Updated 09.09.2020 at 18:04.
Nazzareno Mifsud, known as Reno, did not show up for his 1987 trial in Oklahoma after the local police charged him with molesting two young boys in his house.
Testimonies filed by investigators say Reno Mifsud, at the time aged 23 years, an immigrant from Qormi, Malta, sexually molested his foster-son aged 15. The abuse is believed to have happened in January 1987. The accusations are aggravated by the fact that Reno Mifsud had the legal responsibility to protect his victim.
The previous month, in December 1986, Reno Mifsud sexually molested his neighbour’s son, then a 12-year-old boy. The assault happened inside Reno Mifsud’s home. The young witness testified Reno Mifsud assaulted him after failing to rape him. He the threatened the boy he would kill himself if his victim spoke up about what had happened to him.
He was arrested after a police complaint filed by his neighbour but he escaped the United States before his trial started to come back to his country of birth, Malta. At the time of his escape he skipped a $3,000 bond. Two bonds of $100,000 each were ordered after his escape.
At the time of his escape Reno Mifsud was a soldier in the US army and has been on the military’s most wanted list for 33 years.
US investigators at the time of his escape believed Reno Mifsud would come to Malta but at the time Malta’s extradition treaty with the United States ruled out the extradition of Maltese citizens back to the US. That changed when a new extradition treaty was introduced in 2006. The new extradition rules say that in most cases the accused’s nationality is not a relevant factor in deciding whether a request for extradition is complied with.
In 2015 Oklahoma investigators confirmed Reno Mifsud was living in Malta after finding his Facebook profile with information about his life in Malta and photos of himself.
Investigators contacted Reno Mifsud’s victims who continue to hope justice in their case is served. They identified Reno Mifsud from his Facebook album. Investigators who charged Reno Mifsud in 1987 were also contacted and they confirmed the identity of Reno Mifsud from his photos.
The US Marshals Service, the Comanche Country District Attorney’s office, the Lawton Police Department, the US Criminal Investigation Command and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma worked on the case to ask Malta to extradite the fugitive.
The Maltese police have arrested Nazzareno Mifsud and this morning he was arraigned in front of Magistrate Rachel Montebello. He awaits a decision on his extradition.
An earlier version of this report included a photo which was taken from the records of the case of the Oklahoma police against Mr Mifsud. I was contacted by the Inspector of the Malta Police at the Paola Police Station and was informed that a person saying she was the niece of the person in the image has provided him with sufficient evidence for him to be satisfied that the photo in the Oklahoma police records was not an image of Mr Mifsud but of someone who resembles him. I have therefore decided to replace the picture.