POCATELLO — A California man has been arrested and charged in Bannock County with three counts of felony lewd conduct with a child under 16 after police say he sexually abused three underage boys there between 2009 and 2016.
In addition to the sexual abuse, police reports and court documents the Idaho State Journal obtained Thursday allege that Todd Marshall Frandsen, 52, of San Diego, California, had physically and psychologically abused the three boys in Pocatello and in California.
Frandsen sexually abused one of the boys between January 2009 and December 2012 beginning when the boy was 10 years old, sexually abused another boy between January 2012 and December 2015 beginning when the boy was 10 years old, and sexually abused one other boy between January 2015 and December 2016 beginning when the boy was 3 years old, according to the criminal complaint charging Frandsen with the three felony sex crimes. All three felony sex crimes are alleged to have occurred in Bannock County.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office began investigating this incident in June after one of the boys Frandsen is accused of sexually abusing, who is now an adult, contacted deputies to disclose the alleged abuse, citing fears that it was happening to other children, police reports say.
The now-adult victim told sheriff’s deputies that as a child, Frandsen would frequently sneak into his bedroom at night to terrorize him, scratching his fingernails on the walls while whispering the boy’s name in a creepy voice, police reports say. Frandsen would allegedly sing altered versions of nursery rhymes such as, “Ring around the Rosie, pocket full of posies, you’re going to die, don’t scream, you’re going to die, I’m going to kill you,” according to police reports.
The now-adult victim told deputies that Frandsen would throw him into walls and squeeze his muscles so hard “that it felt as though he was going to rip his muscle from his bone,” police reports say.
Police conducted forensic interviews with all three of the alleged victims at a local child advocacy center in June and July. All three of the alleged victims described encounters where Frandsen forced them into lewd sexual acts, ”terrorized” them on a nightly basis and threatened to kill them if they ever disclosed the abuse, police said. The victims said the abuse occurred in Montana, Idaho, Utah and California.
Bannock County prosecutors initially charged Frandsen with two counts of felony lewd conduct with a child under 16 on July 28 and a national arrest warrant was issued for Frandsen, court records say. On Aug. 2, prosecutors filed an amended criminal complaint against Frandsen that added one additional count of felony lewd conduct against a child under 16 bringing the total to three counts.
Frandsen then sought out representation from Idaho Falls-based attorney Jedediah Bigelow, who on Aug. 19 filed a motion to quash the arrest warrant and dismiss the case against Frandsen, according to court records. Bigelow filed the request to quash the arrest warrant and dismiss the case on the grounds that none of the disclosures from the three victims made a clear factual basis that the alleged crimes occurred in Idaho, court records show.
Bannock County Prosecutors filed its own motion in opposition to Bigelow’s motion on Aug. 20 and provided the court with two supplemental police reports that contained information that made it clear the allegations against Frandsen occurred in Idaho, according to court records.
Bigelow filed a reply to that motion on Aug. 24 that reiterated the request to dismiss the case against Frandsen on the grounds that “the State has failed to present a well-investigated case that provides substantial evidence of probable cause,” that the allegations are true, court records say.
The national arrest warrant issued for Frandsen was returned on Aug. 26 when he was arrested in San Diego, California. He was then extradited back to Idaho and incarcerated at the Bannock County Jail in Pocatello, according to court records. He is currently being held with a $15,000 bond.
Bigelow and Bannock County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erin Tognetti will be back in court on Wednesday to provide arguments for and against the motion to quash the arrest warrant and dismiss the case.
Frandsen is due back in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing in which Tognetti will attempt to present the court with enough evidence to elevate the case from the magistrate to district court level in preparation that the goes trial.
If convicted of just one of the three felony lewd conduct with a child under 16 charges, Frandsen faces up to life in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.