CLEARFIELD – A wanted sex offender, Claire Anthony Houdeshell II, 50, of Lingle Street, Osceola Mills, has been captured, according to Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr.
On Tuesday Trooper Justin Jones of the Clearfield-based state police filed a criminal complaint, which charged Houdeshell with failure to comply with registration requirements (two counts). Jones also secured a warrant for Houdeshell’s arrest.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Houdeshell failed to comply with state registration requirements for convicted sex offenders. Upon investigation it was found that Houdeshell had moved out of his registered residence, and it was unknown where he was currently residing.
Shaw stated that an anonymous tip to the Pennsylvania State Police provided the location of Houdeshell. On Thursday officers from the Clearfield Borough Police Department apprehended Houdeshell at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds and he was taken into custody without incident. At the time of apprehension, Houdeshell was working at the fairgrounds.
Houdeshell has been arraigned with his bail being set at $25,000. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled at a later date. Houdeshell is currently lodged in the Clearfield County Jail.
Shaw stated that this case shows the value of Megan’s Law and the mandatory reporting of sex offenders. He explained that by law the state police are charged with managing the mandatory reporting and registration of sex offenders.
According to him, the state police have developed an excellent system for identifying sex offenders who fail to register or report as required by law. Because of that system, he said, “We were able to identify and apprehend a sex offender who failed to comply with registration requirements and who was working at the count y fair in close proximity to individuals who are vulnerable to predatory behavior.”
Shaw stated that the District Attorney’s Office and law enforcement in Clearfield County will continue to take the necessary actions to ensure the safety and security of area citizens. He explained that individuals who are required to register and report as sex offenders should see this case as an example of what will occur for failure to register as required by law.
Shaw thanked the Pennsylvania State Police and the Clearfield Borough Police Department for their immediate response in resolving this case. He also thanked the private citizen who was willing to make a phone call and assist law enforcement in locating a wanted sex offender.
Anyone with knowledge of a fugitive’s location is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at 800-376-4700. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney Web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime.”