The fugitive convict sex offender who tried and failed to open The Monocle restaurant and bar in a historic downtown Phoenix house is behind bars again.
U.S. Marshals arrested 33-year-old Arthur Bachelier late Wednesday afternoon in a Seattle sports bar, one week after Phoenix New Times reported he had fled justice.
The Marshals Service had been on the trail since March, said Christopher Kruse, the Sex Offender Investigations Coordinator for the U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona. He said local police on the East Valley Task Force referred the case at that time. Federal law empowers U.S. marshals to track down fugitive sex offenders specifically.
Kruse said marshals in his unit flew to Seattle, teamed up with marshals there, and arrested Bachelier.
"We make these cases a priority," he said.
Bachelier had ditched the GPS tracking device around his ankle that was a condition of his release from prison in 2015. In December, a Maricopa County judge imposed the requirement a second time and allowed Bachelier to walk free before facing felony charges of tampering with the first tracker. Less than four months later, he failed to show up for a court hearing and slipped away.
While the echoes from his 2013 felony conviction reverberated, a 27-year-old woman who worked in the restaurant business told Phoenix police Bachelier raped her on the floor of The Monocle, days after his arrest in the tampering case and days before the place was due to open.
The case remains open.
The woman, who left the state and began working at a rape crisis clinic, welcomed the news of Bachelier’s arrest, which broke late Wednesday.
“I feel my attack was the result of an obvious failure in the court system to protect me by awarding a convicted sex offender the opportunity to remain free after a multitude of serious probation violations,” she said in an email.
“While I feel a great sense of relief hearing he has been apprehended, I can only hope and remain skeptical the State of Arizona will extradite and finally properly sentence an obvious dangerous criminal to ensure the safety of women and children,” she added.
She credited political pressure stemming from New Times accounts for the arrest.
David Gonzales, the U.S. Marshal for Arizona, confirmed his agents had arrested Bachelier in Seattle.
He was booked into the Seattle Correctional Facility at 6:43 p.m., according to King County online records.
Bachelier was arrested at a sports bar in west Seattle, where he had worked for about a week, the bar owner said.
Bachelier had registered in Arizona as a sex offender, as a result of pleading guilty to repeatedly assaulting a teenage girl over the course of six years. His last known address, according to Maricopa County court records was an apartment on Third Street in Tempe.
Tempe Police Detective Lily Duran said late Wednesday before the arrest that the department’s sex crimes unit was “well aware” of Bachelier and was working a “very active case.”
Neither the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office nor the Phoenix Police Department responded to multiple requests by New Times asking what their fugitive apprehension units had been doing to catch Bachelier since a judge issued his arrest warrant.
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Amanda Steele could not explain why Bachelier was released or why he got a five-year sentence for his original conviction, noting that release and sentencing orders are at the discretion of judges.
She did note that Maricopa County prosecutors typically seek to lock up suspected sex offenders for as long as possible before trial, but added she was unaware of the details of Bachelier’s court proceedings.
News in this story is unfolding. Check back for updates.