May 27, 2018
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Maine man arrested on California charges of sex crimes against child

Somerset County Jail | BDN
Somerset County Jail | BDN
Nathanael Basch
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

HARMONY, Maine — A Maine man was arrested this weekend after police learned that he is wanted in California on charges of sex acts against a child.

Nathanael Basch, 29, of Harmony was taken into police custody Saturday night, according to Detective Sgt. Jason Richards of the Maine State Police major crimes unit. He will go before a Maine judge early this week and then is expected to be sent to Kern County, Calif., where the sheriff’s office has a full extradition warrant for his arrest on two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.

Richards said that Detective Hugh Landry of the Maine State Police last week had received a call from the mother of the alleged victim, telling him Basch was living in Harmony and inquiring about the status of the investigation.

“At that point we weren’t even aware there was an investigation,” Richards said.

The charges stem from incidents that allegedly happened more than 10 years ago, Richards said. Police in California did not begin to investigate the matter until recently.

Landry, who also is part of the major crimes unit, attempted to find Basch on Thursday afternoon but couldn’t. Then, his unit investigated a bank robbery in Waterville Friday morning and the suspicious death of an inmate at Maine State Prison, which on Saturday was classified as a homicide.

The detectives returned to Basch’s home on Saturday night and found him. He was cooperative with police, Richards said, adding that the warrant for the man’s arrest had been entered into a national database.

“Had somebody stopped him or run his license, it would have shown up, but until he got on the radar screen for something, there was nothing indicating he had a warrant,” Richards said.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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