Wednesday, June 11, 2014 | NEWS
SCF man sentenced in online sting
Faced up to 85 years in prison
Greg Marsten | Staff writer
EAU CLAIRE – The St. Croix Falls man charged in an online sex sting where police posed as an underage male seeking sex, has been sentenced in Eau Claire County Circuit Court.
David R. Frank, 43, was charged with three felonies from an undercover operation using fake online Craigslist ads in late September. According to the criminal complaint, he attempted to solicit sex from a juvenile male whom he believed was 15 years old.
Frank admitted to police that he had the conversation with who he thought was a minor, hoping to have a sexual encounter and apparently smoke marijuana.
He appeared before Judge Paul J. Lenz on June 3 for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to one count of felony child enticement earlier this year. Frank accepted a reduced charge in a March 25 plea agreement, where two other felony counts were dismissed but entered as read-ins for sentencing considerations. The other felony charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 and felony using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime were applied to his sentence.
Lenz sentenced Frank to six months’ jail time, with so-called Huber work privileges. He may serve his jail time in another county, presumably closer to home. He is also on probation for five years.
Under the sentence, he cannot consume or possess any alcohol or illegal drugs but also cannot have any unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 18, unless it is approved by authorities, and the child’s parents must be made aware of his criminal record.
He must now register as a sex offender and following in the footsteps of how he was caught, he may not to go to Craigslist or other websites designed to arrange sexual encounters or relationships. He must also undergo a sex offender assessment and comply with sex offender registry rules. He must also submit a DNA sample, take any medications as prescribed and must go through alcohol and other drug assessment. He also has very limited Internet use, technically only for his work.
Frank was one of five men caught in the Eau Claire County sting, but was the only Polk County resident. In the criminal complaint, investigators stated that Frank contacted the Craigslist “actor” both on his laptop computer and later by text message on his cell phone, arranging a meeting stop at an Eau Claire McDonalds, which is where police made the arrest on Sept. 20. The other people caught by the sting operation face similar charges and were all arrested from the Craigslist ad over a two-day period.
Under the original felony charges, Frank faced the potential of up to 85 years in prison and over one-quarter million dollars in fines if convicted on all three counts. He had no previous convictions.