Man in custody of Alachua County Sheriff’s Office after fleeing sexual battery charges

He had been on the run for more than a year after an arrest on Christmas Eve 2021
He had been on the run for more than a year after an arrest on Christmas Eve 2021
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 8:30 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Ian Montero-Lopez is in custody and will beginning serving a life sentence plus 30 years after more than a year on the run.

Montero-Lopez was initially arrested on Christmas Eve 2021 on charges of sexual battery against a minor between 12 and 17, then fled when he was released on bond.

“We believe that he left the area shortly after he bonded out and quit contacting folks in the area,” said ASO’s public information officer, Art Forgey. “It wasn’t until January of this year that he even showed up on the radar again, and our warrants investigators and detectives were able to track him and get him to show up yesterday.”

Deputies were able to get Montero-Lopez in custody by setting up what he believed to be a meet-up with a young girl.

“Our detectives are very tenacious,” said Forgey, “they stay in contact with victims, they identify victims, and they were able to identify someone he had reached out to, who knew who it was, who recognized him from being convicted.

“[Deputies were] able to actually set up a meet for him yesterday evening,” said Forgey. “Low and behold, when he showed up at that meet it wasn’t a young girl that he was showing up to meet, it was our deputies there. He immediately saw those deputies there and tried to flee and was successfully apprehended.”

While Montero-Lopez was a fugitive, his trial proceeded without him and he was convicted on a count of sexual battery of a minor between the ages of 12 and 17, and a count of sexual battery with use of physical force.

Montero-Lopez was convicted in November 2022 and received a life sentence plus 30 additional years, a sentence he will begin now that he is in custody.

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