Manhunt underway in Maine for two men charged with sex crimes

One suspect convicted of gross sexual assault; other suspect is out on bail for rape charge
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 8:41 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2020 at 8:48 AM EDT
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NORTHERN OXFORD COUNTY, Maine (WABI) - A manhunt is underway in western Maine for two men wanted by the Maine Department of Corrections.

Authorities say 36-year-old Shawn Batchelder has not reported to his probation officer. He was sentenced to prison in 2012 for rape. He was last seen in Augusta on September 12th.

Wanted by Maine DOC
Wanted by Maine DOC(WABI TV)

Authorities believe Batchelder is in a heavily wooded area near Rangeley or Byron. They also believe he’s travelling with another man, Steven Petersen. Petersen is currently on bail for a charge in York County of Gross Sexual Assault.

It is not typical for the MDOC to notify the public when an individual absconds from probation. However, the MDOC considers Mr. Batchelder a danger to himself and potentially others, furthermore, the MDOC has limited knowledge of the individual Mr. Batchelder is said to be traveling with. They warn that the public should not attempt to speak with either of these men.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols tells our affiliate, WMTW that the search began Thursday when police received information that the wanted men may have been dropped off along Route 4 near the Appalachian Trail in the Byron area. That is in northern Oxford County.

Deputies, state police, Maine game wardens, and U.S. Border Patrol are all involved in the search.

Nichols said there was evidence Friday morning that the men may be in the area of the “Height of the Land” near Route 17 in Township D or Roxbury.

Batchelder was sentenced to the Department of Corrections on May 22, 2012 with a 25-year sentence, all but 10 years suspended and 4 years probation, for Gross Sexual Assault, Class A. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is 36 years old, 5′9, 250 lbs., brown hair and brown eyes.

Any information about Batchelder or Petersen should be reported to local law enforcement or emailed to Doc.Wanted@Maine.Gov

Another photo of Batchelder:


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