A Parma Heights man who is accused of raping a 10-year-old girl was returned to Cleveland today after he was arrested in Panama.
Juan Carlos Ayabaca Jara, 37, fled the U.S. in late March after police began investigating allegations that he sexually abused the girl, the U.S. Marshals said.
He was indicted in October on one count each of rape and attempted rape, eight counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of kidnapping and three counts of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile. The alleged crimes began in 2011.
If convicted of the most serious charges, Ayabaca Jara could be sentenced to life in prison.
U.S. Marshals brought Ayabaca Jara to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Wednesday and he was immediately taken to the Cuyahoga County Jail.
“Criminals and deviants should take notice of the work of the Parma Heights Police and ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations] in this case: You can run – you can even run to another country — but you cannot hide,” said Prosecutor Timothy McGinty. “Instead of Christmas dinner in Panama, this one will be dining with Sheriff Pinkney’s other guests.”