JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Twenty one years after fleeing Vermont, a man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was recently stopped in Mississippi for driving without a license.
Timothy John Vanstean's victim is now an adult and looking forward to finally facing him in court.
In 1988 Vanstean was convicted of violently sexually assaulting a little girl named Jennifer while living with his girlfriend, the child's mother.
It happened repeatedly in their Bellows Falls Vermont home.
"He molested me when I was five to seven. I've had to deal with this my whole life, and I will for the rest of my life," said the woman only identified as Jennifer.
On September first, more than 1,400 miles south on Dixie Drive in Jackson, the 44 year old man was taken into custody by the Hinds County Sheriff's Department.
Jennifer spoke to us about his capture from her Vermont home.
"It brings a lot of comfort and closure, peace of mind to myself and to know that justice is gonna take care of him properly. It took a lot of work to overcome it. This is bringing up a lot of hard scars. It's a deep wound for a child," said the adult survivor of sexual abuse.
Vanstean was 23 years old when he was convicted in Windham County Vermont of the crimes against Jennifer.
He was 34 when he fled Vermont prior to sentencing in 1999.
According to authorities the convicted sex offender has also lived in Louisiana and Texas.
Windham County Vermont State's Attorney Tracy Kelly Shriver said Vanstean has a plea agreement on file in court and pled to one of the charges.
His charges include three other felonies.
Jennifer is now 29 years old and owns her own business.
At first she said her mother did not believe her when after years of abuse she finally told what Vanstean was doing to her, but she has a message for young victims.
"Please stand up and be strong and don't be afraid. It will be ok. It's ok to tell," urged the former sexual assault victim.
Vanstean remains at the Hinds County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Vermont.
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