Most Wanted American Pedophile Arrested in Thailand

A self-confessed American pedophile who is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list was arrested in Bangkok on Tuesday, a U.S. embassy official said.

Eric Franklin Rosser, 49, a former concert pianist, was arrested in the Thai capital by FBI officers and the Thai police acting on a tip-off and was in the custody of Thai police, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Rosser, who was born in Syracuse, N.Y., has been charged with child sex crimes in the United States and Thailand.

He was originally arrested in Bangkok on Feb. 9, 2000, on charges of lewd behavior and possession of pornographic materials after police raided his apartment and found hundreds of explicit photographs and videos of girls who appeared to be younger than age 15.

He jumped bail two months later before his trial had been due to take place and was believed to have fled Thailand.

In March 2000, he was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in Indianapolis on six counts of producing and distributing child pornography, including a video that showed him having sex with a girl said to be 11.

The FBI offered a $50,000 reward for information leading directly to Rosser's arrest, describing him as an admitted child molester who may have suicidal tendencies.

Rosser had worked as a pianist at Bangkok's luxury Oriental Hotel and ran a music school at his home where he gave lessons to children from prominent families.

In an open letter and an interview with The Nation newspaper after his arrest last year, Rosser admitted to frequent indecent acts with children and claimed he had lived a tortured life because of it. He said he would face punishment.

Rosser, who has a Thai wife and a young son, faces between 5 and 20 years in prison if convicted in Thailand. U.S. authorities were expected to extradite him after the Thai case was resolved.

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