Man convicted of sexually assaulting 3 girls in IOW found in LA after 18 years on the run

William Branson Martin

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WAVY) — After nearly 18 years on the run, a man convicted of sexually assaulting three young girls in Isle of Wight County back in 1989 was tracked down this week in Los Angeles. 

William Branson Martin went off law enforcement’s radar in February of 2000, just eight months into a 20-year probation sentence, according to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force in Richmond.

Before his probation term, he served 10 years in prison for the sexual assaults. 

Authorities searched for years and eventually got a lead that Martin was at a homeless shelter in Los Angeles. The Richmond task force then contacted the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force in Los Angeles for assistance. 

Around 7 a.m.Tuesday morning, members of the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force in Los Angeles descended on the homeless shelter in the 8100 block of South West Avenue in Los Angeles and took Martin into custody without incident. 

Marshals say he’s currently awaiting extradition back to Virginia. 

“The apprehension of this fugitive is a direct result of the perseverance of our investigators and interagency cooperation that exists on our fugitive task forces,” said U.S. Marshal Robert Mathieson.

According to the release, the USMS Regional Fugitive Task Force in Richmond consists of investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Corrections, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chesterfield and Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office and the Richmond, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights and Hopewell Police Departments.

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