Child Sex Fugitive in Police Custody

EXETER — It took police three days, but officials finally caught a fugitive in Luzerne County who jumped bail before his child sex trial began. Clyde Tonkin, of Jenkins Township, is now in police custody. It turns out, he didn’t get very far when he escaped.

Clyde Tonkin of Jenkins Township tried to hide his face as he was brought into the Exeter Borough building. It was the end to an exhausting three-day search for the now convicted child sex criminal.

“In three days, we had him tried, convicted, and in custody. So what more could you ask for?” said Exeter Police Sergeant Leonard Galli.

Tonkin was accused of getting a 14-year-old girl from Jenkins Township pregnant last year. When the girl was missing, police found Tonkin with the girl in Ohio. He was arrested in June.

After making bail, Tonkin was put on house arrest with a monitoring bracelet, but he removed the bracelet Monday morning. It was a move that had Jodi Miller, the mother of the victim, worried.

“Fear. What`s he going to do? Is going to go after her? Is he really going to really hurt her? Kill her or take her and disappear where no one will know what happened to her?” said Jodi Miller of Jenkins Township.

A judge held Tonkin’s trial without him. A jury convicted him on all charges on Tuesday after only eight minutes of deliberating. Officials didn’t find him until they received a tip call Thursday afternoon.

“He wanted information relative to his case, stating that he was railroaded by the police department, that he was railroaded by the district attorney`s office,” said Sgt. Galli.

Police said they set up an undercover sting outside this Turkey Hill in Exeter. Clyde Tonkin showed up thinking he was going to meet his bail bondsman. Instead, he was surrounded by cops.

“Now my daughter can sleep safe at night knowing her and her daughter will never have to worry about Clyde Tonkin ever again,” said Miller.

Police plan to file more charges against Tonkin in the next week for jumping his bail. He’s locked up in Luzerne County, waiting for his sentencing for the child sex charges.

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