Frank Selas III is accused of molesting children during a camping retreat

By Chris Harris
Updated February 01, 2016 01:35 PM
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Credit: U.S. Marshals Service/AP

A man who had hosted a children’s television show in Louisiana in the 1970s but then vanished amid child sex abuse allegations was arrested in California on decades-old charges last Monday.

Frank Selas III allegedly fled to Rio de Janeiro in 1979 at the age of 39 after learning warrants had been issued for his arrest, according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE. Selas, now 76, spent several years hosting the “Mr. Wonder” show on Louisiana’s KNOE-TV, according to police.

Warrants were issued in 1979 for Selas’ arrest after several children accused him of molesting them during a camping retreat. Selas’ alleged victims ranged in age between 5- and 11-year-old, the police statement says.

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During the 1980s, police say he returned to the states, spending time in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Illinois and California and using a number of aliases.

Two weeks ago, detectives developed information that Selas had legally changed his name and was living in Bonita, California.

Selas has been charged with two counts of obscene behavior with a juvenile and remains in police custody on an unspecified amount of bail. Court records do not indicate whether Selas has retained legal representation.