A global search led the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Republic of Georgia, where they found a Spokane man wanted on felony charges of child molestation.
Charles A. Fletcher, 60, was found in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where he fled to live with his brother Lancelot Fletcher, according to a federal affidavit. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Gregory Sypolt issued a warrant for his arrest with a $500,000 bond in July 2012.
Fletcher was wanted on five counts of sexual misconduct with children, including one charge of first-degree child molestation and one charge of second-degree child molestation. The crimes occurred between 2005 and 2012, according to the affidavit.
Fletcher fled the country in May 2012 after his brother allegedly offered him protection, saying the child abuse laws in the U.S. are unfair and the penalties too severe, according to the affidavit. Fletcher intended to become an international freelance writer, the document said.
After fleeing, Fletcher emailed the victims on June 17, 2012 to ask for forgiveness, the affidavit said. He told the victims that he was “desperately lonely and starved for physical contact” at the time of the molestations.
The FBI Legal Attaché in Tbilisi partnered with the Georgian Ministry of Justice and INTERPOL to arrest Fletcher in Georgia. Fletcher was extradited to Spokane on Monday afternoon, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.
“The Spokane County Prosecutor’s office would not have the opportunity to pursue the prosecution of this case without the collaborative effort of all of the agencies involved in this matter” Spokane County Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald said, according to the release.
Fletcher will appear in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday.