Ashland pedophile scheduled for court hearing in Israel

It could be a year before a fugitive Ashland pedophile returns to the United States, despite his arrest in Israel.

Arthur Samuel Silverman has spent close to eight years on the lam after fleeing the country to avoid prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing two children in August 1997.

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston has been in contact with U.S. Department of Justice lawyers. They told Huddleston that Silverman is scheduled for a court hearing in Israel on Dec. 17.

"We do not have a lot of experience with international extraditions," Huddleston said. "We've done maybe one or two over the years."

Huddleston said if Silverman decides to fight extradition it could take up to a year before he is shipped back to the U.S.

"As of right now, we are still working to decide where we are in this case," Huddleston said.

Silverman pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges in Ashland in 1997. But he fled the country before going to prison, and later made his way to Israel.

Israeli police say Interpol helped them track down Silverman. The international police agency told Israeli police Silverman's wife was flying to Israel to visit him.

Police followed the woman to his home and arrested him.

Huddleston said he did not know how Interpol knew Silverman was living in Israel.

Silverman was a counselor who treated sexually abused children when he was arrested in December 1996 for molesting two boys who were not clients.

When he pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse in August 1997, Measure 11 sentencing laws required Silverman to serve a minimum of six years, three months in prison.

Silverman fled his home after voters rejected a November measure to repeal Measure 11, the state's mandatory sentencing law.

According to an Israeli newspaper report, police made the arrest after following Silverman's wife, who took a taxi from the airport directly to his home in Netanya.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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