A local man who was wanted by the Logan County Sheriff's Office for sexual charges involving two minor girls was arrested Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Black Hills Fugitive Task Force in South Dakota.
Shawn Kerns (pictured), 33, of Bellefontaine, was wanted by the sheriff's office after he failed to appear for sentencing in May on charges of gross sexual imposition involving an eight-year-old and 14-year-old girl.
His case was then turned over to the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST). The team developed information that Kerns fled Ohio and was living in a tent in the Oglala community area of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Conducting a follow-up on the lead, the Black Hills Fugitive Task Force approached Kerns, who reportedly fled on foot.
After a brief chase, Kerns was subdued and arrested.
"The apprehension of Shawn Kerns was given the highest priority by the U.S. Marshals due to the violent nature of the crime alleged and because of the potential for him to harm other victims while he remained at large,” said U.S. Marshal Paul Thielen. “Shawn Kerns fled Ohio, but we have offices all across the country and this arrest by the Black Hills Fugitive Task Force illustrates that, in the long run, there really is nowhere to hide.”
Kerns is being held in the Pennington County Jail awaiting extradition to Ohio.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety assisted with the arrest.
In December, Kerns was indicted on one count of rape (F1), two counts of gross sexual imposition (F3), and a single count of gross sexual imposition (F4).
In April, Kerns pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition.
He faces up to six-and-a-half years in prison. He will be labeled a Tier II sex offender, which means he must register his address with the sheriff every 180 days for 25 years.