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Flanders man nabbed on sex charges as he prepared to flee U.S.


A 27-year-old Flanders man was arrested Thursday afternoon for having sex with a 15-year-old girl last month, State Police said.

At the time of his arrest, the suspect, Wilmer Escalante of 43 Oak Avenue, was found to be in possession of a boarding pass for a one-way flight back to his native Honduras. The flight was scheduled to leave the country Saturday, authorities said.

Local investigators were first contacted Thursday morning by the victim, her sister and mother.

The three showed up at the Riverside barracks about 11:30 a.m. The victim told investigators that she had allowed Mr. Escalante — whom she had known to be a friend — into her bedroom about 3 a.m. on Nov. 4, and that the two “engaged in sexual relations,” according to a police report.

The victims’ sister, 22, then told police she also was told Mr. Escalante purchased a one-way ticket to Honduras for Friday, Dec. 2. He bought the ticket after hearing that the teen was reporting to others the two had sex, the sister said.

So later that day, about 6:20 p.m., uniformed State Police troopers, along with two plain clothes investigators, arrested Mr. Escalante as he returned home from work, police said. At that time, Mr. Escalante was found to be in possession of the plane ticket for a Saturday flight, as well as his passport

He was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sex act, an E felony, and one count of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor.

He was scheduled to be arraigned today, Friday, in Southampton Town Justice Court.