Local man accused of lewd conduct with two children
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story contains graphic and disturbing details about the alleged sexual abuse against children. User discretion is advised.
POCATELLO — A former Pocatello resident was arrested Wednesday in San Diego, and if convicted could face as much as life in prison.
Todd Marshall Frandsen, 52, is accused of physically, psychologically and sexually assaulting minors, and has been charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16, according to court documents.
Detectives from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a boy who was known to Frandsen in June, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The boy told the detectives he and another boy had been assaulted by Frandsen from 2009 to 2016.
During a June 19 interview, the boy told detectives he decided to come forward after learning Frandsen had allegedly assaulted the second boy. The first victim said he felt his ability to deter continued assault forced Frandsen to victimize a younger boy.
The boy described to officers that Marshall was physically abusive, throwing him against walls and squeezing him until he felt as if his muscle was being pulled from his bone.
Then Frandsen began sneaking into the victim’s room at night, using a demonic-sounding voice while calling out his name.
Frandsen used those voices while singing, “Ring around the rosies. Pocket full of posies. You’re going to die, don’t scream. You’re going to die, I’m going to kill you,” the affidavit reads. Frandsen would climb into the boy’s bed and sexually abuse him while fondling himself, the boy told detectives.
Frandsen told the boy that if he ever told anyone, Frandsen would kill him.
Fearing for his life, the boy, 10 or 11 at the time, began sleeping with a knife under his pillow.
One night, during one of these attacks, the boy pulled the knife and put it to Frandsen’s neck, saying that he would kill Frandsen if he ever entered his room again.
That time, Frandsen slowly backed away and left the room.
Frandsen continued coming into his room at night, the boy said, though it was less often. Frandsen began removing the knife from the boy’s room before he would go to bed. The boy said that when he could not find the knife in his bed, he would sleep pushed against the railing of his bed, grasping the railing as tight as possible so Frandsen would not be able to touch him sexually.
Eventually, Frandsen stopped coming to the boy’s room.
The boy recently found out that, when Frandsen was no longer able to assault him, Frandsen began assaulting a second boy. In the interview with detectives, he expressed guilt for the victimization of the younger boy.
The boy told detectives that Frandsen had moved to Orange County, California.
Detectives informed the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of the investigation. They also alerted the Department of Health and Welfare in that area.
On May 26, the mother of the younger victim contacted the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, reporting the assaults.
She said that her son, who was between the ages of 3 and 5 at the time of the assaults, told her that Frandsen physically and sexually assaulted him, and had forced him to perform sexual acts.
The second victim told his mother stories similar to those of the first — that Frandsen beat him, threatened to kill him, and groped him. In interviews conducted by the Idaho Department of Welfare, the second boy provided graphic details about many incidents in which Frandsen contacted him.
His mother told detectives that the boy was so scared he was unable to sleep at night, and had built what he called “the bunker” in his mother’s closet. There, he would hide, under a body pillow used as a doorway, where he was safe.
A warrant was issued for Frandsen’s arrest on June 28. He was arrested around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 in San Diego, and brought back to Pocatello, where he was booked at Bannock County Jail.
Following an Aug. 26 arraignment hearing, Frandsen posted a $15,000 bond and was released. No contact orders were issued for both victims.
Frandsen is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 2.
If found guilty, he could face two life sentences and up to $100,000 in fines.