Police: Boy, 11, identified man who exposed himself in Brentwood store

2012-08-28T11:30:00Z 2012-09-28T16:23:32Z Police: Boy, 11, identified man who exposed himself in Brentwood storeBY KIM BELL • kbell@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8115 stltoday.com

BRENTWOOD • An 11-year-old boy identified a Ladue man in a police lineup as the man who exposed himself to the boy in the restroom of a Home Depot in Brentwood last winter, police say.

Police say they spent months investigating the case, and used store receipts and surveillance video to track down Christopher A. Frank, 42, of the 700 block of Cella Road. He was charged last week with sexual misconduct, a felony, in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Brentwood Police Chief Steve Disbennett said the incident at the Home Depot at 1603 South Hanley Road happened in November 2011. The boy was at the store with his father and went into the restroom while his father waited in the store.

While in the stall, the boy noticed a man in the next stall get down on his knees and expose his genitals under the stall, authorities said. The man then allegedly laid on the ground watching the boy use the restroom.

The boy went out and told his father right away, but the man was gone when the father went to find him, police say.

Disbennett said police identified Frank as their suspect through receipts, video and a lineup.

They arrested Frank on March 29. He was released a day later. Police presented their case to the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney's office on April 3, Disbennett said.

Disbennett said his is a small department and "it took a few months to develop all this information." 

As for the delay in getting charges, Disbennett said, "It's just what the system is. Once we hand it over to the prosecutor's office, it's up to them."

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said the delay appears to have come from assigning and scheduling the case with a prosecutor who was busy with other sex crimes trials.

"We try to get to those cases as quickly as possible but sometimes it just takes longer than we'd like," McCulloch said.

A telephone message that a Post-Dispatch reporter left for Frank was not returned on Tuesday morning.

His attorney, Derek Rudman, declined to talk about the details of the allegations but said Frank denies them.

"He adamantly and categorically denies the allegations and looks forward to clearing his good name and continue doing the good work that he's done in the past in trying to make a positive difference for people," Rudman said.

When Frank was arrested, he listed his employer as Cfx Inc., an advertising, design and communications firm in St. Louis. The ad agency is housed in the former Holy Family Catholic Church in the city's Tower Grove South neighborhood.

Last year, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay presented Cfx with a "Mayor's Spirit of St. Louis Award" for renovating the former church into office space.

A LinkedIn profile of Frank had listed an affiliation with the Danforth Center, but a spokeswoman said: "Chris Frank is a former volunteer who is no longer affiliated with the Danforth Center." His company had been involved with the Danforth Center's corporate program, as a volunteer.

It also says he is a former member of St. Louis Children's Hospital's development board, which is a fundraising board and not a governing one. His term ended in 2009, a hospital spokeswoman said.

In 2007, a feature story in the Post-Dispatch took a look at the home Frank and his wife, Megan Frank, had renovated and decorated. The article identified him as president and founder of Cfx. They had two daughters who were then 7 and 4 years old.

Valerie Schremp Hahn of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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