POCATELLO — A 52-year-old former Pocatello man is expected to stand trial for three felony counts of lewd conduct following a ruling from a 6th District judge in Bannock County on Friday.
Sixth District Judge Gaylen Box announced that he found sufficient evidence to move the case involving Todd Marshall Frandsen, of San Diego, toward trial following a preliminary hearing lasting two days. The Idaho State Journal attended the hearing via Zoom.
Frandsen has been charged with three counts of felony lewd conduct for allegedly sexually abusing three underage boys at his former home in Pocatello between 2009 and 2016, according to court records and police reports the Idaho State Journal obtained in August.
Frandsen is alleged to have sexually abused one of the boys between January 2009 and December 2012 beginning when the boy was 10 years old, another boy between January 2012 and December 2015 beginning when the boy was 10 years old and one other boy between January 2015 and December 2016 beginning when the boy was 3 years old.
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.
In addition to the sexual abuse, police reports and court documents the Idaho State Journal obtained in August allege Frandsen had physically and psychologically abused the three boys in Pocatello and in California. Two of the boys are now adults and one boy is currently 9 years old.
During the first day of Franden’s preliminary hearing on Thursday, Box denied a motion from Frandsen’s Boise-based attorney Ryan Black to dismiss the case. Box reserved judgement on another motion to quash the arrest warrant against Frandsen and dismiss the case against him and tabled it for a later date after the preliminary hearing. A hearing for that motion has not yet been scheduled.
Box on Thursday also granted a motion from Erin Tognetti, the Bannock County senior deputy prosecutor handling the case, to allow an exception to the hearsay rule. The granted motion allowed the forensic interviewer who met with both the 9-year-old and the two now-adult victims to testify about what the 9-year-old victim said during the interview as to not require the boy to take the witness stand.
Both of the now-adult victims testified on Thursday and the forensic interviewer testified on Friday.
With Box finding sufficient evidence in the case it will now get elevated from the magistrate to district court level. Frandsen will then be arraigned in district court and a trial date will be scheduled.
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.