Fugitive caught in isles gets 6 years for child molestation


POSTED: Thursday, November 26, 2009

A fugitive from California captured in Hawaii 16 years after being charged with molesting two children has been sentenced to six years in prison, authorities said.

Peter Bitner, 64, also must register as a sex offender under the sentence handed down Tuesday, said Deputy District Attorney Marisa Di Tillio. Bitner pleaded guilty Oct. 23 to two counts of committing a lewd act on a child and agreed to the prison sentence, she said.

Bitner was employed at the Hawaii Medical Service Association and living in his car when he was captured Aug. 25 by the U.S. Marshals Service Task Force in Hawaii.

Marshals Service officials said that from August 1992 to March 1993 in San Diego, Bitner molested a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, step-siblings he was babysitting.

San Diego police obtained a confession, and Bitner wrote letters of apology to the victims' parents, blaming the girl's “;genital curiosity”; and her “;aggressive”; sexual behavior, the Marshals Service said. He later disappeared.

He was wanted on a federal warrant issued on July 12, 1993, for offenses that included child molestation, oral copulation of a minor and penetration with a foreign object.