Kidnapping Suspect Awaits Separate Attack Trial
A southwestern Illinois man accused of kidnapping a boy and keeping him in his basement has been awaiting trial on 2009 charges that he attacked a different boy in a store's bathroom, court records show.
Prosecutors in Monroe County charged Robert Fricke, 45, with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint in connection with the case of a boy found Saturday in Fricke's Columbia home. Authorities have declined to say how long that boy, identified only as being younger than 13, had been missing.
Fricke remained jailed Wednesday on $250,000.
Fricke has been awaiting trial on a St. Clair County misdemeanor battery count related to his alleged August 2009 attack of a 7-year-old boy in a Target store's bathroom, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The criminal complaint alleges Fricke choked the boy before he managed to escape.
The boy's father told the newspaper the boy was with his mother when he went in to the bathroom, though it isn't clear if Fricke allegedly already was in that restroom or followed the boy into it.
Fricke's attorney, James Gomrick, has frequently delayed the trial, court records show.
In November 2009, Gomric filed a motion to determine Fricke's competency, arguing Fricke has had diminished mental capacity and Gomric "has a bona fide doubt as to the defendant's ability to appreciate the criminality of his conduct."
That competency hearing is scheduled for Dec. 1.
A message left Wednesday with Gomric was not immediately returned.