Update — A man on the run from sex charges for two decades could make his first appearance in Vermilion County Circuit Court as early as today.
Dennis Catron, a former principal at Maple and Honeywell grade schools in Hoopeston, was arrested June 29 in Nonthaburi’s Pakkret District, Bangkok, Thailand.
He had been wanted for 20 years after fleeing during a trial for sexual assault in Vermilion County.
Catron, 60, was transported back to Vermilion County and was booked in the jail just before 7 p.m. Monday.
Capt. Rod Kaag of the sheriff’s department said a prisoner transport service was used to bring Catron back from Los Angeles County where he was being held.
Catron was arrested in Vermilion County in 1991 after Hoopeston police allegedly discovered him in his home with a 13-year-old boy. He was accused of sexually abusing the boy during an eight-month period beginning in 1990.
Catron fled in July 1992 after posting bond for a warrant that was issued after he did not show up for a trial date in the case a second time. He was found guilty in abstentia in 1994 and sentenced to 36 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Vermilion County State’s Attorney Randy Brinegar was attempting to schedule a hearing for Catron.
Although Catron already has been sentenced in abstentia, Brinegar said the hearing before a judge is necessary by statute to allow Catron to bring forward any issues involving the case.
Brinegar said he will deal with the issue of Catron’s original cases before deciding whether or not to pursue charges against Catron for violating his bail bond.
Even before his 1994 trial, sheriff’s investigators said they believed Catron had fled to Thailand as a result of communications traced to him there.