FORT EDWARD — Police asked for the public’s help this week in finding a Level 3 sex offender who has been on the run for six months on charges for alleged sexual abuse of a child and not registering his address.
James B. Gatchell, 42, is a two-time convicted rapist who both the Fort Edward Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office have been seeking on arrest warrants since last summer, police said.
Fort Edward Police have warrants for him on felony charges of first-degree sexual abuse and failure to register as a sex offender, while the Sheriff’s Office has a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender as well. The sexual abuse charge alleges he had sexual contact with a child he knows, an accusation police were asked to investigate last summer.
They found during the investigation that Gatchell had not been staying at his registered address in Argyle and had moved to Fort Edward without properly notifying police or state officials, and he has been evading officers since, Fort Edward Police Chief Justin Derway said.
“He knows we are looking for him,” Derway said. “We’ve had information he’s been staying in Granville, Rutland (Vermont) and Hudson Falls.”
He is a Level 3 sex offender, which means he was deemed as at the highest risk of re-offending.
Gatchell has a lengthy criminal history that includes rape and sodomy convictions for sexual relationships with underage children in 1995 and 2003 as well arrests for non-sex crimes. He was described as 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes
His last known address was on Pleasant Valley Road in Argyle.
Anyone with information as to Gatchell’s whereabouts was asked to call Fort Edward Police at 518-747-6365.