, of Buna, is also accused of sexually assaulting the woman and threatening to kill her and her children.

Franklin is still being held in the Jasper County Jail on a first-degree felony aggravated assault of a date, family member, or house mate with a deadly weapon charge and a first-degree felony aggravated sexual assault charge. Collectively, his bail amount has been set at $135,000.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim met with a JCSO deputy at the Jasper County Sub-Courthouse in Buna on April 27. The woman told the deputy that Franklin assaulted her by choking her with his bare hands and other foreign objects, and the deputy noticed injuries to her neck, the affidavit stated.

In addition, Franklin also used a red folding knife to stab the victim in the left chest area near her heart, the affidavit stated. The JCSO deputy reported in the affidavit that the woman had what appeared to be a stab wound to her left chest area.

"The victim stated during the assault, Ben told her he would kill her and her children," the affidavit stated.

Later, Franklin tried to set the victim on fire by using an aerosol accelerant and a lighter as an improvised torch, "spraying the accelerant and lighting in the direction of the victim in attempts to burn her face," the affidavit stated.

The JCSO deputy wrote in the affidavit that he noticed that the woman's hair was burnt, and she had minor burns to her chest and stomach.

According to the affidavit, the victim also told the deputy that Franklin sodomized her with a broom handle that had been doused with the accelerant.
After the alleged assault and sexual assault, the woman was taken to Saint Elizabeth Hospital to be treated for her injuries and be given a sexual assault examination.

Franklin's grandfather, who accompanied the victim to the sub-courthouse, told the JCSO deputy that when he tried to get the woman out of the home, Franklin wouldn't let her leave. The man also told the deputy that Franklin followed them out to the car, the affidavit stated.

When they attempted to flee, the man said Franklin climbed on to his vehicle and started hitting the window, the affidavit stated. Franklin's grandfather told the JCSO deputy that he thought Franklin was trying to get to the woman, so he could hurt her more, the affidavit stated.

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