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Sex offender returns to prison for trying to pick up kids in stolen school bus

Sex offender returns to prison for trying to pick up kids in stolen school bus

(Emery County Sheriff's Office)


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CASTLE DALE — A sex offender has accepted a plea deal and been sentenced to prison on charges that he stole a school bus in Emery County last year and used it to try to pick up children.

Patrick James Fredericksen, 31, entered no contest pleas on Wednesday to attempted child kidnapping, reduced to a second-degree felony, as well as three counts of theft, including two second-degree felonies and one third-degree felony. A remaining misdemeanor charge of driving with a measurable controlled substance was dismissed.

In exchange for Fredericksen's plea, prosecutors recommended concurrent prison sentences.

Seventh District Judge Douglas Thomas followed the recommendation. Fredericksen was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison, with two identical terms and a term of zero to five years to be served concurrently.

Fredericksen was arrested in April 2015 after reports came in of a slow-moving, suspicious school bus driving through Emery County. It soon became clear that Fredericksen matched the description in two additional suspicious persons calls that day: A landscaper who was behaving oddly and walked away from his job with a set of master keys, and a man seen lurking near a funeral home shortly before an employee's car disappeared.

Inside the stolen bus, Fredericksen found a list of names and directions for students who rode the bus and tried to pick one child up at her home, according to police. He was also asking directions to a second child's home, investigators said.

Fredericksen, who was paroled from the Utah State Prison in August 2013, was previously convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, impersonating a police officer, forgery, theft, possession of an altered prescription, and criminal mischief, according to court records. He was also charged in 2005 with sexual exploitation of a minor and dealing in material harmful to a minor, but the case was dismissed as part of an apparent plea bargain that resolved another case against him, court records show.

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McKenzie Romero

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