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The Grim Sleeper's Earliest Known Victim Tells Her Story To The Jury

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Lonnie David Franklin, Jr., being arraigned at Los Angeles Criminal Courts, July 8, 2010. (Photo by Getty Images)
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The earliest known victim of the 'Grim Sleeper' provided testimony to the jury responsible for convicting Lonnie Franklin, Jr. on Thursday, offering jurors and courtroom attendees a first person account of a serial killer's attack, according to City News Service. The testimony comes as a part of the sentencing stage of the trial, where jurors are asked to recommend whether Franklin be sentenced to death, or to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The woman, identified only as Ingrid W., flew more than 6,000 miles from Germany to give her statement in court. In 1974, Franklin, along with two other men, was convicted in by a German court of raping the then 17-year-old Ingrid at knifepoint. At the time, Franklin was a private in the U.S. Army. The Army discharged Franklin, and turned him over to the German judicial system, according to KABC.

However, Franklin served less than one year. Police and prosecutors do not know why he was released early, according to People Magazine.

Ingrid explained in court on Thursday how, in April of 1974, she was approached by a car carrying three men. One of the men grabbed her, pulled her inside, and held a knife to her throat. After a thirty-minute drive, the men and Ingrid arrived at a field. The three men, including Franklin, each took turns raping her for, as she said in court, "the rest of the night." Ingrid testified that she did not believe she would survive the attack.

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One of the men photographed the attack, a trademark of Franklin's later attacks. While the men were driving Ingrid home, she convinced the then 21-year-old Franklin to give her his phone number. Franklin was arrested a few days later after police conducted a sting operations where Ingrid arranged to meet him in a train station.

Earlier this month, Franklin was found guilty of 10 charges of first degree murder.