A former Dorchester man accused of raping two young boys in the early 90s was arrested in North Carolina Wednesday, after authorities said he spent 23 years on the run.
John Joseph Hartin, 46, was taken into custody without incident at his Walkertown home, according to an FBI statement. The arrest comes after a four-year multi-state media campaign from the bureau, offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to Hartin’s capture.
The FBI Boston Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force is in the process of returning Hartin to Massachusetts to face the charges, authorities said.
Hartin was originally wanted for allegedly abusing two young boys — about 8 and 9 years old — whom he was said to have befriended in Boston back in 1993.
Police said he later fled the state after he was charged with five counts of statutory rape of a child. As a result, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Hartin in 1997, and he now faces an additional charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
“John Hartin thought by changing his name and moving out of state, he could avoid prosecution. However, he underestimated our resolve to track him down,” Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw said in a statement. “The FBI hopes the victims of his alleged crimes will find some comfort in knowing that he will now have to answer for his actions.”
“Our commitment to justice has no time limit,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in a statement. “This outcome should serve as a reminder that we never give up and we will find you. I also want to acknowledge the great work and collaboration throughout this case with our partners at the FBI and hope this news brings some comfort to all affected by this crime.”