The Mexican navy captured William C. Weimar on a fugitive warrant Saturday night and returned him to the United States to answer charges that he sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said Sunday.
Weimar, 70, had been living in Sarasota, where he owned a 60-foot cabin cruiser. It couldn't immediately be determined if he used the boat to flee the United States.
The Sheriff's Office said in a prepared statement that it got help from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Coast Guard, which tracked Weimar to Havana, from where extradition would have been difficult if not impossible. From there, U.S. authorities learned that he was planning to continue on to Mexico, the Sheriff's Office said.
Sheriff's investigators contacted the U.S. Marshals Service office and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, which asked the Mexican navy for assistance.
"Weimar was captured (Saturday) night in Cancun, Mexico, and transported to Texas (Sunday), where he will await extradition to Florida," the Sheriff's Office said.
The Sheriff's Office issued an arrest warrant for Weimar on Jan. 24.
According to an affidavit by a sheriff's detective, Weimar babysat the girl in August. The mother contacted authorities in the past month when she noticed the girl playing sex games with Barbie and Ken dolls and asked her why. The girl said Weimar asked him to perform oral sex, and she did, the mother said.
Before the warrant was issued, a detective confronted Weimar about the accusation, the affidavit said. Weimar denied the sexual contact, but admitted he babysat the girl. He told the detective that he had no reason to believe the girl would make up a story like that or that the girl's mother was trying to extort him.
Weimar operated a chain of halfway houses in Alaska through his Allvest Corp. His efforts to promote a large private prison in Alaska, however, came to the attention of the FBI and was the source of corruption investigation that involved the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska.
Weimar served six months in a federal prison for attempting to bribe state officials in his bid to build a private prison. He was released from supervision by the federal probation office in December.