Prosecutor Drops 1st & 2nd Degree Sex Offenses Black Man Accused Remains in Custody in Monmouth Jail

Prosecutor Drops 1st & 2nd Degree Sex Offenses Black Man Accused Remains in Custody in Monmouth Jail

Franklin D. Horton, an African American prisoner in Monmouth County Corrections Institution, was acquitted on all sex crimes previously charged in a four-year (hearsay) prosecution, according to recent court transcripts from the Monmouth County Superior Court (State v. Horton, Monmouth Co., N.J. Supr. Ct., Crim. No. 18003427).

Chief Presiding Judge Marc C. Lemieux told Defendant Horton that ‘the State will move to dismiss all seven sexual offense charges of the criminal indictment and recommend probation with four years of imprisonment served as punishment for blowing smoke in a minor’s face with an electronic vape-pen (a device that can’t produce smoke).

The day before Horton’s plea hearing in Superior Court he filed an emergency in the New Jersey Appellate Division stating in an () that he feared that his defense attorney and the prosecutor were compelling him to commit fraud on the court by agreeing to be guilty of a crime that was legally or physically impossible to commit even if he had blown ‘vape’ in a minor’s face with a vape pen. Additionally, this petition raised the question of why there had been no jury trial scheduled after four years.

Horton was supported on social media by several celebrities such as T-Boz, Terrell Owens, and Bootsy Collins on his claim to innocence last month (

A prosecution that started four years ago with seven charges of first-degree sexual assault offenses against a 12 to 13-year-old minor transformed into a legal fiction since a vape pen could never produce smoke. The county justice department that wanted Horton to serve 10 to 25 years of imprisonment agreed that he only was guilty of committing an offense that was less than stealing a pack of bubblegum.

Today Horton remains in jail in Monmouth County Jail, as an African-American prisoner, despite the State dropping all sexual offense charges, after four years of imprisonment for fabricated allegations raised by the West Long Branch Police with no evidence or DNA, according to court records.

The Office of Monmouth County Prosecutor and Monmouth County Court was contacted by news media to ask why Horton still remains in custody. But neither office had responded to this inquiry prior to this press article being published.

See related to this news content (New Jersey v. Franklin Horton (N.J. Sup. Ct. Crim. Case No. 18003427) ()

Supporting Media Sources:

Monmouth County, NJ: Black Man Jailed 4 Yrs Despite No DNA or Evidence (March 18, 2022)

State of New Jersey v. Franklin Horton – Case Updates (Court Order on Recent Hearing) (December 2, 2021)

Acquittal Petition Hearing Is Scheduled in N.J. Sexual Assault Case (State v. Horton) (September 3, 2021)

Third Judge Appointed in Sexual Assault Case (Well Into Third Year) Involving N.J. Handyman, White Teenage Girl (September 13, 2021)

To Kill A Mockingbird’ (in 2021-): Racial inequity a substantial question of law or fact in ‘State of N.J. v. Horton (December 2, 2021)–racial-inequity-a-substantial-question-of-law-or-fact-in-state-of-nj-v-horton

Amanda Liu
Robert Peterson & Fields Associates PC
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