WICKER PARK — A Bucktown mother who allegedly was robbed of a $40,000 engagement ring by her pregnant daughter and shot with a stun gun claims her daughter "was with the wrong people at the wrong time" and is not to blame for the crime.
Janet Franck — a prominent member of a speakers circuit that lectures about infectious disease prevention — said someone else was to blame for the incident, and that police were looking for the "perp."
"There's a bigger picture, and an investigation is under way," she said, adding that her daughter "did not hurt me."
Franck, 55, was shocked 15 times during the Oct. 9 incident outside her condo in the 1700 block of North Marshfield by two people wearing masks, one of whom later was revealed to be her daughter Julie, 36, authorities said. They allegedly used a Smart car to make their getaway.
The victim, a registered nurse, said that her daughter, who used to run a dog-walking service, just happened to be "with the wrong people at the wrong time."
"It's very sad," she added.
Julie Franck is charged with armed robbery, during which she allegedly wore a ski mask, said Andy Conklin of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.
Franck, who was visibly pregnant during a Nov. 21 hearing, has worked at several area restaurants and had her own dog-walking service several years ago.
"I hired her about two summers ago," said Liliana Salamanca, manager of Café Con Leche, 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave. "She was very sweet."
Her alleged accomplice, who remains at large, used a stun gun to subdue Janet Franck during the robbery.
Both suspects allegedly fled by car, but not before a witness was able to pull off Franck's mask, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In addition to the 3½-carat diamond, the suspects also allegedly took $200 in cash, as well as credit and debit cards.
Janet Franck, who was affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is described as an "award- winning leader and international health care consultant," in her biography on the National Speakers Association website.
"She is passionate about infection prevention and control and brings creativity and innovation to her presentations," the bio states. "Janet reveals simple ways to save countless lives."
She was selected as the speakers association's member of the year in 2008 and won the 2010 Presidential Spirit Award for the Illinois chapter.
"Her message is powerful and includes tips and strategies in health care to prevent and control infection to win the war against life- threatening germs," the bio states.
She also has worked with Ivory Coast Mothers and Children, a nonprofit agency serving a poor village in the West African nation, according to her LinkedIn page.
Her daughter's arraignment is set for Dec. 12.