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Oprah show helps FBI nab molestation suspect

A tip from a viewer led agents to pick up William Davis
/ Source: Reuters

A partnership between the FBI and Oprah Winfrey’s TV talk show to publicize the identities of fugitive child molesters has nabbed its first suspect, the FBI said Friday.

William Davis, who was wanted in Indiana on 2004 charges of molesting children and failure to register as a sex offender, was picked up by FBI agents Thursday in Fargo, North Dakota, on a tip from an Oprah viewer.

“The arrest was a direct result of someone viewing Tuesday’s show where (Davis) was featured,” FBI agent Paul McCabe said from Minneapolis.

“She called her friend who went to the Web site and recognized him,” he said.

The identities of suspected child molesters are provided to the nationally syndicated “Oprah Winfrey Show” by the FBI under a new partnership, and this was believed the first time someone featured on the show was apprehended, McCabe said.

The Fargo Forum newspaper quoted the tipster as saying she hoped to buy a house with the reward, which was advertised on the television show as $100,000. Davis was working as a contractor and using an alias, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

Representatives for Winfrey’s Chicago-based show could not immediately be reached for comment.