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Bay Area child sex abuse suspect arrested in Boyle Heights after 14 years on the run

Bay Area child sex abuse suspect arrested in Boyle Heights after 14 years on the run
Frank Joseph Montenegro, wanted forseveral counts of sexual assault against children, has been arrested. (Fremont Police Department)

A former Northern California schoolteacher wanted for 14 years in connection with several counts of sexual assault against children was arrested Wednesday in Boyle Heights.

Frank Joseph Montenegro, 52, was taken into custody after a foot pursuit and struggle with FBI fugitive task force agents. Montenegro, who had been residing at a community home in Boyle Heights, was in state custody in Los Angeles awaiting transfer to officials in Alameda County.

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A federal criminal complaint filed in federal court in San Francisco in August 2001 said the Alameda County district attorney's office charged Montenegro a month before with multiple counts of sodomy of a child under 14, oral copulation and continued sexual abuse of a minor.

He was charged following an investigation by detectives with the Fremont Police Department. At the time, Montenegro had been working as an elementary school teacher.

After investigators determined Montenegro had fled across the border to Mexico, the FBI was asked to help find him.

The FBI's fugitive task force followed up on a tip received by the Los Angeles Police Department that Montenegro had resided locally for several years.

The FBI's Los Angeles Fugitive Task Force includes agents and officers with the FBI, the LAPD and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's parole division.

Montenegro will be arraigned in Alameda County. Authorities expect the U.S. government to drop a federal warrant charging Montenegro with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said Montenegro fled in July 2001 in a rental car, which was later found in Mexico. That was his last known whereabouts, Bosques said, leading the department to contact the FBI.

"This was a very big case at the time," Bosques said Thursday. "He was very well known within the school district and within our community … the fact that he has now been found and is going to be brought back up here is really great news for us, as well as for his victims."

For breaking news in California, follow @brittny_mejia.

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