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Accused Daughter Rapist Held In Hong Kong

A man accused of raping his own daughter and posting video of the attack on the Internet is being held in Hong Kong Wednesday in what authorities called the arrest of one of the world's most notorious child molesters.

Former Washington state lawman, 44-year-old Kenneth Freeman, the subject of a worldwide manhunt since 2005, was arrested in Hong Kong by law enforcement officials with the Chinese government, reports CBS News correspondent Stephan Kaufman.

It's not clear what Freeman was doing in Hong Kong, but "obviously, he was trying to escape," said U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Nikki Credic.

The scenes allegedly showing the girl being raped by her father became one of the most widely downloaded child pornography videos in recent years, adds Kaufman. Freeman's daughter is now a teenager who advocates against child sexual abuse; she has appeared on TV to tell her story.

The Web video was featured on the TV show "America's Most Wanted," which, in turn, triggered calls to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that helped identify the girl.

"Freeman will be returned for trial here, where penalties for child exploitation are among the toughest in the world," said Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie Myers, who oversees Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

U.S. Marshals director John F. Clark called it a "complex, international case."

Authorities said Freeman, facing local and federal charges, fled the United States last year. Investigators tracked him down in Suzhou, a city in China, where he is believed to have been working at the local office of a U.S.-based company. The United States does not have an extradition agreement with the Chinese government to return fugitives to their native nations.

However, such a treaty does exist between the United States and Hong Kong. In the last several weeks, investigators discovered Freeman was planning to travel to Hong Kong, where he was arrested on his arrival at the airport, officials said. Trying to flee, he injured four Chinese police officers while resisting arrest, officials said.

Credic said it was not clear when Freeman would be returned to the United States.

His arrest follows more than a year of investigation by the Marshals, ICE, the State Department and the Benton County Sheriff's office in Washington state.

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