Posted: Tue 11:10 AM, Jul 19, 2016
By Brooke Buford |
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) – Attorneys for Frank Selas, the former Monroe TV show host known as Mr. Wonder, who is accused of molesting a boy on a camping trip in Rapides Parish in the ’70s, have filed new court documents.
Mike Small has filed an objection to a response to a motion from the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office regarding a 1994 telephone call made to RPSO by an anonymous caller wanting to know if Selas would still be prosecuted if caught.
The DA’s office said they did not have a transcript of the call or any other details about the call.
So, Small has amended his first request to ask for several things including for information if Sheriff William Earl Hilton was aware of the call and any notes memorializing that knowledge.
Frank Selas Case: DA’s office would not turn down snitch testimony
By Brooke Buford |
Posted: Thu 3:58 PM, Jul 07, 2016
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) – There are new updates to the case against Frank Selas, the former Monroe children’s TV show host, better known as Mr. Wonder.
Selas is alleged to have sexually assaulted a child on a camping trip in the ’70s in Rapides Parish. He was on the run for nearly 40 years before being captured in January in California.
On Thursday, the district attorney’s office addressed several motions filed by Selas’ attorney, Mike Small.
They addressed two key points.
The first point is regarding Small’s attempt to prevent jailhouse snitch testimony from ending up in court. The district attorney’s office said it can’t control if Selas shares information about his case to other inmates. But, if Selas decides to talk to others, the state plans on taking that snitch testimony and introduce it in court and leave it up to a jury to determine credibility. The state says it doesn’t anticipate any snitch testimony, however.
The second point has to do with a 1994 phone call to RPSO by an anonymous caller wanting to know if Selas would be prosecuted if caught. The district attorney’s office says it has not found any information beyond that a call was made that they could turn over to the defense.
Meanwhile, a hearing set for Monday has been continued without further date.
Frank Szeles AKA Mr. Wonder pleads not guilty at arraignment hearing
Updated: Wed 3:20 PM, Jun 08, 2016
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – Frank Szeles, the former Monroe children’s television show host known as Mr. Wonder, made his first appearance in Rapides Parish Court on Monday. Szeles spent nearly 40 years on the run from child sex abuse charges stemming dating back to 1979.
Szeles is charged with two counts aggravated rape, three counts sexual battery, and eight counts indecent behavior with a juvenile. He pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts in the hearing. Szeles’ attorney, Mike Small, told us his client is not only presumed innocent, he believes without a doubt that he truly is.
“What Mr. Szeles and I look forward to is a two sided jury trial at which the state can present its evidence, I can present mine, and I can cross examine their witnesses,” explained Small. “I am convinced that once that process plays out the jury will come back with not guilty verdicts to all 13 counts and the indictment.
However, when asked why Szeles ran if he was innocent, Small said it was not the time to discuss that.
“That’s part of the innuendo,” said Small. “That’s part of the publicity that has been released that will be addressed in due time. It’s not going to be addressed here today. But we want to address that, we look forward to addressing that, but we look forward to addressing it at the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue. And with all due respect to my colleagues and friends that are here, this isn’t the place or the time.”
Pretrial hearing dates have not been set yet.
Ex-children’s show host Mr. Wonder, 76, denies raping children on camping trip as he finally faces charges after 37 years at large
The Daily Mail Online
- Frank John Selas III, 76, hosted the Mr. Wonder children’s show in the late 1970s in northern Louisiana
- There was an arrest warrant out for him when he vanished at age 39
- Parents had complained that he had molested their children on a camping trip in 1979
- Police had identified seven alleged victims and were closing in
- Selas settled in San Diego in 1985, and his attorney says during that time he had a wife, children, and grandchildren
- In his new life, he was a Cub Scouts leader, however, he was removed from his position for ‘non-compliance with youth protection policies’
- He was also a member of a Mormon church but leaders said they had ‘removed him from all positions related to children’
A former children’s show host has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from allegations that he sexually abused children during a Louisiana camping trip in 1979.
