Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referenced a business relationship and where Leonard Franklin lived. While Franklin has spoken on behalf of Franklin Hot Springs in the past and has previously been called a co-owner, a deed shows he has never co-owned the business, which belongs to Norman and Cynthia Franklin. Also, Leonard Franklin lives on the same road as the establishment, but he does not live on the property, as was reported.
A man whose family owns the popular Franklin Hot Springs in Paso Robles appeared in court Monday, facing multiple charges of child molestation and child pornography.
Leonard Ray Franklin, 69, of Paso Robles is charged with abusing three relatives, now ages 3, 13 and 15. The charges allege that Franklin abused the victims multiple times over the past decade and that he used the 3-year-old to create child pornography.
Franklin, who has pleaded not guilty, was held Monday at San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail, according to San Luis Obispo Superior Court. His attorney, Guy Galambos, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
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Franklin's family has owned the hot springs — formerly called Franklin Pond — since the early 1960s.
A popular place for families, the Hot Springs features swimming, fishing and boating.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office alleges that Franklin molested the oldest child for a period of six years, ending when the child was about 11, and that he molested the 13-year-old for eight years, also ending when the child was about 11. The alleged abuse against the youngest victim reportedly began when the child was 2 years old.
Franklin will return to court for a pretrial hearing July 3.