Frank Thies, now 66, was arraigned on November 17, 2022 for sexual assaulting an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old girl on April 12, 1987 in Exeter, Rhode Island. The girls were playing tennis when Thies approached them. He then forced them at knifepoint into the woods, where he sexually assaulted them.
A DNA sample had been obtained from semen found on one of the victim’s clothing. The case was reopened in 2019 by the Special Victims Unit of the Rhode Island State Police. The FGG investigation was conducted by Identifinders. The initial confirmation was made by the Indiana State Police through the surreptitious sampling of a beer bottle, soda can, and food wrappers that Thies had discarded.
Thies, who served in the U.S. Marines and the Navy, was found to have reported for duty at the Naval Justice Academy in Newport the day before the sexual assaults. Thies is facing a charge of first-degree sexual assault and two charges of first-degree child molestation in Washington County Superior Court. He had pled not guilty and is being held without bail. Police are investigating whether Thies is connected to any other sexual assaults in places where he has lived over the years.
Associated Press. “Indiana Man Arrested for 1987 Sex Assault of 2 Girls in Rhode Island.” WTHR 13 News, November 17, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. https://www.wthr.com/article/news/crime/terre-haute-man-arrested-1987-sex-assault-girls-in-rhode-island/531-48bf0ba1-69d9-452b-a5c5-52ba02453d20.
Doiron, Sarah. “Suspect in 1987 Sex Assault Case Pleads Not Guilty.” WPRI News 12, November 17, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. https://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/south-county/suspect-in-1987-sex-assault-case-pleads-not-guilty/.
Perry, Jack. “Indiana Man Arrested in 35-Year-Old ‘Cold Case’ Sex Assault of Two Girls in Exeter.” The Providence Journal, November 17, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/2022/11/17/ri-cold-case-sexual-assault-girls-indiana-man-arrested-charged/69656206007/.