Frank John Selas III, 76, entered the plea Monday during his arraignment in a Rapides Parish, Louisiana courtroom, according to KALB.
In the late 1970s, Selas hosted the ‘Mr. Wonder’ show on KNOE-TV in northern Louisiana.
He allegedly fled to Brazil in 1979 and vanished for decades after parents accused him of abusing their children on a camping trip in Kisatchie National Forest in central Louisiana.
Frank Selas, aka Frank Szeles, hosted children’s show Mr. Wonder in the late 1970s. He pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of child sexual abuse and rape on Monday
Selas, who had changed his name to Frank Szeles, was arrested in San Diego in January and indicted in February.
He is charged with two counts aggravated rape, three counts sexual battery, and eight counts indecent behavior with a juvenile.
He pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts in the hearing. Szeles’ attorney, Mike Small, said his client is innocent.
‘What Mr. Szeles and I look forward to is a two-sided jury trial at which the state can present its evidence, I can present mine, and I can cross examine their witnesses,’ he told KALB. ‘I am convinced that once that process plays out the jury will come back with not guilty verdicts to all 13 counts and the indictment.’
When asked by a reporter why he went on the run for 40 years if he’s innocent, the attorney said that would be dealt with during the trial.
Selas was on the run for 37 years before he was finally apprehended in San Diego last month (mug shot left). His lawyer says he is innocent of all charges
Selas, aka Mr. Wonder, pleaded not guilty to all of his charges when he was arraigned in a Louisiana court on Monday (above)
‘That’s part of the innuendo,’ he said. ‘That’s part of the publicity that has been released that will be addressed in due time. It’s not going to be addressed here today. But we want to address that, we look forward to addressing that, but we look forward to addressing it at the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue. And with all due respect to my colleagues and friends that are here, this isn’t the place or the time.’
At the time of his arrest in February, he told police they had the wrong man, and he was never Mr. Wonder.
Authorities say the former children’s show host had settled in the San Diego area by 1985. When he vanished at age 39, his car was found abandoned in Dallas, Texas, and it’s believed he traveled to Rio de Janeiro.
Selas’ family attorney in February, Marc Carlos, read a statement from the family that pleaded for privacy.
Mr Wonder was a popular children’s show in the last 1970s airing in northern Louisiana – according to those who saw the show it was the live children in the audience who were the real draw
‘Despite the allegations, for 37 years, Frank Szeles has been a husband, father and grandfather and has always provided for his family,’ he said. ‘He is well-loved, respected and supported by his family and friends and the community here in San Diego.’
Selas was married at the time he disappeared – and his wife, Maria, was reportedly ‘evasive’ with police. She was living with Selas when he was arrested, and was working at an elementary school, according to Heavy.com.
Carlos said the developments were ‘a shock to everyone’.
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office has said investigators identified seven alleged victims in Louisiana as a result of the 1979 investigation, which led to an arrest warrant but not an indictment.
In San Diego, the man known to neighbors as Frank Szeles was a former Cub Scouts leader who advertised swim lessons and other activities for young children from his home in Bonita – about 10 miles southeast of downtown San Diego.
The Boy Scouts of America said he was removed from his position several years ago for failing to comply with the organization’s ‘youth protection policies and procedures’ after a parent made an unspecified complaint that didn’t relate to scouting.
The Scouts would not elaborate further, according to the Washington Post.
He was also running a business, Szeles Enterprises, that advertised swimming lessons, Cub Scouts trips, day camps and ‘High Adventure Field Trips’ for children.
At the time Selas disappeared, he was 39, the approximate age of the photo above, he would spend the next 37 years at large
His time at large also racked up allegations of sexual abuse.
Selas also belonged to a Mormon congregation in San Diego, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it removed him from ‘all positions related to children’ for failing to comply with the church’s child protection policies.
Investigators in Louisiana believe Selas lived in other places – including Chicago; Darien, Connecticut; South Royalton, Vermont; and Sheffield, Massachusetts – after he returned from South America in the early 1980s.
‘We believe there are more victims out there,’ said Rapides Parish police spokesman Lt. Tommy Carnline.