was a Mormon church member in Utah; sentenced to prison twice for child sexual abuse

Case Summary

Michael Fritchen has been a serial child molester and sexual predator for many years.

In April 1993, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years of incarceration in a military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas for first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child. He was also discharged from the US military.

He was incarcerated when he contributed to at least three parental or relationship advice articles published by the LDS church (see sources below).

Fritchen was later released from Leavenworth, KS.

In 1998, he was convicted of sodomy of a child.

He served prison time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota and was released in 2000.

From 2000-2011, he was a clinical nurse who worked with infants in Newborn ICU wards at various hospitals throughout Utah.

He did not register as a sexual offender and continued to hold various positions and callings in his community and work.

In 2011 in Utah, Fritchen was charged with and convicted of failure to register as a sex offender and lost his job with the University of Utah Hospital. He was sentenced to 360 days in prison, but the prison term was suspended. He was also placed on probation for 18 months, which he completed.

In 2014, he began babysitting two underage girls while their mother received chemotherapy.

In January 2020, Fritchen’s laptop was seized and more than 13,000 possible child sexual abuse material items were found, including images of infant, toddler, and prepubescent rape. He was charged in 2nd District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

Thanks to your donations, FLOODLIT has obtained court documents in Fritchen’s cases.

January 2020 – from court doc: “On January 19, 2020, ICAC officers executed a search warrant at defendant’s home. On defendant’s computer, they located thousands of images of child pornography and thousands of search terms related to child pornography. Defendant has previously been convicted of sodomy on a child and failure to register as a sex offender.”

From a probable cause affidavit: “I received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The CyberTip was sent to NCMEC from Microsoft Bing image, who reported that an image of child pornography had been uploaded to their site.

IP Address [IP address] 01-02-2019 03:45:57 UTC was used to upload the image to Bing

[***WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT***]

I viewed the attached image which shows a young prepubescent child on her hands and knees. She is wearing a yellow and white shirt and is completely nude from the waist down. An adult male is seen standing behind the child and is holding his erect penis with his right hand. This image represents that he is about to vaginally or anally penetrate the young child.

[***END GRAPHIC CONTENT***]

After viewing the image I ran the IP address through Maxmind.com which gave the following information:
[IP address] US North Salt Lake, Utah, United States, North America 84054 [location] Echo Broadband

I then sent a judicial subpoena to Echo Broadband and received the Echo broadband subpoena results associated with the IP: [IP address].

The results are as follows:
Primary Contact: Mike Fritchen
Address: North Salt Lake UT, 84054.

This account has had the same IP address since January 18, 2017.

I then ran the provided names and phone numbers and also associations with the address. I found that Michael Fritchen (12/08/1955) had a criminal history that included sodomy with a child and indecent acts with a child in 1998. In 2011, Michael was charged in the 2nd District Court in Farmington for failure to register as a sex offender and was convicted.

On or about April 13, 1993 Respondent was sentenced to 10 years confinement. Respondent was also discharged from the military. Respondent was later incarcerated at Leavenworth, Kansas and the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota. Respondent was released from confinement in 2000.

On 06/05/20019 myself and members of the FBI child exploitation task force executed a search warrant at Michael’s residence, located in North Salt Lake City. There, we located a computer that only has login accounts for Michael. The computer was submitted to the FBI RCFL and a forensic search was completed. Over 13,000 images of child pornography were located on his computer, and under his account. There were also thousands of search terms that were located where he searched for child pornography.

I believe these to be additional condition(s) for continued detention:

The current offense is a felony. The court finds substantial evidence to support the charge, and finds by clear and convincing evidence that ? would constitute a substantial danger to any another individual or to the community, or is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court if released on bail.

The child pornography located on Michael’s computer was of infant, toddler and prepubescent rape. There were thousands of images located on his computer that represented juveniles being raped.

[***WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT***]

He also had thousands of search terms on computer that included “nude kids, pre-teen hardcore, child breast buds and child rape.”

[***END GRAPHIC CONTENT***]

Michael was also a sex offender for molesting [an underage girl] when she was a child, but he is no longer on the sex offender list.”

