WEST VALLEY CITY – After 17 years on the run, two California fugitives once featured on “America’s Most Wanted” were captured in West Valley City Wednesday.
William Lloyd Balser and Robin Lee Robinson have been evading arrest since February 1998, according to a most wanted listing posted by the Manteca Police Department in Manteca, California.
According to a report once featured on the popular crime television show “America’s Most Wanted,” Balser spent years repeatedly sexually assaulting girlfriend Robinson’s two young daughters and also beating the girls.
Robinson allegedly witnessed the abuse and did nothing to stop it. In fact, when one of her daughters finally reported the crimes to police in 1994 and Balser was arrested, Robinson allegedly talked her daughter out of pressing charges. According to some reports, Robinson pressured her daughter into saying she had made up the accusations.
Balser was released from jail and thus allegedly enabled to continue the abuse for four more years.
In 1998, Robinson’s children went to police again. When officers responded to the family’s residence to arrest Balser, they discovered he and Robinson had fled. The two have been on the run ever since.
Balser was wanted on multiple counts of child molestation, including unlawful intercourse with a child, lewd acts with a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to information from the Manteca Police Department.
At one point, Fox 13 reports, Balser called investigators and left them a taunting message saying they would never catch him.
U.S. Marshals joined forces with Manteca Police in 2006 to find Balser and Robinson, according to Fox 13. Leads were traced through multiple states without success until the focus of the investigation shifted to Salt Lake City this year. Investigators believed the couple had assumed new identities and were living in the Salt Lake area.
The U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team conducted surveillance for weeks, according to Fox 13. Wednesday, two people believed to be Balser and Robinson were sighted at a home in West Valley City.
Balser, 56, and Robinson, 59, were apprehended and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday. The two now await extradition to California.
According to booking information, both Balser and Robinson were arrested as fugitives from justice on felony warrants.
Balser’s warrant out of California was issued with a listed bail amount of $1 million, according to information from the Manteca Police Department. The arrest warrants issued for the two in Salt Lake County were no-bail warrants, according to court documents.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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