for years a fugitive from justice.
Former lay teacher at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo Japan
According to June 1971 news article, Selas claimed he had lived and worked in no less than 31 countries as part of his studies into Child Psychology (see article below)
Former Principal of St. Anthony Catholic Indian Mission School, Zuni, New Mexico
Former “Mr. Wonder” on popular children’s TV show in Monroe, Louisiana. Wanted for molestation of six young boys during 1979 summer camp.
Thought to have fled to South America .
26 January 2016: Arrested in San Diego
Selas has been charged with two counts aggravated rape, three counts sexual battery, and eight counts indecent behavior with a juvenile. He has pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts. According to media, there ae seven “alleged” victims.
GUILTY plea January 2018 (plea bargian). Sentenced to five years at hard labor with credit for time served. With good behavior will probably be out around July 2018.
Investigators ask anyone with information about Selas to call them at 318-473-6700, Detective Stephen Phillips at 318-473-6727 or CrimeStoppers at 318-443-7867.
January 2016: The Odyssey of Mr Wonder (by Ken Booth)
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at (318) 473-6727 or (318) 473-6700.
GUILTY plea January 2018
Next court date: 21 February 2017: 09:00 am, “contradictory hearing,” Rapides Parish courthouse (701 Murray St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States);
07 November 2016: Bail hearing, Rapides Parish courthouse (701 Murray St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States; 07 October 2016: 09:00, “contradictory hearing,” Rapides Parish courthouse (701 Murray St, Alexandria, LA 71301, United States) (see here, and here for some information on contradictory hearings )
BLOGS & Media coverage
11 April 2018: BLOG Sweet deal for “Mr. Wonder”
02 October 2016: “Correction: Mr Wonder-Abuse Allegations story” & related article
23 September 2016: BLOG More court updates
12 September 2016: BLOG Away again!
21 August 2016: Hearing ordered on mysterious phone call in ‘Mr. Wonder’ case
22 July 2016: BLOG SMIS class action lawsuit
39 March 2016: BLOG “Indefinitley”?
26 February 2016: BLOG Verdict date set
12 February 2016: “The next phase in the Mr. Wonder case” & VIDEO clips
30 January 2016: BLOG “You’ve got the wrong guy”?!!!
28 January 2016: Frank Selas’ attorney: “You’ve got the wrong guy”
28 January 2016: BLOG Former SMIS teacher caught
24 February 2013: BLOG Fugitive Catholic teacher was in Tokyo
06 October 2014: BLOG SMIS sex abuse scandal
15 August 2014: BLOG “Chilling”
27 October 2014: Former St. Mary’s teachers faced child sex abuse charges in U.S.
Unless otherwise indicated the following information is drwn from media (M) or information which was attained personally (P)
Selas was extradited to Louisiana . He has been charged with two counts aggravated rape, three counts sexual battery, and eight counts indecent behavior with a juvenile.
25 January 2016: Arrested at his home in Bonita, California (M)
said to belong to a Mormon church in San Diego area (M)
2014: Where is Mr. Wonder?
Early 1990′s: legally changed his name to Szeles. (M)
06 June 1979: Warrants out for his arrest:
The Salina Journal
06 June 1979
MONROE, La, (UPI) – “Mr. Wonder,” the host of a children’s television show, was sought Wednesday by Louisiana authorities on two warrants for his arrest in the molesting of at least six young boys. Frank Selas — 40, emcee of “Mr. Wonder’s Childrens Show,” aired on Saturday afternoons on KNOE-TV in Monroe — is wanted on charges of misbehavior with juveniles, the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday. He is accused of molesting at least six young boys during a summer camp he sponsored last weekend for boys from 5 to 15 years old, deputies said. One of the victims was hospitalized, they said
According to media reports after his arrest in 2016, fled to Brazil to elude arrest. It is believed he returned to USA in early 1980 and lived with with his wife under several different assumed names in various locales, including San Diego; Chicago; Darien, Connecticut; South Royalton, Vermont; and Sheffield, Massachusetts.
