WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

 

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Accused sex offender on the run for years finally nabbed in Mexico

Van Cleve Nearly 20 years later they catch him in Mexico.

Eric DeCleve
Nearly 20 years later they catch him in Mexico.

After 19 years in hiding, a man suspected of sexually assaulting two young girls in Newport has finally been arrested.

In April 1997, Newport Police Officers investigated a report that an 11 year-old female, and a 13 year-old female, had been sexually assaulted by Eric Francisco DeCleve, age 24 of Newport. During the investigation, it was learned that DeCleve had provided controlled substances to the two minors, and then assaulted them. DeCleve confessed to having sexually assaulted both minors. He was arrested on May 2, 1997 on two counts of Rape in the First Degree, two counts of Rape in the Second Degree, Delivery of a Controlled Substance to a Minor First and Second Degree, and Attempted Sodomy First Degree. He was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail.

Shortly after his arrest, DeCleve posted bail and was released from jail. He then fled the country to avoid prosecution. A Full Extradition warrant was issued for DeCleve’s arrest.

In 2004, NPD received information that DeCleve may be living in Mexico near the U.S. border. But law enforcement couldn’t fine him.

In February, while reviewing cold case DNA files, Newport Police Detectives determined DeCleve had never been arrested on the outstanding charges. Newport Police worked closely with the FBI to locate DeCleve, who was now living and working in Cancun, Mexico. It was discovered that DeCleve was working as a surfing instructor in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, living under the name Eric Victor Munhoven Navarro. The FBI worked with Mexican officials to capture and bring DeCleve back to the United States to stand trial.

On June 10th the Newport Police and FBI received word that DeCleve, now age 43, had been flown to San Francisco where he was arrested and held at the San Mateo County Jail.

On June 15th a Newport Police Detective and an FBI Special Agent flew to San Francisco to take custody of DeCleve. He was transported from San Francisco to Portland by plane, then from Portland to the Lincoln County Jail. He was lodged on the following charges: two counts Rape 1st Degree; Sexual Penetration 1st Degree; four counts Delivery of Controlled Substance to a Minor; Rape 2nd Degree; two counts Sexual Abuse 1st Degree; Sodomy 1st Degree. His bail was set at $3,000,000.

The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856.

 

 

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