RUMFORD – A Rumford man who police say fled this month to escape prosecution on 14 felony sex crimes involving an 11-year-old girl was captured by New Jersey State Police and is awaiting extradition.

O.B. Willie Rose, 83, was arrested Saturday at his new home in Roosevelt, N.J., and charged on behalf of Rumford police with four counts of gross sexual assault, nine counts of Class A unlawful sexual contact, and one count of Class B unlawful sexual contact.

Rose, who has no documented criminal record, was also arrested on a Rumford police warrant charging him as a fugitive from justice and on a New Jersey charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

Bail was set on the Rumford charges at $200,000 cash. Rose had yet to be returned to Maine for arraignment as of Wednesday, according to Rumford Detective Sgt. Daniel Garbarini.

Rose will be arraigned in Maine after Garbarini can travel to the Monmouth County Jail in Freehold, N.J., where Rose is being held and bring him back here. Rose has been unable to post $10,000 cash bail on the felony gun charge.

“When they arrested him, they found a gun in his house and charged him with possession of a firearm,” Garbarini said Wednesday. “He’s currently awaiting an extradition hearing, which I’m told is scheduled for next week. If he waives extradition, we’ll go down and get him. If he fights extradition, he just postpones the process.”

Garbarini declined to specify what led to the Rumford charges levied against Rose following his investigation into an Oct. 20 complaint filed with police by the girl’s mother. Rose, who lived in Jamesburg, N.J., before moving to Rumford in August, fled to New Jersey on Oct. 14.

“The charges speak for themselves. Anytime we have a child who has been sexually assaulted or sexually abused, that’s egregious by itself. Certainly, that’s not anything we’re going to tolerate,” Garbarini said.

That’s also why the Rumford detective made the case a priority.

“I wanted a quick arrest, because I didn’t know if he would re-offend. This guy isn’t a public threat to us at this point,” he said.

Rather than wait for the Oxford County grand jury to rise in November to levy charges, Garbarini said he contacted New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Charles Lowery, who worked the case with a partner to search for Rose.

“I knew where he was on Thursday, because they did a lot of legwork to locate his vehicle and his new residence in New Jersey,” Garbarini said.

He filed an affidavit on Friday and got an Oxford County Superior Court justice to issue a fugitive-from-justice warrant. Within two hours of the warrants being put into a nationwide system, New Jersey troopers arrested Rose.

As for the girl, who is now 12, Garbarini said she is coping.

“She is doing as well as can be expected, given the circumstances. She has a very strong family support system in place,” he said.


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