Plea deal reached in 2011 aggravated battery case against Kenneth A. Frank
Frank sentenced to 3 years of probation
HILLSBORO BEACH, Fla. – An ex-cop and ex-con from New York who is accused of running financial cons in South Florida has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in connection with a 2011 aggravated battery case.
Victim Lynda Suzanne Whedon told Hillsboro Beach police in 2011 that Kenneth A. Frank punched her in the face for singing on his boat.
A police report said that Whedon's injuries were so bad that she "was covered in blood from her scalp to her waist."
"He left for me dead," Whedon said in a Skype interview last February with the Call Christina team. "I am scared of him and what he is capable of doing."
Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez compiled on-going coverage highlighting the number of defense continuances the court granted in that case.
"Standby subpoena, standby subpoena and I'm like, did I have to die? Why are they prolonging this? I just don't understand. I don't matter?" Whedon said.
Former state and federal prosecutor David Weinstein told the Call Christina team last March that when cases get old people's memories fade, and that's when a victim's voice can get "lost."
"Because the victim is not there, they are continuing to get standby subpoenas," Weinstein said. "They are told, 'We are not going to forget about you. We are not going to let this case go away,' but that is what the defense hopes. The defense hopes that eventually the victim says, 'You know what already? Enough already. Go ahead and resolve it by way of a plea.'"
Last week, Frank entered a plea of no contest and he was sentenced to three years of probation.
Pleading no contest means a defendant is conceding to the charge without admitting guilt.
Weinstein reviewed court documents related to the plea and told the Call Christina team: "As a result of this plea, while avoiding a jail sentence, Mr. Frank has been adjudicated a felon and will thereby lose certain rights possessed by all Florida citizens. These include the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm. He must also avoid any direct or indirect contact with the victim and has to pay certain court costs, fines and fees. It does not appear that he has to pay any restitution to the victim for her medical costs. While not specifically stated within the court paperwork, Florida's Constitution and statutes provide victims in criminal cases with certain rights. Among those rights are the right to be informed of and to be a part of any negotiated plea resolving a criminal case. The offer of this below guidelines plea and the acceptance of the plea by the court infers that the victim has agreed with the terms of the plea and sentence."
"After examining all aspects of this case and (and) after getting approval from the victim, we felt that this was the most appropriate resolution to this matter," the Broward State Attorney's Office said in a statement. "The defendant was adjudicated guilty and was sentenced to three years probation; the defendant can have no contact with the victim."
According to court documents, Frank's prior record includes charges of insurance fraud, grand theft and sale of a controlled substance.
Meanwhile, Frank has been named as a respondent in two additional cases with the Florida Bar.
That means the Florida Bar's Unlicensed Practice of Law Department now has three pending cases for Frank.
In addition, based on victims' complaints, a Broward Sheriff's Office criminal investigation is ongoing.
Frank's attorney, Deborah Carpenter-Toyle, told Local 10 News that "we have no comment regarding the plea."
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