Feds arrest paroled child rapist who fled Michigan in 1999

DETROIT (AP) — A man convicted of raping two Michigan children has been arrested in California, more than two decades after he fled Michigan following his parole.

James Meese, 71, was arrested by federal agents last week in central California, where he had been hiding out in a house with the help of a woman who helped cover his tracks, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Meece is currently in federal custody in California, awaiting extradition to Michigan, where he will face federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Meece’s arrest came months after his case was profiled in a March episode of the TV series “In Pursuit with John Walsh.”

Meece was convicted in Delta County in 1991 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for raping his girlfriend’s two daughters from the Upper Peninsula, ages 9 and 12, and threatening to kill them and their mother if they revealed what happened. He was sentenced to 3-15 years in prison.

Meese had been on the run since fleeing Michigan in 1999, months after he was released on parole after serving eight years in prison. He was wanted on an arrest warrant for failing to register as a sex offender, as required.

Investigators believe Meese may have victimized other people during his two decades as a fugitive. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Meece are urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office or call the U.S. Marshals Service at 800-336-0102 or submit a tip through this link: https://www.usmarshals.gov/tips/index.html

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