06/21/2007

Cops nab Pa. child-rape suspect after TV show airs photo

The Associated Press

A man sought for four years on child-sex assault charges in Pennsylvania was captured within days after his case was featured on a national television show.

Charles “Chuckie” Walton, 35, was arrested Monday in southwest Virginia after a nine-hour foot chase — 73 hours after appearing for 15 seconds on “America’s Most Wanted.”

The U.S. Marshals Service in Roanoke said Walton was wearing nothing but shorts and socks when officers found him outside the trailer where he was living.

“They just chased him up and down the mountainside all day,” said Ron Donelson of the Marshals Service. “By the time they caught up with him, the bottoms of his socks were completely worn out.”

Walton had been visiting family and friends since early spring, Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman said. They apparently were not aware of the Pennsylvania charges, Newman said.

Walton is wanted in Lancaster County, Pa., on charges of indecent assault, rape, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count of corruption of a minor.

Police believe he abused one child, beginning in August 1995 when the child was 6, through February 2003.

One credible lead was called into “America’s Most Wanted” at noon Sunday, said Jenna Griffiths, an associate producer.

“Its pretty amazing that the guy has been on the run for years, and we basically caught him with just 15 seconds on the show,” she said. The show aired Saturday night.

Walton is being held without bond at a regional jail in Duffield until his arraignment today.

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