DULUTH (WCCO) — A 42-year-old Duluth man has been sentenced for abducting a 13-year-old girl and taking her across state lines to sexually abuse her, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
In federal court in Duluth Monday, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank sentenced Todd Richard Franik to 30 years in prison.
According to court documents, Franik abducted the girl, who was walking her dog, in Duluth at about 3 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2010. He lured the girl to his parked car by asking for directions. He then grabbed her and the dog and forced them into his trunk.
Franik then drove the car around for 15 to 20 minutes, entering Wisconsin and returning back into Minnesota, before stopping in a wooded area.
While in the woods, Franik removed the girl and the dog from the trunk. He then sexually abused the girl.
Afterwards, he used duct tape to wrap the girl’s hands, feet and secured her to a fallen tree. He also tore his shirt, stuffed the cloth into her mouth and covered her mouth with more duct tape. He then drove away.
The girl was eventually able to free herself and made her way to a business in Superior, Wis. where authorities were called.
Later, while law enforcement officials were recovering evidence (scraps of duct tape, fresh shoe prints) from the woods, they noticed a car repeatedly drive past them on a nearby highway. Because the car matched the description of the car used in the crime, authorities traced the car’s license plate number.
Authorities located the car in a Duluth parking lot and placed it under surveillance.
On Aug. 3, 2010, officers watched Franik approach his car and open the trunk. As officers moved in, they spotted the duct tape and other evidence in the crime. He was then arrested without incident.
Franik was indicted on Oct. 5, 2010. He pleaded guilty on Nov. 5, 2010 to one count of interstate transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
After sentencing Franik to 30 years in prison, Frank said that anything less would be insufficient to promote respect for the law and protect the public.