Posted: Thu 7:12 PM, Jan 28, 2016
By: Max Lindsey – Email
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – You have the wrong guy. That’s what a California attorney is saying after his client was arrested.
His client is the man Louisiana lawmen say is Frank Selas, better known as Mr. Wonder, a one-time kiddie show host on Monroe television.
Defense Attorney Marc Carlos claims that the Frank Selas he is representing is the *wrong* Frank Selas wanted for nearly 40 years on child sex abuse charges in Rapides Parish.
But the Rapides Parish Sheriff and District Attorney are not buying it.
They believe it’s a stall tactic to keep justice from being served.
Both Sheriff William Earl Hilton and District Attorney Phillip Terrell are very much convinced they have the right man behind bars.
They say they are anxious to get him back to Louisiana so that they can work on getting him convicted and putting him behind bars for good.
If you asked Frank Selas’ family to describe the man whose mugshot has been plastered all over the country you would get a different description than one of an alleged child molester turned international fugitive.
“This is a shock to everybody that these allegations have even been made. The family does not believe that their father, husband, relative can be involved in something like this,” says Marc Carlos, Selas’ attorney.
But Louisiana law enforcement says he is.
“When you look at somebody who’s changed his name, been arrested for smuggling aliens into the country, had a couple of different passports, and flipping social security numbers around, he’s hiding something. We got the right guy,” Sheriff William Earl Hilton.
In 1979 Selas hosted a camping trip for kids at the Kisatchie National Forest.
They claim the trip took a twisted turn, alleging that Selas molested several of the children who attended.
It took nearly 40 years and an international manhunt before police were able to track him down in California.
Selas’ attorney claims this is the wrong Frank Selas, and he wants Louisiana law enforcement to prove they have the right guy.
“Identity entails the prosecution presenting evidence that the person named in the actual warrant in the complaint. They can do fingerprints. They do it in a number of ways,” says Carlos.
Furthermore, Carlos claims the interviews police conducted in 1979 with the children could have been coerced.
“We all know the investigation of child abuse was a lot different in 1979 than it is now. There’s a lot more suggestibility in children’s interviews,” says Carlos.
“Not led or coerced in any way. And those children today are grown and in their 40s and are willing to testify and tell their story again on a witness stand. So how can we coerce them then to what they’re going to tell us today,” says Sheriff Hilton.
District Attorney Phillip Terrell says Selas’ defense attorney is doing what any defense attorney would do, stalling. He expects the extradition to go through.
“A governor’s warrant has to be attained from California in order for the individual to be transported to Louisiana to face justice. So that process can take some time,” says Terrell.
As for the Sheriff, who was the detective back when the abuse claims first surfaced, he’s just ready to get Frank Selas behind bars for good.
“I’m real anxious, and I won’t be satisfied until he’s upstairs here at the Rapides Parish Courthouse,” says Sheriff Hilton.
Frank Selas’ next court date is set for February 11.
We are told staff from the district attorney’s office is in the process now of preparing to head to California to work on bringing Selas back.