~ by Rick Langenberg ~
It’s been a busy time for the Teller County Sheriff’s Department with some high-profile arrests.
On Thursday, sheriff officers played a key role in the re-arrest of television star Richard Fretterd, who was featured on the Weather Channel’s “Prospectors” show. Fretterd failed to show up to be fitted for an ankle bracelet last week, as part of his court orders after posting a $25,000 bond.
He was previously arrested on a spree of charges for a variety of sex crimes involving children.
This failed appearance at the courthouse alerted sheriff authorities, who discovered the suspect at a family member’s home in Colorado Springs at 13th Street and Colorado Avenue, with the help of another agency. Fretterd surrendered to authorities and was transported to the Teller County jail without incident.
Authorities stated that the family member cooperated and no additional charges will be filed.
According to television news reports, Fretterd claimed a misunderstanding existed on the conditions of his bond and that he didn’t realize he had to report for an ankle bracelet the same day. He had posted a cash bond on Wednesday afternoon
But in several media interviews, Teller sheriff authorities weren’t buying his excuse. “He was playing dumb about the judge’s order,” said Teller County Sheriff Commander Greg Couch, according to a news report in The (Colorado Springs) Gazette. Plus, speculation abounded that Fretterd may have been trying to evade authorities altogether due to the seriousness of his crimes. If convicted of these sex crimes, he could find himself in jail for the rest of his life, according to authorities.
This fact has led some to believe he may have been plotting an escape and was clearly “on the run.”
Fretterd was charged on the early morning of Dec. 14 on two counts of sexual assault of a victim under 15 by someone in a position of trust and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and once cojnt of coercing a child to engage in sexual contact, according to court records.
The investigation started in early December when several teens told sheriff officers that they had been repeatedly assaulted by Fretterd, regarded as a family friend and neighbor, for a several year period between 2013 and 2016. The girls’ stories clearly panned out, according to sheriff authorities. In addition, another victim confirmed the girls’ reports.
The case has attracted much local attention due to Fretterd’s mini-celebrity status. He was featured on the Prospectors reality television show that focused on the antics of miners searching for rare gem stones and treasures in isolated spots, such as Teller County. In fact, he had been the subject of several media interviews due to his role on the Prospectors show.
Fretterd will remain in jail until his next hearing.