A former Pulaski County Special School District bus driver sentenced to 30 years in prison for conspiring to commit rape is asking for a new trial.
Philip Parker Frederic, 56, of Jacksonville was arrested in February 2016 on a conspiracy to commit rape charge after Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office investigators caught him trying to meet up with an underage girl.
A jury found Frederic, who was also a former church choir director, guilty and ultimately sentenced him to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, the maximum term of imprisonment for conspiring to commit rape.
In a letter written to Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr., Frederic states he does not feel he was adequately represented by his defense attorney, Stephen Ralph, and asks for a new trial.
"My defense was to present evidence in the form of testimony and documentation in supporting my assertion that I was, on the dates beginning approximately Spring of 2014 through February 15, 2016, in research preparation to unite a thesis paper for an Independent Study project in order to finish my B.S. degree in Biology at UALR," Frederic wrote in his letter, which was filed in circuit court Monday.
Frederic said he was conducting this project on his "own creation," noting it was "not sanctioned by any biology professor or the biology department at" the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
He said he was searching to see how other subjects engaged in immerse conversation and said he should have never been charged with conspiring to commit rape because he "was not advertising to and for underage minors, either for conversation or sexual acts."
Frederic said he asked his attorney to bring this to the jury’s attention but said Ralph failed to do so. He also said Ralph did not call his family or former employers in as character references on his part.
A new trial had not been set as of press time Monday.
According to court documents, Frederic’s charge stems from a FCSO investigation into a "suspicious" ad an investigator found on Craigslist.
Investigators then began chatting with Frederic on Feb. 14, 2016, and arranged to meet up at 4:30 p.m. the next day in Mayflower.
When Frederic arrived to the disclosed meeting location, "FCSO personnel maneuvered multiple vehicles into the area" and ultimately blocked him from potentially fleeing and he was placed under arrest," the affidavit stated.
While chatting with officers, undercover investigators advised Frederic to bring Michelob Light beer and glitter nail polish.
According to the affidavit, "12 bottles of Michelob Ultra beer, two sticks of glittery nail polish, a cellular phone and a black/gray backpack containing miscellaneous items" were seized as evidence upon Frederic’s arrest.