Police still searching for convicted molester


Police continue to search for a Seymour man who failed to show up Wednesday for the second day of his trial, which ended in a child molesting conviction.

Franklin E. Lee, 40, was found guilty by a Jackson Circuit Court jury on that Level 1 felony, which is punishable by 20 to 40 years in prison. Sentencing is set for 3:30 p.m. Nov. 7.

He had not been arrested as of press time Wednesday.

While he attended the first day of trial on Tuesday, Lee did not return Wednesday. Before the trial started Wednesday, he had been out of jail on a $10,000 bond since Oct. 11, 2018, according to court records.

Judge Richard W. Poynter issued a warrant for his arrest after the 12-member jury reached its verdict around 11:20 a.m. That verdict was delivered after less than a half hour of deliberations.

Lee was arrested in April 2018 after an incident where he touched a child, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The incident was investigated by Seymour Police Department and Indiana Department of Child Services and was prompted from a child talking about it with a teacher at school.

Lee later admitted to his wife the incident had occurred, but that he had been drinking alcohol. His wife told officers Lee told her that he "didn’t do anything bad" but touched the child, according to a probable cause affidavit signed by School Resource Officer Keith Williams.

Three witnesses testified at the trial including the victim, Lee’s wife and Detective Troy Munson. 

Lee did not testify, but would have had the opportunity to had he attended court Wednesday.

Evidence included a statement Lee made to Munson, photographs and text messages.

Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant said any cases involving child molesting are difficult, but he was satisfied the state got the verdict it sought.

"It’s absolutely a horrible crime and there’s no winners here, but hopefully the justice will give peace to the victim and the victim’s family," he said.

The child molesting charge was a Level 1 felony in this case because the child was under the age of 14 and Lee was older than 21.

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Police are looking for Franklin E. Lee. If you know his whereabouts or have seen him, call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 812-358-2141 or the Seymour Police Department at 812-522-1234.

Name: Franklin E. Lee

Age: 40

Height: 5’11"

Weight: 145 pounds


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