ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Frank Selas, the former Monroe children's TV show host known as Mr. Wonder, who is currently serving a five-year sentence after accepting a plea deal back in January for pleading guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile, is now under the microscope of the federal government.
His state conviction stemmed from 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. His case in the Rapides Parish 9th Judicial District Court wrapped in January with his plea.
In July, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California filed a complaint against Selas (a.k.a. John Frank Szeles) for "willfully and knowingly" making false statements in an application for a passport when he applied for one on July 11, 2014. The complaint was signed by special agent Kurt Vogeley with the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service based out of San Diego.
The complaint states that when Selas applied for the 2014 passport renewal, he did not write his previous name of "Frank John Selas" and instead wrote that his name was "Frank John Szeles." He used that passport for a trip to Mexico.
On Wednesday, Selas appeared in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria because of the California complaint to make his initial appearance. He was there with Mike Small, his attorney through the state proceedings.
Small gave us this statement: "The sole purpose of the hearing today before Judge Perez-Montes was to establish that Mr. Selas was indeed the person referenced in the recent federal filings out of the Southern District of California. I appeared with Mr. Selas and stipulated that my client was indeed the person referred to in the complaint, arrest warrant, and detainer."
According to those connected with the case, Selas is now in the custody of the U.S. Marshals and will soon be transported to a facility in California. If convicted, Selas faces up to 10 years.