A Texas man who has been on the run for nearly 20 years after being charged with sexually abusing a child is back in custody, according to officials.
Anthony Rae, 49, was arrested in the city of Val Alstyne in 2003 on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child, according to the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office.
After posting bond for those crimes in 2004, Rae never showed up for his trial and instead went on the run, FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth reported. He was missing for nearly 20 years.
“I’m standing here with the U.S. Marshals from the Eastern District of Texas and the Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security, there is no length we will not go to to make sure that people are returned to face justice if you commit an act of violence against a child in Grayson County,” said Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith told the outlet.
Investigators with the district attorney’s office renewed their efforts to locate Rae using new technology in 2018.
Rae was discovered in Britain under the name Tony Campbell by an international task force that included a Grayson County investigator. He was arrested in Scotland in 2020 but was able to postpone extradition efforts by arguing that the Texas prison system is inhumane.
Lawyers in London claimed that the state’s prison system failed to meet international human rights standards in the housing and care of prisoners, and conditions were dangerous to inmates.
“We fought over COVID, we fought over the size of jail cells in Texas, we fought over the temperature in the Texas prison system,” Smith said. “Everything that they could fight to avoid extradition – for him to avoid coming back to face these charges they threw it at us.”
Rae was finally brought back to the U.S. and put behind bars in the Grayson County Jail on Saturday following three years of legal battles.
According to FOX 4, the victim was beside herself when she was informed that Rae, who was charged with violating her multiple times, is jailed in Grayson County.
“I have been in constant communication with her and probably the first thing she told me is she didn’t think anyone remembered this case, and it brought tears to my eye,” Smith said.
Appeals to the British Supreme Court and the European Commission on Human Rights were denied.
“It’s a testament to the investigators who started this,” Lester Hayes, the Special Agent In-Charge with Homeland Security Investigations, said. “It’s been 20 years and a lot of people who’ve started this are now retired, or they’ve moved on, so their attention to detail is the proof that we can now bring this gentleman back, and now he has to face charges. We have the opportunity now to have closure.”
Smith said he hopes to move to trial as soon as possible, adding that justice will be served despite being delayed.