Indiana man arraigned in 35-year-old child molestation cold case

 Indiana man arraigned in 35-year-old child molestation cold case

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that an Indiana man has been arraigned in Washington County Superior Court following his indictment by a grand jury charging him with sexually assaulting two female victims under the age of 14, in Exeter in 1987.

On October 17, 2022, the Statewide Grand Jury returned a sealed indictment charging Frank Thies (age 66) of Terre Haute, Ind., with two counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of first-degree sexual assault.

After the sealed indictment was returned, the Superior Court issued a warrant for the arrest of the defendant, who was apprehended in Indiana and extradited back to Rhode Island, where he was arraigned today before Superior Court Justice Melanie Wilk Thunberg.

As alleged in the indictment, the defendant is charged with sexually assaulting two female victims, who were under the age of 14, at knifepoint in a wooded area in Exeter in 1987.

The initial investigation by the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) following the assaults did not develop any suspects and the case went cold. In 2022, the RISP successfully identified the defendant as the alleged perpetrator through forensic genealogy and DNA testing.

The defendant is held with out bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions. He is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on November 23, 2022, in Washington County Superior Court.

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