One Year Ago Today (March 17, 2022)…A 75-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting three girls in San Jacinto and fleeing south of the border, where he was apprehended, abandoned his request for a bail reduction hearing during an appearance in Riverside County Superior Court.
Harry Arlington Durette was captured in Rosarito, Mexico, last week following an investigation by District Attorney’s Office personnel and members of 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 had submitted a request to Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer for consideration of a bond modification, but Durette’s public defender withdrew the motion during a status hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. There was no explanation for the withdrawal.
The judge scheduled a felony settlement conference for March 25 and left Durette’s bail set at $1 million. He’s being held at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to a D.A.’s office statement, agency Investigator Mike Riley developed leads that the defendant was allegedly 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 alleged acts of molestation involving an underage girl, whose identity was not disclosed.
The D.A.’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 victims.
He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
If convicted, he could face life in prison.