Patrick Molesti is back in Cherokee County nearly 15 months after he fled his Woodstock home to escape accusations of possessing child pornography and trying to buy a 5-year-old boy online.
The French citizen had fought extradition from Canada, where he had been jailed since Mounties pulled him off a bus in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on March 26, 2010.
Molesti is charged with conspiracy to commit child molestation, 29 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and four counts of theft by taking of a firearm.
“We are pleased that Molesti has been extradited back to Cherokee County to stand trial for these charges,” Sheriff Roger Garrison said in a prepared statement. “We appreciate the assistance of the Canadian authorities in capturing Molesti and the U.S. marshals task force for transporting him back to Georgia.”
Molesti’s case caused a sensation not only for the seriousness of the charges, but also because of his name. Multiple crime blogs picked up this report.
A tip that Molesti was looking online to buy a 5-year-old led sheriff’s investigators to his Woodstock home in mid-March 2010, sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time.
The investigators "found some evidence to corroborate that tip and found the child pornography on his computer," Baker told the AJC.
The U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force tracked Molesti to Wyoming, where he caught a bus to Canada, presumably with the intention of getting a flight back to France, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A detention hearing March 31, 2010, revealed graphic details about the pornography investigators said they found in the home Molesti shared with a girlfriend and about Internet chats in which authorities said he discussed buying a child as a sex slave, the Canadian Press reported.
In one chat, someone who used the name “altrawplay1” talked about his willingness to pay a high price a young sex slave: “Generous means I will pay. As young as possible. Young means five to 18. Shocked?”
Authorities say Molesti is altrawplay1.