By Amber McMurray
Phoenix, AZ - A physical-education teacher at a Phoenix elementary school has been charged with child molestation and luring a minor for sexual exploitation, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records.
Frank Todorich, 55, of Phoenix, was indicted Monday on one count of molestation of a child and two counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation, court records show. He is being held without bond because molestation of a child under 15 years old is "not bailable as a matter of right." His arraignment is scheduled for today.
Todorich, a teacher at Arroyo Elementary School in Phoenix, was arrested at his home last week following a months-long investigation by Phoenix police's information-technology unit, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said.
The alleged incidents date to 2010, when three adult witnesses reported Todorich fondled a student during a physical-education class, according to court documents.
But Todorich was not arrested because the student did not corroborate the witnesses' claims, Trump said.
"The victim gave plausible reasons for the conduct and indicated that the conduct was not unwanted and was not improper," he said. "Now even though witnesses felt that it was, without the victim in that particular case after we did our investigation, we did not forward on or move forward with a case."
In 2011, police said, Todorich created a Facebook profile portraying himself as a 16-year-old boy living in Phoenix and began having online conversations with a different boy under 15 years of age, court documents state.
After the boy told Todorich he was younger than 15, Todorich solicited him for sexual acts on May 25, 2011, and May 26, 2011.
In May 2012, the boy's mother found the conversations on her son's Facebook page and called police, Trump said.
The boy and Todorich "did not meet. There was no actual sexual conduct that we're aware of," he said. "It was an attempt to lure the minor child, and those messages were found by the mother, so then we began an investigation."
A Phoenix investigator created a Facebook page posing as a minor under 15, and was able to get Todorich to engage in conversation and ultimately attempt "to lure what he thought was another minor for sexual exploitation," Trump said.
The investigation gave police more evidence, he said.
"It enabled us to create a case on our own in which we were certain that the suspect who was engaging in the conduct knew the age," Trump said. "So it's strengthening or making that case."
Arroyo Elementary sent a letter home to parents Tuesday informing them Todorich had been arrested.
He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, the letter says.