A Staffordshire child rapist who groomed his victim on social media site Bebo before going on the run in 2013 has been arrested 5,000 miles away in a beach resort in Brazil. Portuguese national Antonio Pedro De Alves, was arrested after fleeing to the South American nation earlier this month and now faces extradition.
The 44-year-old started a new life, even marrying a Brazilian woman in 2014, in Jaboatao dos Guararapes, near Recife in the northern state of Pernambuco. De Alves was due to stand trial at Stafford Crown Court in May 2013 and, in his absence, he was convicted of raping the 12-year-old girl and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.
His disappearance triggered an international arrest warrant being issued by global police force Interpol after being notified by Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service. He may now face further charges for exiting Great Britain before his trial.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Staffordshire Police and the UK National Crime Agency discovered that he may be in Brazil in early September 2014. Alves was arrested by Federal Police and remanded into custody where he awaits extradition.
The details of his assault make for shocking reading — according to police Alves, whilst living in Rugeley, Staffordshire, contacted his victim via the social media website Bebo. He said that he was a 15-year-old who was into sports and after months of grooming the youngster she finally agreed to meet him at a supermarket car park in Cannock.
On her arrival Alves claimed to be a relative of the 15-year-old boy, who he said was running late. After becoming scared the child attempted to flee but was dragged back into the car by Alves — then the attack took place.
The offence was reported to the force in December 2011. Alves was arrested in January 2012 and computer equipment confiscated. Following his arrest he was then charged in January 2013 and appeared at court where he was granted conditional bail.
Detective Constable Jason Reaney, from the Fugitive and Extradition Unit with Staffordshire Police told the newspaper: "Firstly, I have to commend the courage and patience of the victim of this horrendous crime and the wider family.
"Like Staffordshire Police, they have always wanted to continue the hunt for Alves to ensure he was tracked down and brought to justice. It's been a while coming, but by working closely together, we have our man.
"What I hope comes across strongly in this case is that time and distance has made no difference in the outcome for Alves. We knew we would finally track him down and we knew this would become a world-wide hunt."