In April 2020, Fritchen was charged in 2nd District Court with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree of a felony. The charges in the January case were dismissed.

During this entire time, Fritchen was a member of the LDS church. FLOODLIT’s sources indicate that no warnings were ever given to Fritchen’s ward/stake/job or the children who encountered him. In other words, his ability to sexually abuse continued unabated.

In November 2020, Fritchen was convicted in Utah of one count of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

In January 2021, he was sentenced to 10 years to life in the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah. As of February 2023, Fritchen remains incarcerated there.

It looks like Fritchen has remained married for decades to the same woman.

Below are three examples of the church publishing his parental advice that he was presumably writing from military prison in Fort Leavenworth, KS.

from the Deseret News on 2020-01-23:

“Utah man with prior sex offender history charged with possessing child porn

SALT LAKE CITY — A man with a prior criminal history of child sex abuse faces new charges after prosecutors say thousands of child porn images were found on his computer.

Michael W. Fritchen, 64, of North Salt Lake, was charged Thursday in 2nd District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

On Jan. 19, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force served a search warrant on Fritchen’s computer and “located thousands of images of child pornography and thousands of search terms related to child pornography,” according to charging documents.

A police affidavit further stated that investigators found “over 13,000 images of child pornography.

“The child pornography located on Michael’s computer was of infant, toddler and prepubescent rape,” the affidavit states.

In 1998, Fritchen was convicted of sodomy of a child, and in 2011 an amended charge of attempted failure to register as a sex offender.

“On or about April 13, 1993 (Fritchen) was sentenced to 10 years confinement. (He) was also discharged from the military. (Fritchen) was later incarcerated at Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota. (He) was released from confinement in 2000,” the affidavit states.

An initial court appearance was scheduled for Jan. 29.”

from the Deseret News on 2020-04-02:

“Girls sexually assaulted while mom underwent chemo, charges state

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who prosecutors say molested two girls he was babysitting while their mother was undergoing chemotherapy was charged on Thursday.

Michael W. Fritchen, 64, of North Salt Lake, was charged in 2nd District Court with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree of a felony.

In 2014, Fritchen offered to babysit the children of a woman who was undergoing chemo treatment, according to charging documents. Sometimes the children would spend the night, the charges state.

One girl, who was 7 at the time, said Fritchen would inappropriately touch her, according to charging documents.

“(The girl’s) sister remembered the defendant taking videos of the children in the bathtub and telling them not to tell anyone,” the charges state.

Another girl, who was a friend of the 7-year-old, would sometimes go with the sisters to Fritchen’s house. She told police that she was also inappropriately touched, according to the charges. The second girl was 10 at the time.

“She remembered the defendant taking pictures of the girls standing up in the bathtub with no clothes on,” according to the charges.

Thursday’s charges come on the heels of charges being filed against Fritchen in January,

In that case, he was charged in 2nd District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found over 13,000 images of child porn images on his computer, according to a police affidavit.

In 1998, Fritchen was convicted of sodomy of a child, and in 2011 an amended charge of attempted failure to register as a sex offender.

“On or about April 13, 1993, (Fritchen) was sentenced to 10 years confinement. (He) was also discharged from the military. (Fritchen) was later incarcerated at Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota. (He) was released from confinement in 2000,” the affidavit states.”

Sources
  1. How to forgive a child for the heartache caused by rebelliousness
    view source details | 22 Sep 1995 | LDS Church News
  2. How to keep Christ in your heart, mind all year, not just during holidays
    view source details | 8 Dec 1995 | LDS Church News
  3. How to mend a relationship in which you have hurt another
    view source details | 22 Mar 1996 | LDS Church News
  4. Sex abuse cases plague many professions
    view source details | 24 Nov 2009 | Salt Lake Tribune
  5. Utah man with prior sex offender history charged with possessing child porn
    view source details | 23 Jan 2020 | Deseret News
  6. Girls sexually assaulted while mom underwent chemo, charges state
    view source details | 2 Apr 2020 | Deseret News
  7. Feds warn of increase of child predators after several current arrests in Utah
    view source details | 14 May 2020 | ABC4
Sources excerpts

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.