Cries for help lead police to woman's alleged attacker

Franko Maloney (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Franko Maloney (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) - One man is behind bars after a concerned citizen led police into the wooded area where he heard a woman screaming for help.

Horry County Police arrived on the scene of a reported assault in the woods behind a church on the 1600 block of Highway 17 Saturday night after a concerned caller reported hearing a woman's cries for help.

That caller claims he was walking down Mineola Avenue in Little River when he heard someone screaming "help, somebody please." When the man was able to locate the scene of the alleged crime, he ran to a nearby gas station and called for police.

The man then led the Horry County police officers that responded into the woods in the direction of the screams to find a tent with a man and woman inside.

The incident report from Horry County police states that inside that tent was a fully nude male attempting to force a female to have intercourse with him. The male suspect was placed in handcuffs as officers worked to figure out who he was and what was going on.

The female told police the male suspect, identified as 31-year-old Franko Earnest Maloney of Crossville, TN, was her boyfriend for three years and they had recently moved to the Little River area. They were temporarily living in the tent in the wooded area behind the church.

The female explains that she returned to the tent Saturday night to find an intoxicated Maloney, who called her a name and dragged her to the ground by her hair. He then placed his hands on her throat and demanded she have sex with him.

After he was handcuffed, Maloney began to express a wish to harm himself. He was transported to a local hospital for examination before being transferred to J. Reuben Long Detention Center. Maloney has been charged with criminal sexual conduct and his bond has not been set.

Though he was not charged with trespassing, there is no indication that the couple had been given permission to be living in that wooded area.

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