For 18 years, Thomas Terlecky has been on the run from charges that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl, though the police never really bothered to chase him. Now a Philadelphia judge said he can stop running, reports USA Today. Prosecutors charged Terlecky with assaulting the 14-year-old in 1996. He fled to Miami, and authorities have turned down one opportunity after another to bring him back to face the charges, saying he was too far away. “Now this man has gotten away with a crime that is so sinister it makes me sick,” the alleged victim says. She asked not to be identified.
The case was highlighted in a USA Today investigation of fugitives who escaped justice by crossing state lines. The newspaper found more than 186,000 accused felons who police and prosecutors said they would not pursue beyond their own state borders. Cameron Kline, a spokesman for Philadelphia’s district attorney, said officials decided to drop Terlecky’s case because the woman he was accused of assaulting “was not cooperative with the prosecution.” He said officials made one last attempt to locate her before dropping the case but were not successful. “You found me,” the woman told a reporter. “Maybe they should have looked on Facebook.”