Dustin Graham Powell, 26, was arrested Thursday in Lane County, Ore., in connection with the 2004 case, according to Lt. Brad Rasmussen of the Lakeport Police Department.
Rasmussen reported that in 2004 police first investigated the case of two female juveniles who had been sexually assaulted, allegedly by Powell, with whom police had other previous contacts, though not for this type of offense.
The girls, ages 13 and 15 at the time of the assault, are cousins, said Rasmussen. Powell was an acquaintance of the girls’ families, which is how he was able to get close to them.
Following a complete investigation of the incident, the Lake County District Attorney’s Office filed felony sexual assault charges against Powell and an arrest warrant was issued in the amount of $20,000, said Rasmussen.
The charges filed against Powell included one count of unlawful or lewd acts with a minor child under the age of 14, two counts of rape by intoxication or a controlled substance, and one count of penetration when the victim is under 16 years of age and the perpetrator is over the age of 21.
Based on the facts of the case, Rasmussen said Lakeport Police considers it particularly egregious.
“This is a case where he specifically took advantage and preyed on the two girls,” Rasmussen said.
Before investigators could arrest Powell, he is believed to have fled Lake County to Oregon, where he’s been hiding out to avoid prosecution ever since, according to Rasmussen.
Rasmussen said Lakeport Police investigators have worked with law enforcement agencies in Oregon in an effort to locate Powell.
The Oregon State Police arrested Powell without incident on Thursday after receiving information on his whereabouts.
Because of his previous effort to escape prosecution, Lakeport Police investigators believed the original bail of $20,000 was not sufficient to secure his appearance, said Rasmussen.
As a result, on Friday Rasmussen said Det. Norm Taylor presented a Lake County Superior Court Judge with an application for increased bail and Powell’s bail was ordered increased to $250,000.
Powell is being held in the Lane County Oregon Correctional Facility pending extradition
to Lake County. Rasmussen said Lakeport Police is waiting to hear about when he will be brought back to Lake County, and hope to have more information on Monday.
Rasmussen said that, before Powell is brought back, he must make a court appearance in Oregon and be informed of his rights relating to extradition to California.
“If he makes an effort to fight extradition it could hold it up for a while,” Rasmussen said.