April 01, 2020

Border arrest nets man sought in sex abuse case

CALAIS – A 19-year-old man who was arrested at the international border was being held without bail Tuesday pending a Dec. 19 hearing on charges that he is a fugitive from a Maryland indictment for child sexual abuse.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh said Michael Klapka denied the sexual abuse allegation when he appeared Tuesday before Judge John Romei in Calais District Court.

Sgt. David Randall of the Calais Police Department arrested Klapka at the Calais border crossing Sunday afternoon.

Randall said he had gone to the U.S. Customs Service on another matter when he heard custom officials talking with Klapka, who was attempting to enter Calais on foot from St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

Randall said he ran a records check on Klapka’s Maryland identification and found two warrants. According to a Feb. 2 Harford County, Md., warrant,

Klapka had been indicted for sexual offenses including child abuse, the sergeant said.

The second warrant, issued by a Maryland District Court, was marked “V.O.P.,” which Randall said police believe is shorthand for violation of probation.

Randall said Klapka has been living on North Street in Calais with a roommate. Randall said police aren’t sure how long he’s been there but don’t believe it has been much longer than a month.

Constance O’Brien, a spokesman at the Boston regional headquarters for the U.S. Customs Service, said she couldn’t say why Klapka had been questioned because the service does not release information on individuals.

Cavanaugh said the question of Klapka’s guilt or innocence in connection with the Maryland indictment is something that state’s court system must determine.

All Maine has to prove is that there is an outstanding warrant and that Klapka is the person named in the warrant, Cavanaugh said.

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