During his time in San Diego worked with Bonita’s Cub Scout Troop 888 (M)
approx. 1978-1979: Selas is now “Mr. Wonder” – emcee/host of Mr. Wonder’s Children’s Show on KNOE-TV in Monroe, Louisiana. (M)
May 1979: Molested six boys during the camping trip in Louisiana. Fled town when police came to question him. His car was found at the Monroe airport. It is believed he fled the country. (M)
April 1979: Announced on air during his show that there would be a camping trip in May for boys age 5 to 15 in May. (M)
December 1978: Grand Marshal for the Christmas Parade in Natchitoches Parish (The Odyssey of Mr Wonder)
15 May 1978: Ad in Broadcasting magazine”
“Production Assistants needed for daily children’s program. No money but great opportunity to learn by doing. Volunteers contact Mr. Selas, KNOE-TV, Post Office Box 4067, Monroe, LA. 318-322-8155.” (The Odyssey of Mr Wonder)
05 September 1974: Principal of St. Anthony Catholic Indian Mission School, Zuni, New Mexico. Running the following ad for teacher’s aids in New Mexico newspaper:
The Gallup Independent
05 September 1974
ST. ANTHONY SCHOOL ZUNI has opening for TEACHER AIDS. No special educational requirement. No experience necessary. Apply in person. Ask for Frank Selas, principal
Greatly admired by some of the boys because he drove one of the first Nissan Zs
June 1972: Still identified as elementary school teacher at SMIS.
As Director of the Junior Peace Corps-Japan and with several other adults took 37 boys and girls age 7 – 17 (mostly military dependents) on a one month summer tour of Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, India and the Philippines (scroll down for article “37 Jr. Peace Corps Slate Trip”) Also offering one week and two-week summer camps in August at Lake Inawashiro, Bandai-Asahi National Park, at the base of Mt. Bandai, Fukushima (M)
[Was Selas back teaching at SMIS after summer holidays in 1972? I don’t believe he was. Could those with yearbooks for 1971-1972 please check for me?)
July 1971 : ‘Junior Peace Corps’ adventure for 34 0r 40?
Selas and two or three other men took a group of boys from various international schools in Japan on a 28-day “‘Junior Peace Corp’ adventure” to India and Southeast Asia. Please take the time to read the 1971 Tokyo Weekender writeup on this trip below (click on each page of the article to enlarge for reading) Note the latter part of the highlighted para on the second page advising of Selas credentials which include “living and working with youngsters in no less than 31 countries as part of his studies in Child Psychology.”
Click on the pictures to enlarge and read.
It is believed but has not been confirmed that Frank Selas was kicked out of SMIS for his behavior around the boys. Some years later an SMIS grad mentioned to one of the brothers that he, the former student, had had concerns about Selas – the brother allegedly replied that he knew about Selas and that Selas had been fired. (The scout leader who replaced Selas was Brother Alban Cyr) (P)
1970: Teaching at SMIS during Expo 70 in Osaka. Selas took about SMIS six boys with him to Osaka. When the boys returned they were, I was told, “bug-eyed” – telling the other boys that Selas had then taking about six showers a day – together! – and that he, Selas, kissed one of the boys on the cheek. (P)
Took over as leader of the Boy Scouts at SMIS in 1970. I have been told that he took the boys to the swimming pool and told them all to jump in. The boys didn’t have their bathing suits so had to jump in in their undies. Once the cotton undies were wet of course they became clinging and see-through. (P)
Layman teacher at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo in the early 70s. While at SMIS taught Grade 4 boys.. (P)
37 Jr. Peace Corps Slate Trip
Pacific Stars and Strips
30 May 1972
S&S Staff Writer
TOKYO — Thirty-seven boys and girls are going to share a unique summer experience when they leave Tokyo on June 30.
