Iowa woman pleads guilty to hate crime after ramming children with her car

Iowa woman pleads guilty for driving her car into two children “because of their race and national origin”.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,


An Iowa woman pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges on Monday stemming from a 2019 incident in which she drove her car into two children “because of their race and national origin,” according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Nicole Franklin, 42, testified that on December 9, 2019, in De Moines, Iowa, she drove her Jeep Grand Cherokee into a child, believing the child to be of “Middle Eastern or African descent.”

After hitting the child, Franklin drove away.

Half an hour later, Franklin was in Clive, Iowa where she drove her Jeep over a curb and struck the second victim, who she believed was Mexican. She again drove away from the scene.

The first victim walked away with injuries including cuts, bruising and swelling.

The second victim’s injuries were severe, including a concussion, bruises and cuts.

The ages of the children was not disclosed by the Department of Justice. CNN reported that the first victim was a 12-year old African American boy and the second victim was a 14-year old Mexican teenager.

“Nicole Franklin attempted to kill two children because she thought they came from another country,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan, Justice Department Civil Rights Division. “All people in the United States, regardless where they come from, have the right to be free from fear of violence because of who they are.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa said that ensuring the rights of residents to life in safety was paramount.

“Protecting the rights of the residents of our community, more importantly, the families and children who live here, is one of the most important functions of the United States Attorney’s Office. These young and courageous victims, whatever their race, color, religion, or national origin, should not have to fear for their safety by merely walking down the street,” he said.

Franklin will be sentenced on August 19. She faced up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each charge.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)