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Child abuse suspect arrested

A global search led the FBI to the Republic of Georgia to apprehend 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 Greg 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 alleged crimes occurred between 2005 and 2012, according to the affidavit.

Charles Fletcher fled the country in May 2012, when his brother offered him protection, saying the child abuse laws in the U.S. are unfair and the penalties too severe, according to the affidavit. He intended to become an international freelance writer, according to the affidavit.

Charles Fletcher emailed the victims on June 17, 2012, according to the affidavit. He asked the victims for forgiveness, writing that he was “desperately lonely and starved for physical contact” at the time of the molestations.

The FBI legal attaché in Tbilisi worked with the Georgian Ministry of Justice and INTERPOL to arrest Charles Fletcher in Georgia. He arrived in Spokane on Monday.

He will appear in Spokane County Superior Court today.