A 75-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting three girls in San Jacinto and fleeing south of the border, where he was apprehended, will ask a judge Thursday to reduce his bail.
Harry Arlington Durette was captured in Rosarito, Mexico, last week following an investigation by Riverside County District Attorney’s Office personnel and the U.S. Marshals’ Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Durette is charged with 65 felony offenses, most of them alleging forcible lewd acts on a child under 14 years old.
The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center. His public defender, Richard Colman, has submitted a motion requesting that Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer consider a bond modification that might enable Durette to get out of jail on specified terms.
The hearing is set for Thursday morning at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
According to a DA’s Office statement, agency Investigator Mike Riley developed leads that the defendant was holed up in Rosarito and coordinated with the U.S. Marshals and Mexican authorities to nab him on March 8.
Durette was immediately extradited back to the United States.
Prosecutors said the septuagenarian was first arrested and charged in August 2020 following a sheriff’s investigation that revealed multiple acts of molestation involving an underage girl, whose identity was not disclosed.
The DA’s Office said the defendant posted a $55,000 bond, and while free, investigators procured additional information indicating that he had allegedly sexually assaulted two other girls, also not identified in court documents.
“Durette failed to appear on the date of his preliminary hearing in October 2021,” according to an agency statement. “A bench warrant was issued and held until Nov. 17, 2021, when he again failed to appear in court. On that date, a $1 million warrant was issued by a judge.”
It was unclear whether Durette allegedly made prior arrangements to flee to Rosarito, or did so on impulse after the amended criminal complaint was filed based on the two additional alleged victims.
He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
If convicted, he could face life in prison.