Tue, Feb 17, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Man facing US sex-crime charges arrested in Taipei

FACING DEPORTATION A female agent managed to win the suspect’s confidence and discover where he was staying by hanging out at a balloon shop he frequented

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH AP

Alleged US sex offender Mark Lee Kaczmarczyk, right, is arrested by the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taipei on Sunday. Kaczmarczyk, who faces charges related to child molestation in the US, arrived in Taiwan on a visitor’s visa on Jan. 8.

PHOTO: CNA

A US citizen facing charges of molesting children at a California day care center has been arrested in Taiwan, police said yesterday.

Mark Lee Kaczmarczyk, 58, was arrested in Taipei on Sunday, a Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) official said, adding that police were preparing deportation proceedings against him.

Ma Chen-hua (馬振華), director of the bureau’s International Affairs Department, said Kaczmarczyk faces six charges related to the alleged molestation of infants between the ages of several months and three years at a day care center he operated with his wife in San Diego, California.

He fled a US$2 million bail in December 2008 while undergoing compulsory treatment for sex offenders, Ma said.

CIB agents apprehended Kaczmarczyk at an apartment on Dunhua S Road Sec 1 at 4pm on Sunday, Ma said, adding that an interview with Kaczmarczyk satisfied police that he had not committed any crime during his month-long stay in Taipei.

Kaczmarczyk is being held at the Alien Temporary Detention Center in Sansia Township (三峽), Taipei County.

CIB agents had learned that Kacz­marc­zyk often visited a balloon shop near the Zhongxiao SOGO store in Taipei, where he told clerks that he wanted to stay in Taiwan and open an English-language kindergarten in the city, Ma said.

A female CIB agent surnamed Yan pretended to be a friend of one of the balloon shop clerks in order to win his confidence and managed to discover where he was staying.

“He told us he likes Taiwan and would like to stay here to run a day care center,” Ma said.

He added that the police had immediately informed the ­American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) of the arrest, after which the AIT dispatched officials to talk to Kaczmarczyk.

Police said AIT officials told Kaczmarczyk that his US passport had been canceled and that he would be repatriated very soon.

US authorities had informed the CIB on Feb. 6 through the AIT that a suspect on the US’ wanted list had entered the country, Ma said.

He said Kaczmarczyk had fled from a cognitive therapy clinic in December and left for Hong Kong from Los Angeles. He flew to Taiwan from Hong Kong on Jan. 8.

There was no comment on the case yesterday from the AIT, which was closed for the US Presidents Day holiday.

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