“I’m not a monster:” Police catch 61-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting teen girl just in time!

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DODGE COUNTY (WITI) -- A man wanted for repeatedly sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl was found nearly 300 miles away -- and police say they caught him just in time. 61-year-old Gary Koppen was found with a plane ticket in his pocket, police say. He was behind bars once, but never charged. Now, police say they're not letting him out of their sight.

"I don't care which corner of the Earth he was at. We`d a gone and got him," Horicon Police Chief Joe Adamson said.

Gary Koppen of Horicon now sits in the Dodge County Jail -- charged with fourĀ counts of second-degree sexual assault and two more counts of third-degree sexual assault for incidents that allegedly took place with theĀ girl between October 2013 and January 2014.

"Now there is going to be accountability," Chief Adamson said.

According to the criminal complaint, Koppen was living with the family of the victim in Dodge County. The victim told police that on multiple occasions Koppen made inappropriate contact with her. It wasn't until after she had "horrible nightmares" about the incidents that she revealed what happened to her parents and they went to the authorities.

Police reached out to Koppen by phone after the victim had talked with them. The complaint says "the first thing Koppen stated was, 'I am going to jail.'" When the officer asked why Koppen thought that, Koppen stated, "My ex-wife told me about all of the allegations." He refused at that time to come into the Horicon Police Department for an interview. Koppen indicated to police he had some "stuff to get done" in Milwaukee -- saying "don't come looking for me. I am a man of my word."

The Washington County Sheriff's Department later located Koppen -- and returned him to the Horicon Police Department.

Gary Koppen

Gary Koppen

"Two days later, he was released without charges," Chief Adamson said.

Law enforcement officials say prosecutors didn't feel they had enough evidence to file charges until this week. Those charges were issued, and Koppen was found in St. Croix Falls on Wednesday, January 28th. In his pocket -- a plane ticket to California. Koppen was set to fly out on Thursday morning.

"The first thing he said when they got him in their handcuffs out of the Polk County Jail was 'I`m not a monster,' and that was the only thing he said the entire trip down. Five hours. 'I`m not a monster,'" Chief Adamson said.

Police in Horicon say a similar investigation is ongoing against Koppen in Slinger, so he could face charges out of Washington County.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.

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