Teller County Crime

'Prospectors' star arrested in Teller County for child sex crimes

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TELLER COUNTY, Colo. - One of the stars of The Weather Channel's "Prospectors" and Woodland Park resident Rich Fretterd was booked into the Teller County Detention Center early Thursday morning for multiple crimes against children.

According to Colorado court records, Fretterd is charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child under 15, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count of sexual contact-coerce of a child.

An arrest affidavit obtained by KRDO says one of the victims reported to the Teller County Sheriff's Office that Fretterd had sexually abused her and another victim for three years from 2013 to 2016 when both victims were between the ages of 12 and 15. A third victim was identified as being abused in the summer of 2015. 

The victim said during an interview that Fretterd was a trusted family friend and was often entrusted to watch over the children. She said Fretterd first started paying the girls for minor chores, but eventually, he began exposing himself to them and offered more money to them in exchange for sexual acts, according to the arrest affidavit.

The victim told police about a third girl who had been a witness and victim to Fretterd's sexual requests, including one incident in which Fretterd allegedly coerced her with a new vapor smoking device.

Fretterd would give the girls alcohol and marijuana to "loosen them up" before a sexual encounter, the victim told police. 

Authorities were able to corroborate the victims' accounts by their similar description of a physical feature on Fretterd's body, thought police haven't yet independently verified the physical feature. Fretterd turned himself in on Wednesday night, soon after an arrest warrant was issued. 

Police said they're aware of three people who have talked about "ending the life of the suspect." Fretterd had fled from his house and was unreachable before his arrest Thursday, police said.

Fretterd had appeared on television in a series called Prospectors, a weekly reality television series that premiered on March 26, 2013, on The Weather Channel. The show follows miners in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as they look for precious metals and gems.

Officials with the Weather Channel tell us the network licensed "Prospectors" from a production company but would no longer be airing the program.

KRDO will have more on this story throughout the day and on NewsChannel 13 at 5 and 6 p.m.

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