$1,000,000 Bail Set for Man Arrested on Suspicion of Child Molestation

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

Michael Thomas FrancoA Los Angeles man wanted on suspicion of child molestation in Humboldt County extending back to 2017 has been arrested in Southern Humboldt.
On May 17, 2018, at about 3:45 p.m., deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office observed a vehicle associated with Ramey Warrant subject Michael Thomas Franco traveling through Garberville.

Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle near the 700 block of Redwood Drive and took Franco into custody without incident.

Franco was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on four counts of PC288.7(b) and one count of PC288.5(a). His bail is set at $1 million.

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

Earlier Chapter: Man Arrested in Garberville for Sexual Offenses Involving a Child

Franco was arrested yesterday afternoon on child molestation charges in downtown Garberville. [Photo by Talia Rose]



  • Serious question: If the consensus seems to be trending towards people not choosing who they are attracted to as in gay or straight, should we also infer that one doesn’t choose to be attracted to those of a specific age?

      • What do you mean don’t even? What kind of half ass answer is that to a serious question? Are you afraid to answer? Do you believe we choose who we are attracted to or is it beyond our control? Seems to me like it has to be one or the other, don’t see any evidence that you can have it both ways. I feel rather lucky to be born straight, I can’t imagine the struggle it would be to have an attraction, not of my choosing, towards something that society deems to be illegal.

        • Gay relationships are not illegal.

          • Well if people supposedly do not choose who they are attracted to then the legalities of such attraction would be rather irrelevant . Actions on the other hand can come with some serious consequences as evidenced by 1 million dollar bail. Whoa! And for the record gay relationships are most certainly illegal in many places in the world. Do you consider people who participate in gay relations in those districts to be immoral people?

            • Freedom, I think the difference is gay relationships are consensual.
              Guest, I think re the choice question….I’m sometimes impelled to slap someone, yet I resist, because despite how much better I might feel, it isn’t consensual.
              So, while one may be drawn one way or another, our culture says, keep it to yourself.
              It’s a really old matter though. Been going on along time now. Centuries in this western culture.

              • Well since we are not responsible for designing our own brains just be thankful that yours came programmed with the software for self control. Others out there are not so fortunate. Nobody in their right mind would do these things knowing how brutal the consequences are if they had any ability to control themselves.

                • Even if you can’t choose who you’re attracted to. There is a difference between two people choosing to be together vs one person preying on a younger person who has no say or can’t say.

            • you sound like a sexist, homophobic jerk! Not for gay relationships to be “mainstream” – but I bet you’re down with two women making out right?

          • God made Adam and Eve! not adam and steve!

        • If you think molesting children is just illegal then you are truly messed up. Where are your moral values if you even ask a question like this?

          • Geez sometimes I wonder the reading comprehension level of those who reply with such emotional vigor. I didn’t say anything about molestation. I was simply talking about what a person is attracted to and what if any responsibility they have for what their attractions are. Is that really too abstract for anyone here to answer? I don’t see how asking any question can imply moral values or lack thereof.

            • What you are defending is the personification of evil. It ruins lives for more than one generation. I believe I understand that what you are saying (always) is that people are not responsible for the way they are wired, I get that just like being gay it’s not a choice. But here’s the thing, the difference between molestation and attraction only acting on impulses. I am a father, I have to go to work and I ave to pay tax after tax, fee after fee before I can even feed my child. One of the only things I agree with the government on is that children should be protected as much as possible, even though 18 is a arbitrary age. But there are ages that are not arbitrary, like this case. You say this guy is not responsible for the way his brain is wired? Am I not responsible for the way my brain is wired to protect my daughter? Because I will to the absolute best of my ability.

              • No you most certainly are not responsible for your brain being wired to protect your daughter. That is natural instinct that has been selected for over millions of years of evolution. You did not create your brain. You don’t have to go to work and pay taxes to support your child. Nobody forced you to procreate. Once you have a child it is admirable that you do your best to support it, but don’t act like your were born a father. You became one based on your own actions. I never once defended the act of molestation, I was simply saying that we should not condone people for who they happen to be attracted to. We should be more open minded and try and help these folks live with their condition in a healthier way.

                • That is exactly wrong. In some species, it maybe the father wanders off, never to know their offspring. But in social animals especially, those that flock, pack or herd, the males do participate in care. Actual look-here-food care. And those who disrupt the provision of care to offspring are driven out because they can bring down the while group.

                  You can’t be reasoning and cherry pick which attributes you want to see and which not. Nor can you use “hard wiring” as an excuse for ignoring disruptive behavior. That would be making the needs of society always subservient to the needs of the individual. And that is not healthy in a social animal.

            • I wonder if this meets the star wars Kym has for threatening violence. All that is ever needed is that a person respects another person’s boundaries in their actions, not that they are silent.

        • Even if one cannot control who he/she is attracted to, does not make being a pedophile right. It is very wrong.

        • Pedophiles are predators who prey on children. That is quite different than being in a loving relationship with someone…whether same sex or opposite sex.

        • It doesn’t matter who you are “attracted” to. It’s about consent. Minors are below the age of consent. Any one who says no to you is denying consent. That’s it.

    • Maybe you don’t “choose” to be attracted to someone. You DO choose to ALLOW yourself that attraction even though it is wrong (for whatever reason) You DO choose to act on your attraction. You DO choose to entertain wicked thoughts and desires in your mind. You DO choose to manipulate children. You DO choose to force yourself on others. You DO choose to break the law. You DO choose to do evil.

