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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

Man who fled country returns to face charges

Friday, August 17, 2007

(Photo)
Jerry Hudson
A Greencastle man who federal investigators say fled to South America to avoid prosecution for child molestation was back in Putnam County Thursday afternoon, more than three years since being charged.

Thomas Jerry Hudson, 75, appeared in Putnam Circuit Court Judge Diana Laviolette's courtroom where he learned that in addition to the original molestation charge, he now faces a charge of failing to appear in court.

The judge said the molestation charge is a class C felony and carries a maximum eight years in prison while the failure to appear charge is a class D felony and has a maximum three-year sentence.

Hudson was apprehended in October 2006 near the Venezuelan town of Merida and was subsequently brought back to the United States. He was recently sentenced to serve two years in prison for passport fraud.

Investigators say he obtained a fake passport and fled the United States in July of 2005 in order to avoid prosecution in Putnam County. Hudson was brought back to Greencastle from Indianapolis on Monday and booked into the Putnam County Jail.

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter, who was waiting on Hudson's federal trial to end before beginning his case against Hudson, said he was glad to see him back in Putnam County.

"I'm not letting him go again," Bookwalter said.

Hudson was accused of molesting a 7-year-old relative and was officially charged in 2004, but never stood trial.

On Thursday, Hudson pleaded not guilty to both charges and the judge set his trial for Nov. 28, with a final pretrial conference to take place on Nov. 1. He is being held at the jail without bond.



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