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Sexual assault suspect behind bars

Courtney Astolfi • Jan 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM

A Sandusky man who fled the state amid a sexual assault investigation in July, then later returned, is back behind bars in Erie County after he allegedly tried to contact two victims.

Michael Walls, 49, of the 600 block of W. Monroe St., had his bond revoked on Jan. 3 for allegedly sneaking cell phones to two possible victims in the sexual assault case.

Sandusky detectives went to Walls’ home to question him about alleged sexual assaults involving two children in late June. Walls said he wanted to speak to an attorney, and officers said they had no choice but to leave the scene.

By the following day, police learned Walls fled to Michigan. About three weeks later, police received new information placing Walls in the Tampa Bay area, Sandusky police Detective Ken Nixon said.

After Walls was jailed then released in Florida on two arrest warrants, he returned to Ohio. Officers located him perched outside Erie County Job and Family Services and took him back into custody on those two warrants.

But on July 24, Walls posted bond and returned to his Sandusky home, according to jail documents.

Since then, Walls has not been allowed to contact the two alleged victims without an arbitrator present, Nixon said.

Walls allegedly violated those restrictions on Dec. 23. He gave mp3 players to both children as Christmas presents but had stashed flip-phones inside the packaging, Nixon said.

When one child discovered the phone, he immediately showed his guardians, who informed police. Walls allegedly tried to call that phone multiple times, Nixon said.

Once police were aware of the phones, they contacted the other child and learned she also received one from Walls, Nixon said.

It is unclear if any contact was made between the second child and Walls, Nixon said.

Walls’ bond was revoked for the alleged violation, and he was taken to the Erie County jail.

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