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Connecticut Man Accused of Rape Captured After 8 Years on Run

January 24, 1995

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A high school honors student who fled the country before his rape trial eight years ago surrendered to Swiss authorities after hiding out in ski resorts throughout Europe, authorities said Monday.

Alex Kelly, 27, surrendered Thursday as it became clear authorities were closing in on him, said Ralph DiFonzo, an FBI agent and coordinator of the Connecticut Fugitive Task Force, which announced the surrender.

Kelly set off an international manhunt when he disappeared the day before his trial was to begin in February 1987. He was accused of raping two high school girls in separate incidents while driving them home from parties in February 1986.

Over the years, authorities had several confirmed sightings of Kelly, usually at ski resorts in France, Germany and Sweden, but he disappeared every time they got close.

Finally, a search of his parents’ home last July turned up information that led authorities toward him and prompted the surrender, DiFonzo said.

While he was on the run, authorities said, Kelly appeared to enjoy a carefree lifestyle, rarely working and living off money provided by relatives. They didn’t say which relatives sent the money nor did they say if anybody else might be arrested.

``It looks like he’s been doing nothing but recreational sports,″ said DiFonzo. ``I think he’s been skiing, scuba diving, mountain climbing and para-sailing.″

Michael Sherman, a Stamford attorney who represented Kelly before he fled the country, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Authorities said efforts to return Kelly to Connecticut have begun. Darien police said the State Department told them Kelly has indicated he won’t fight extradition.

The handsome Kelly was an 18-year-old honors student, co-captain of the wrestling team and football star at Darien High School when he was was arrested in 1986.

He was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of threatening.

He was free on $200,000 bond when he disappeared.

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