FBI: Man who fled Rhode Island child molestation charges arrested in Washington

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James Bell

James Bell

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A man has been arrested in Washington state more than a decade after he fled Rhode Island charges accusing him of sexually molesting three young girls.

The FBI said agents arrested 61-year-old James William Bell in Spokane, Washington, on Wednesday after getting a tip. Bell is held pending extradition to Rhode Island.

Authorities said Bell is charged with molesting three girls, then 9 to 13 years old, in Middletown, Rhode Island, while working as a gymnastics coach at a local YMCA.

He had been arrested in Allyn, Washington, in 2003 on the charges, and returned to Rhode Island. He fled after being released on bail.

The FBI said Bell was arrested on a 2006 federal warrant for fleeing state prosecution. He was one of the Rhode Island State Police top 10 fugitives.

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