American authorities deported 72-year-old Raymond Douglas MacLeod who had been living in Los Angeles-area trailer park under an alias on Tuesday.
MacLeod was 32 when he was arrested in Prince George, B.C. in Sept. 1974. He was found not guilty of assault and sexual assault of the five-year-old child with cerebral palsy. However Crown Counsel successfully appealed the verdict and a new trial was ordered.
MacLeod was arrested in Burlington, Ont. in June 1979 on unrelated charged and was ordered to appear in B.C. court, but police say he failed to show up. A Canada-wide arrant was issued for him in 1980, but he had disappeared.
Years later, Prince George RCMP say MacLeod was found living in California and was arrested in October 2013. An immigration judge ordered MacLeod's deportation in March 2014. He appealed the decision, but two appeal panels ultimately agreed with the original ruling.
"It's a big win," said RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass, spokesman for the Prince George detachment.
"That first investigator that went to the scene, I'm sure when he or she hears about this, it's probably going to stir up some memories. You remember those ones."
MacLeod is expected to arrive in Prince George on Thursday and make his first appearance in Prince George Provincial Court on Friday. He now faces charges of rape, indecent assault on a female and assault causing bodily harm, as they appeared under the Criminal Code of Canada in 1974. He also faces a new charge of obstruction of justice.
“For the victim in this case, justice has been a long time coming, but she can take consolation in the fact that her alleged assailant is now being held accountable,” said David Jennings, Los Angeles field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations.
“We will not allow our country to serve as a safe haven for those who commit reprehensible crimes.”