Man convicted of lewd conduct with minors gets 25 years in prison - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Man convicted of lewd conduct with minors gets 25 years in prison

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POCATELLO — A man convicted in March on two counts of lewd conduct with a minor has been ordered to spend 25 years to life in prison.

RELATED | Jury finds man twice guilty of lewd conduct with a minor, not guilty of a third

Todd Marshall Frandsen, 54, was sentenced Wednesday by District Judge Rick Carnaroli. Before issuing the sentence, Carnaroli spoke about his process for determining.

“Most days, I enjoy this job. Today is not one of them,” the judge said.

Carnaroli said he was not looking for sympathy and said described how cases like this weigh heavily on those assigned to decide the fate of another.

The judge said he had given much consideration to the crime, the 76 or so pages of letters he received in support of Frandsen and the effect the crimes had on the two victims. He then spoke to the request of a rider, made by Frandsen and his defense attorney, Ryan Black.

“I don’t think a rider would send the right message to this community or to you,” Carnaroli said.

RELATED | What is a rider?

Instead, Frandsen was ordered to spend 25 years to life in prison for each count — with the two terms to be served concurrently.

Todd Marshall Frandsen sentencing
Todd Frandsen sits beside his defense attorney, Ryan Black, while speaking on his own behalf during the sentencing hearing. | Kalama Hines,

Frandsen was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in 2021. Following a trial that lasted three days, a jury returned verdicts of guilty on two of the charges, and not guilty of the third.

The attacks took place around 10 years ago, according to victim testimony.

Frandsen was convicted of making sexual contact with the two victims, who were as young as 9 at the time. The victims also testified to the lengths Frandsen would go to to scare them.

Bannock County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erin Tognetti spoke during the hearing, saying that the older of the two victims — who are both in their 20s now — still barricades his closet door and blocks the space under his bed some 10 years later.

That victim also spoke, saying he hated Frandsen from the day he met the man.

Fighting back tears during his four-minute statement, the victim said his only goal was to regain any form of normalcy.

“I want my family to live normally,” the victim said. “I want my brothers to go to sleep at night.”

The other victim spoke for considerably longer, nervously shaking throughout. He described goals he had in life — to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to serve in the military, then to have a family.

He said flashbacks of the physical, psychological and sexual abuse began during his first dating relationship. He said the simple act of hugging the girl cause him to jump and cringe.

The issues persisted for so long, he said, they ended up costing him that relationship and forced him into counseling.

Now, he said, the PTSD and counseling has made him ineligible for his Latter-day Saint mission and may also eliminate him from eligibility to join the military. Flashbacks have also made it difficult to maintain a relationship or handle intimacy.

“I’m not allowed to go and serve God because of the problems this gave me,” he said, “and I’m most likely not going to be allowed to serve my country. If I can’t serve God, and I can’t serve my country, and I can’t form meaningful relationships, what is the point in me being here?”

He said he was struggling to find his purpose in life, adding, “I’m just a waste of resources. I’m a defect,” due to what happened to him as a child.

Three people — two brothers and a girlfriend — also spoke on behalf of Frandsen, describing him as a “jokester” with strong character — an “amazing human being.”

One of Frandsen’s brothers spoke briefly directly to Frandsen, saying, “Todd, we support ya.”

His girlfriend told the court that Frandsen is loved by her children like a father.

“I know in my heart of hearts that Todd is capable of reform,” she said.

Given the opportunity to speak on his own behalf, Frandsen called himself a family man. He said he was willing to serve a rider if the court wished. He said that spending the past month-plus in jail has shown him he has taken his family for granted and asked to be allowed to see his children grow.

Black, who requested a rider, said that there are programs designed specifically to rehabilitate those convicted of the crimes of which Frandsen had been convicted. He said these crimes were not a “pedophilia issue.”

“Putting Mr. Frandsen in a prison for the rest of his life is not going to fix what happened,” Black concluded.

Tognetti disagreed, saying Frandsen chose not to take part in the pre-sentence investigation and polygraph. She asked the court to take into account that many crimes like those Frandsen had been convicted of go unreported.

“This goes beyond somebody who touches children — he terrorizes children,” she said, citing an interview with the younger of the two victims in which he said Frandsen “figuratively killed” him.

She requested a prison term of 35 years to life.

Todd Marshall Frandsen
Todd Frandsen | Bannock County Jail

After listening to statements from the victims, those in support of Frandsen, both attorneys and Frandsen himself, Carnaroli spoke briefly. He first told Frandsen that, judging by the stack of letter he received, there were people who loved him.

Carnaroli added that he must respect Frandsen’s decision to not comply with the PSI and polygraph — which was his right.

Finally, he said that the punishment must serve as a deterrent for not just potential future acts by Frandsen, but what Carnaroli said is an increase in sexual crimes against children.

With that in mind, Carnaroli ordered Frandsen to spend a fixed minimum of 25 years — up to the remainder of his life — in prison. He also informed Frandsen of the 42 days he has to file any appeal regarding the conviction or sentence.

The judge waived fines but informed Frandsen he would be required to $1,091 in court fees, as well as the cost of DNA collection. Frandsen was also ordered to pay $3,062.76 to the Idaho victim’s compensation fund as restitution.

Upon release from prison, Frandsen will be required to register as a sex offender.