With the help from Interpol and the Georgian Ministry of Justice, the FBI and Spokane Police Department have successfully extradited a Spokane man from the Republic of Georgia back to the United States to face child molestation charges.
Charles A. Fletcher, 60, was extradited back to Spokane Monday, escorted by an FBI agent and a Spokane police sex crimes detective.
Fletcher was charged in Spokane Superior Court on June 19, 2012 with three charges of second-degree incest and two child molestation charges.
The investigation began in May 2012 after Fletcher told his wife he wanted a divorce. Four female family members became aware of the divorce and came forward to claim that Fletcher had molested all four of them when they were teenagers.
Fletcher's soon to be ex-wife noticed $20,000 missing from their joint bank account and suspected he had fled the country. Spokane International Airport police confirmed to investigators that Fletcher flew out of the airport in May 2012. Taking a route through Chicago and Poland, he eventually ended up in Tblisi, Georgia, where his brother was living.
On July 20, 2012 he was charged federally for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
"Detectives were able to enlist the help of the U.S. Attorney's office and local FBI agents and through that process we were able to work with the federal government to have him charged with federal charges that allowed us to extradite him from outside the country," Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald said.
Because the United States does not have an extradition treaty with the Republic of Georgia, court proceedings were held by the Georgian Ministry of Justice to determine whether or not there was probable cause that he had committed sex crimes in the United States.
The court did find probable cause Fletcher had committed the offense and Georgia did not contest his extradition to the United States.
"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," Fitzgerald said.
Fletcher, who is being held in the Spokane County Jail, will make his first appearance in Spokane Superior Court Wednesday.