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Dalton PD Seeks Information in Sexual Battery Case

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Published on Aug 24, 2012

By Jerry Askin Updated StoryA Dalton man sits behind bars, charged with touching a 14-year-old girl inappropriately, and it happened in public. Police say the man touched the teen at the Shop And Go - BP gas station, on Chattanooga Road in Dalton this weekend.41-year old Heath Franklin sits in a jail cell now. He's been charged with sexual battery. Police say he grabbed a 14-year old girl's bottom Saturday at this Dalton gas station he was on the job."No 14-year old should be subjected to that of a grown man," says local parent Chris Chastain."I think it's horrible....If something like that was to happen to my daughter, I'd probably go crazy," says local parent Stephanie Kierce.Kierce lives in dalton and has a 16-year old daughter. She fills up her tank at least once a week at the gas station. She says he deserves extra punishment."I would put him under the jail. It will affect those children and women for the rest of their lives," says Kierce.Police say  the 14-year old girl is not the only victim.  Investigators have been going through hundreds of hours of surveillance video from the store - and have identified other women and children victims.  Many, police say may not have known they were a target, since Franklin acted like it was an accident. Kierce knows what needs to be done to prevent employees from doing such a thing."Maybe they need to do a background check on people," says Kierce.And while police continue to investigate and identify more possible victims - parents like Chris Chastain worries about his two young children....and their safety in public."It hurts that something like that could happen to one of my kids. I have a daughter that's a senior in high school," says Kierce.Anyone who feels they may have been a victim of Franklin, should call Dalton Police.Franklin is scheduled to have a bond hearing sometime this week.__________________________________________________________________Previous StoryHeath Shield Franklin, 41, of Cohutta, Ga. was charged Sunday with Sexual Battery and Tampering with Evidence for an incident that happened at the Stop-n-Go convenience store at  2201 Chattanooga Road.  Police say Franklin grabbed the buttocks of a 14-year-old girl inside of the store.  Investigators with the Dalton Police Department are in the process of reviewing hundreds of hours of surveillance video from the store and have located more victims in the case.  The victims, all women and female children, may not have known they were being photographed or the clerk may have led the victims to believe the touching was accidental.  The Dalton Police Department is asking for anyone that has been in the store at 2201 Chattanooga Road over the past two months when this clerk was present and felt they may have been a victim in this case, please contact Detective Brandon Carter at (706) 278-9085 ext. 183.

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