In September 2000, Frank, who was then struggling with severe drug addiction, was arrested after taking two shirts at the men’s section of Saks Fifth Avenue in New Orleans. The shirts were immediately returned to the store.
Frank was charged with one count of theft of goods worth less than $500. He pled guilty to the crime, which was considered a felony at that time. However, in 2010, the law was revised and it is already considered a misdemeanor.
Frank was sentenced to 23 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole despite him pleading guilty as he was found to be a repeat offender. Under Louisiana’s multiple offender law, he could be subjected to decades in prison even though he did not commit a violent crime since he had been convicted of theft multiple times before that case.
Most recently, the Innocence Project New Orleans helped advocate Frank’s case through its Unjust Punishment Project for him to be released immediately. Frank will also receive re-entry support services from the First 72+.
Moreover, Frank now aspires to become an assistant deacon to help advise and guide young people. A GoFundMe has been set up to raise funds to help him in rebuilding his life. It has so far raised more than $50,000.