'Mr. Wonder' takes plea deal, gets 5 years hard labor
Frank Selas, the man known as “Mr. Wonder,” accepted a plea deal in Rapides Parish Thursday.
Selas pleaded guilty to indecent behavior with a juvenile and was sentenced to five years at hard labor with credit for time served, the maximum penalty in 1979 when the crime occured. He has three years left. He will not have to register as a sex offender because the registry did not exist in 1979 when the crime occurred.
During the 1970s, Selas hosted a children's television program on KNOE in Monroe. He was facing two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of sexual battery, and eight counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile stemming back to 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. He started he time in the Rapides Parish jail in January 2016.
Mike Small, the attorney for Selas, gave us this statement which reads in part, "It was a 'no brainer' for us." And, "While not everyone will agree with the outcome in this case it is the result of countless hours of meetings and negotiations between prosecution and defense attorneys all of whom were intimately familiar with the enormous amount of evidence generated during the years long investigation of this case. It is counsel's opinion that justice was ultimately served."
The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office gave us this statement which reads in part, "After several meetings and conversations with the victim in this matter, it was determined that due to the sensitive nature of this case it was in the best interest of the victim and his family to bring this matter to a conclusion in a manner that would avoid putting the victim and his family through a public trial which would have been covered by countless media outlets."