A Pittsfield man was arraigned Friday morning in Central Berkshire Superior Court as a fugitive from justice.

According to the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office, 73-year-old Jason Franklin appeared before Judge Patrick Sabbs and had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on one count of being a fugitive from justice. On Thursday morning, Franklin was arrested by members of the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit, Pittsfield Police Department and the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office on an arrest warrant issued by the state of Louisiana charging him with two counts of aggravated rape. The alleged attacks took place between Jan. 1, 1973 and Aug. 20, 1977, according to documents.

"Supporting the arrest and in furtherance of their investigation, officers from the Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office travelled to Pittsfield to assist in the operation," according to a statement from the DA's Office.

Franklin voluntarily agreed to be extradited to Louisiana for his trial appearance. Judge Sabbs ordered Franklin held without the right to bail at the Berkshire County House of Corrections until authorities from Louisiana pick him up -- which could take place in around two weeks.

If convicted, Franklin could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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