Sanford minister wanted on Georgia child-sex charges
Posted September 23, 2011
Updated September 26, 2011
Sanford, N.C. — A retired minister who lives in Sanford is fighting extradition to Georgia, where he faces charges of molesting a girl for eight years, authorities said Friday.
Clarence Caldwell Arquitt Jr., 86, was arrested in Lee County three weeks ago on a fugitive warrant but was released after posting a $30,000 bond. Police in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, Ga., have outstanding warrants for him on charges of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sodomy.
A woman in her 20s contacted Sandy Springs police in August and told investigators that Arquitt began molesting her when she was 3 and continued doing so until she was 11, police Lt. Steve Rose said.
The Georgia arrest warrants indicate that Arquitt admitted to the woman's father that he had committed the crimes.
Arquitt refused to return to Georgia to face the charges when police contacted him, Rose said. Investigators are working with prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., to extradite him.
Attorney Chas Post said Monday that Arquitt is fighting extradition because he maintains his innocence and because he is in bad health.
Police also are trying to determine whether there are other victims in the case, Rose said. Arquitt has worked as a minister at several Atlanta-area churches, as well as at churches in Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida and a Christian college in Montgomery, Ala., Rose said.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Detective Mike Bailey of the Sandy Springs Police Department at 770-551-3308 or 770-551-6900.