Tonkin, a 30-year old man, is believed to have removed his electronic monitoring device that tracked his whereabouts while on pre-trial bail.
In June 2012, the Exeter Borough Police Department arrested Tonkin on multiple sex offense charges, to include:
- Statutory Sexual Assault – 1 count
- Aggravated Indecent Assault – 1 count
- Indecent Assault person less 16 years old – 2 counts
- Deviate Sexual Intercourse person less than 16 years old – 6 counts
- Sexual Assault – 2 counts
On April 15, 2013, Luzerne County Common Pleas Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. signed an arrest warrant after Tonkin did not appear for his scheduled trial in Wilkes-Barre.
The jury trial began, with Tonkin not present. He was tried in absentia. On April 17, Tonkin was found guilty of the charges.
On April 16, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Scranton was asked to locate and arrest Tonkin. Marshals and Task Force personnel developed information that the fugitive might be hiding in the Wilkes-Barre area.
During the evening hours of April 18, U.S. Marshals arrested Tonkin without incident in the parking lot of a Turkey Hill convenience store on Wyoming Avenue in Exeter. He was turned over to local authorities for processing. Tonkin is lodged in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility awaiting sentencing.
United States Marshal Martin J. Pane stated, “There is no greater injustice than when a fugitive demonstrates his defiance of the court system by failing to appear for trial. With this arrest, he can now be presented to the court where justice can be served.”
U.S. Marshals were assisted in this investigation by personnel from the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police. These agencies participate in the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Additional assistance was provided by officers from the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office and the Exeter Borough Police Department.
The concept of all USMS-led fugitive task forces is to seek out and arrest the nation’s most dangerous offenders