      • You really DO love that word apparently. I wonder if you are going to live long enough to witness science completely destroy this allusion of free will you seem to think you have. Evil is not real, it is entirely a man made concept. Just be thankful you weren’t born with a brain that desired things that people judge so harshly. Although it might humble you a bit to see just how little control you really have.

        • Any person that says evil is not real has no real life experience, I have seen evil in my life and I will do my best to try to stop it if I ever have the chance. And the evil I have seen has no comparison to the things that happen daily. I don’t have allot of control, no one really does, but I do the best I can. What is your plan? You keep saying things but you don’t offer any solutions. And the final question, again. If they are not responsible for the way their brain is wired am I not responsible for the way my brain is wired to protect my daughter at all costs?

          • I have much more experience than you might assume. Evil is just how your perceive things. It implies a strong notion of free will which I have much skepticism about. My plan is for humans to voluntarily let themselves go extinct by stopping reproduction. I am doing my part. Most others are not. What is your plan?

        • So if you’re attracted to a child it’s okay to rape them because you can’t control yourself? [edit]

      • Well enough said ME

    • Just Google “pedophilia is a sexual orientation”, you’ll see they’ve been trying to push that for years now.

  • Regardless these idiots know who is a child and who isn’t.

  • Seems to me garb is a shit magnet for chesters these days .

  • REALLY WTF! He touches children under the age of 14, what makes that OK???

  • Oh Freedom you have no idea what I would like to do to this person. I went through this from the time I was 11/2 till I was 14. I thought all men were like this man. Do you know what it’s like to sleep in an alley to get away from a man like this when your real little curled up behind a garbage can praying he won’t find you. Do you know what it’s like to scream for help and no one will help you. Finally realizing that the only one who is going to help you is you. That’s when I became friends with a knife and a gun. No more pedophiles that are effected with pedophilia. It messed up my life for years and years, so know what your talking about Freedom before you open your mouth. Do some research and then answer your own question.

    • Well Rose I have done plenty of research and I do know exactly what I am talking about. The more I learned and educated myself the easier it was to forgive those who taken advantage of me in the past. Instead of filling your body with hate and anger you can instead have some compassion and understanding. It is a free country and you can process your life situations however you want, but what you can’t do is force others to keep their mouth closed because they don’t happen to agree with you.

      • Sheesh. No you do not have the “right” to say whatever you want and people have to accept it. That is just you saying only you the right to speech. How convenient for you.

        As to no one be responsible for their “hard wiring”, of course they are. Constantly so that people can coexist. People learn not to pee in the streets, not to eat everything that looks ok, not to punch everyone that irritates them, drive on one side of the road, etc etc etc. They constantly redirect their “hard wiring” because part of their hard wiring is to get along with each other.

        All that about what others are going to learn that you already know is so self serving as to be dismissed out of hand. Apparently you equate freedom with the impulse control of an infant.

  • One other thing. What can be done legally is put them in prison with the general population and I guarantee they won’t last a week. They use to do this but not no more. You could go once a week Freedom and hold their hands and tell them how they’re just misunderstood babies.

    • Why not a pedophile island? Let them cohabitate for their whole lives with each other…no one would miss them.

  • You are definitely the minority in this thread freedom club. Time to hang up the spurs. Go somewhere else and spew your psycho-babble please. Thank you

    • I was fully expecting to be in the minority here. Am I supposed to be intimidated by that or something? I am not gathering votes for some type of election. Many of history’s great thinkers were total outcasts in their lifetime and only until much later was it realized how revolutionary their thinking was. I just hope some of you live long enough to witness things you once believed to be true come to be proven false. It is a very humbling and enlightening experience. Its very fascinating how asking an innocent question and asking people to open their mind to an alternate possibility would spurn such emotional responses. I wonder what it is about being so dearly attached to ones own perception of reality that people find so empowering… Such peculiar creatures human beings are!

      • This is the reason we have prisons, and listening to this makes me wish we had bigger ones

      • I’m sure that many people of an obsessive nature have comforted themselves with the idea that being different is being superior. It is not the same thing at all. Being superior as a thinker can mean being different but being inferior as a thinker does exactly the same. Being different is in itself no badge of honor.

  • Freedom you may think your ideas are above all others but you don’t sound like you have any life experience only research experience. If you had ever experienced something like this yourself you would never ask such a stupid question. In a way I feel sorry for you.

  • There is a thing called “false accusations” that can lead to wrongful conviction. Is it ok that those people will/have suffered in general population in prison; beaten blind, raped repeatedly, etc. and/or killed because of a vengeful ex, or step-child?

  • To bad alvaro escareno had such a low bail….he was even caught red handed and is still walking free…no bail for pedophiles!!!…wtf are these county judges doing???!!!!

  • Chess not checkers.

    And his hands.

  • First and foremost we have to remember this man is innocent until proven guilty! Secondly, I agree with Freedom in the fact that we are all born a certain way and we are not responsible for the way we are wired. I am by no means condoning the actions that he is allegedly accused of! That is for the justice system to figure out. I was molested as a child and so I understand the emotional and physical affects of it. I also, have seen people wrongly accused of these actions and their lives have been destroyed because of a lie. So, I suggest we sit back and wait for the justice system to do its job and see where the cards may lay so-to-speak when this is all said and done. As a parent I have made it my job to keep and eye on them and be aware of who I have them around as many parents should. Some are just more lax than others and don’t care who they around. But, again let’s see how this one plays out. Is he innocent? Or not?

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