All will be members of the Junior Peace Corps-Japan, a teacher-supervised, nonprofit, International youth program which combines the activities of summer camp with travel and goodwill pursuits.
Before the youths, ages 7.-17, return to Japan on July 28, they’ll have seen the sights and sounds of Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, India and the Philip pines.
Further the youngsters will have done goodwill work projects in those countries.
Speaking before a group of interested parents and children at the Sanno Hotel in Tokyo, Frank Selas, director of the Junior Peace Corps-Japan, out lined the mission and plans of the organization.
He pointed out that most of the JPC members are U.S. military dependents who want to be goodwill ambassadors for their country.
However, Selas noted, anyone from anywhere is invited to join the JPC and participate in its activities.
While the Junior Peace Corps is not affiliated with the U.S. government, it is supported by local military Special Services and publicized by information officers in the Far East.
Selas said, “Having mostly U.S. military dependents as JPC members makes for an ideal situation because these kids are somewhat used to traveling and knowing what good group discipline is.
“And don’t forget that only well-behaved boys and girls from any school, anywhere, regardless of race, color or creed, are accepted to accompany the summer tour,” he added.
Selas is an elementary school teacher at St. Mary’s International School in Fukushima, as well as a certified Red Cross swimming and boating instructor and a Boy Scout leader. Some of the other JPC staff members are equally qualified:
Keith Brunning is a teacher and basketball coach at Nile C. Kinnick High School, Yokosuka NB; Mrs. Eilean Lally, instructs tennis at a junior college in Tokyo; and PO 2.C. Gary Kolasa, an announcer for FEN, is a Boy Scout leader in his off-duty time.
They’ll be going on the summer tour as supervisors and instructors.
Among the highlights of the upcoming world tour are a visit to the Taj Mahal and the viewing of Mount Everest. There’s also an elephant safari in India and a horseback camping expedition in the Himalayas, already scheduled.
While in Thailand, the group will be staying at the Joint U.S. Military Adviser Recreation Center at Pattaya Beach, for six full days. During this time, they’ll also camp out overnight in small groups at the JPC International Summer Camp at Coral Island, off Pattaya Beach.
One of the goodwill projects planned for the JPC youngsters is the repair of the Tin Wan Resettlement District play ground in Hong Kong. They’ll also work on some projects at schools and orphanages.
Another interesting feature of the tour is the experience of participating in sports activities such as soccer and basketball with native children in the countries to be visited.
“Parents should not be alarmed at the nature and activities of our tour,” Selas stressed during the JPC orientation. “We take extraordinary precautions concerning the health and safety of our members. Supervision is constant. Boys and girls camp out in tents only a minimal period, the majority of the time they are accommodated in deluxe hotels such as the Hong Kong Hilton. And the food is always the very best available,” Selas emphasized.
Summing up the orientation, Selas said the “cost of summer JPC world tour is cheaper than sending a child to a regular camp for the same period of time. This is because of the non profit basis of the program.”
For those who can’t afford the month-long summer tour, the Junior Peace Corps operates a one and two-week summer camp for boys and girls, ages 14 to 17. This is located at Lake Inawashiro, Bandai-Asahi National Park, at the base of Mt. Bandai, Fukushima, about four hours from Tokyo by train.
Summer camp sessions run from Aug. 6 to 13 for the first week and from Aug. 13 to 20 for the last week. Activities scheduled include swimming, baseball, boating, archery, water skiing and horseback riding. There will also be game contests with Japanese children.
Deadline for summer camp registration is June 17. Special transportation arrangements have been made to pick up the youngsters and take them to lake Inawashiro.
“Anyone who wants more in formation on the JPC and its activities can write to me at Namie Box 12, Fukushima-Ken 979-15, Japan,’ said Selas.
JPC information can also be obtained from any Special Services office in the Pacific Command. As a reminder, Selas said that there will be another JPC orientation at the Sanno Hotel at noon June 3. A special movie will be shown that highlights last year’s world tour.