“Mr. Wonder will now have to register as sex offender” & related articles and VIDEO

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KAQY                                      KNOE 8

By Brooke Buford

 

Frank Selas, aka Mr. Wonder (courtesy: RPSO)

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) – Frank Selas, 78, the former Monroe children’s TV show host known as “Mr. Wonder” who took a plea deal last week as part of his sex assault case dating back to 1979, will now have to register as a sex offender.

During the 1970s, Selas hosted a children’s television program on KNOE in Monroe. He was facing two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of sexual battery, and eight counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile stemming back to allegations that he sexually assaulted a child on a camping trip in Rapides Parish in June 1979. As authorities went to arrest him at the time, he fled the country. He was captured in California in 2015. He started his time in the Rapides Parish jail in January 2016.

Selas pleaded guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile and was sentenced to five years at hard labor with credit for time served, the maximum penalty in 1979 when the crime occurred. He has three years left, but due to good behavior, he will most likely be out in July.

Initially, the court didn’t think he would have to register as a sex offender because the registry didn’t exist in 1979. But, in a last minute hearing called on Thursday, Selas was brought back into court and told he will have to register as a sex offender and will be classified as a tier 1 offender, meaning he will have to register for the next 15 years.

“It’s no loss at all,” said Mike Small, the attorney for Selas. “We are satisfied with the sentence that was imposed. He was facing two life sentences on the aggravated rape counts in addition to 70 years on the other counts in the indictment. He was sentenced to five years. By our calculations, will be parole release eligible in July of this year.”

“For all practical reasons, he needs to register,” said Sheriff William Earl Hilton. “When he goes back home, there will be children in the neighborhood. There is a playground right next to his home. I’m satisfied. The court is satisfied. The DA is satisfied. This is another hurdle we had to get over. We accomplished that.”

The location of where Selas will be sent to prison has not been determined yet by the DOC. But, according to those involved with the case, they expect him to be sent to Hunt Correctional Facility.

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Mr. Wonder’ takes plea deal, gets 5 years hard labor

KALB

 

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – Frank Selas, the man known as “Mr. Wonder,” accepted a plea deal in Rapides Parish Thursday.

Frank Selas, aka Mr. Wonder (courtesy: RPSO)

Selas pleaded guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile and was sentenced to five years at hard labor with credit for time served, the maximum penalty in 1979 when the crime occured. He has three years left. He will not have to register as a sex offender because the registry did not exist in 1979 when the crime occurred.

During the 1970s, Selas hosted a children’s television program on KNOE in Monroe. He was facing two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of sexual battery, and eight counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile stemming back to allegations that he sexually assaulted a child on a camping trip in Rapides Parish in June 1979. As authorities went to arrest him at the time, he fled the country. He was captured in California in 2015. He started he time in the Rapides Parish jail in January 2016.

Mike Small, the attorney for Selas, gave us this statement which reads in part, “It was a ‘no brainer’ for us.” And, “While not everyone will agree with the outcome in this case it is the result of countless hours of meetings and negotiations between prosecution and defense attorneys all of whom were intimately familiar with the enormous amount of evidence generated during the years long investigation of this case. It is counsel’s opinion that justice was ultimately served.”

The Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office gave us this statement which reads in part, “After several meetings and conversations with the victim in this matter, it was determined that due to the sensitive nature of this case it was in the best interest of the victim and his family to bring this matter to a conclusion in a manner that would avoid putting the victim and his family through a public trial which would have been covered by countless media outlets.”

3 Responses to “Mr. Wonder will now have to register as sex offender” & related articles and VIDEO

  1. Sylvia says:

    Remember Frank Selas? In the late 60s and/or early 70s he taught at the scandal plagued St. Mary’s International School in Japan, the school run by the the Canadian branch of the Brothers of Christian Instruction. There are stories circulating that Selas was kicked out of SMIS becasue of his conduct around young boys.

    It looks like Selas got quite a deal here. Small wonder his lawyer is jubilant. Look at this:

    “He was facing two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of sexual battery, and eight counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile stemming back to allegations that he sexually assaulted a child on a camping trip in Rapides Parish in June 1979. As authorities went to arrest him at the time, he fled the country. He was captured in California in 2015.”

    And he ended up pleading guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile!

    Remember when this long-time fugitive was finally caught his lawyer claimed police had the wrong guy?

    He may be out this summer! Living close to a school. But, have no fear, he’ll be on the sex offenders registry. In other words – if it’s the same as here in Canada, which I think it is – if a child is molested or murdered in that general area Selas’ name is on the list as registered sex offender living in the area and police can check to see if he is the culprit. What that does to give genuine solace to parents and protect children before they are molested is beyond me. What is it that I don’t understand about adding a name to the registry?

    Anyway, a great deal for Selas.

    And this from the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office:

    “After several meetings and conversations with the victim in this matter, it was determined that due to the sensitive nature of this case it was in the best interest of the victim and his family to bring this matter to a conclusion in a manner that would avoid putting the victim and his family through a public trial which would have been covered by countless media outlets.”

    Is this really what the victim wanted? I don’t know, but I do know that I am tired of reading about authorities both in and out of the Church who when speaking to victims are presumably tied up in knots about the ‘sensitive’ nature of allegations, and the ‘shame’ which the victims may feel and so on and so forth.

    Why for goodness sake are authorities not working tirelessly to bring an end to the stigma and shame which victims of childhood sexual abuse feel? When authorities think and speak like this is it any wonder victims feel saddled with shame? Why are they not helping victims to break free of those bonds and place the blame and shame and stigma where it rightly belongs? right smack dab on the shoulders of their molester.

    Anyway, there it is. A guilty plea…. A plea deal.

    Selas’ lawyer is quoted in part as saying: “While not everyone will agree with the outcome in this case…”

    Amen to that!!

    Please keep the Selas victims in your prayers

  2. Miecul says:

    5 years hard labour. I wonder……

  3. Martha says:

    I grew up in the Monroe area and remember both Selas’ show and the case. I’m glad he was caught. However, the offender registry isn’t foolproof, as I’m sure you know. Currently, I live in southeast Texas and know a local McDonald’s hired a child molester without doing a background check first. A customer alerted the restaurant management, who then fired him. He should never have been hired to start with. Good grief, what is one of the places kids love in the U.S.? I don’t know if he was desperate for work or purposely placed himself in a place where there are lots of kids. Either way, there could have been another victim if that customer hadn’t spoken up.

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