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Arrested fugitive returned to US, appears in court

By Associated Press
Published On: Dec 25 2013 07:35:17 AM MST
HELENA, Mont. -

An ex-Montana Army National Guard soldier accused of fleeing the country to avoid felony sex crime charges has appeared in Lewis and Clark District Court.
    
Jeffrey Lane Wenzel was ordered held on $1 million bond Tuesday.
    
Wenzel was a sergeant stationed in Butte. He was charged in June 2012 with a felony sex crime against a minor and two counts of sexual abuse of a child.
    
The Independent Record reports he now faces a charge of bail jumping, too.
    
Wenzel didn't show up for his Jan. 22 trial.  An affidavit filed by Assistant Attorney General Mary Cochenour says Wenzel wrote his wife a letter saying he didn't believe he would get a fair trial.
    
Cochenour says Wenzel flew to France and Germany before ending up working at a bar in Spain.