A man who fled Houston after being charged with sexual assault of a minor in 2005 has been found in Costa Rica, according to reporters there.
German Moreno was already a fugitive from Costa Rica, where he'd been convicted of sexually assaulting minors, when he was charged with similar crimes in Houston. A singer in a church choir who practiced medicine without a license at a low-cost clinic, Moreno was believed to have molested dozens of boys he saw as patients.
Moreno fled from Houston after paying his share of the $60,000 bond ordered by Harris County District Court Judge Belinda Hill. He had been charged with two counts of indecency with a child, two counts of assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Moreno opened a medical clinic in the beach resort town of Playa Carmen three years ago, according to David Boddiger, editor and writer of the Tico Times.
Although Moreno had already been convicted in Costa Rica, a loophole in the country's law has kept him from being arrested.
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"Although convicted of sex crimes against minors [in Costa Rica], police cannot arrest him here because the statute of limitations on his crimes has expired, and the constitution protects him from extradition to the U.S.," according to the Tico Times story. It also states that "neighbors and patients of the clinic say they are frustrated by the government's inability to pursue justice in this case. Officials say that unless new criminal complaints are filed, Moreno is a free man."
After Moreno's Houston arrest, Harris County Public Health Department officials began notifying the families of 46 children Moreno treated at Dynamic Health Care Clinic (since closed). At the same time, the Houston Police Department posted a notice on its Web site, asking additional victims to contact the department's Juvenile Division Sex Crimes Unit: "Due to the number of victims who have come forward, investigators believe other potential victims have not reported similar contact with the suspect."
Stay tuned for more.
Update: He's been arrested again on new child-sex charges in Costa Rica.