Child sex abuse convict escapes psych prison custody during bike trip

Johannes Bernardus “Harry” van E.
Johannes Bernardus “Harry” van E. escaped custody on Sept. 12, 2019. Image supplied on Sept. 13, 2019. (Photo: Politie)

Update, 6 p.m., 13 Sept. 2019: The escaped convict's name and photo were redacted once he was captured.

A man convicted of child sex abuse escaped from the Pompekliniek psychiatric institution during a supervised bike ride on Thursday afternoon. A bulletin announcing his escape, combined with the work of a specialized police team, led to his capture on Friday, police confirmed.

Harry van E. was found at a campsite in Rilland, Zeeland, roughly 150 kilometers west of the institution in Nijmegen, and Malden, where he was last before disappearing during a bike ride. Police suspect he made his way from Malden to an ATM on the Zandstraat in Gennep, Limburg, less than 20 kilometers south of Nijmegen. Police did not reveal how he made the journey all the way across the southern portion of the country to Rilland, nor who notified authorities of his presence.

Van E., now 42, was convicted in 2013 of sexually abusing six minor girls in the Barneveld area, the Public Prosecutor confirmed to Omroep Gelderland. He was sentenced to compulsory and institutionalized psychiatric treatment, police said.

On Thursday afternoon, the man escaped during a supervised bicycle ride in the outskirts of Malden. The police were immediately called in and the victims and their families were informed. The municipality of Barneveld was also informed of the escape and is working with the authorities to find the man. 

Sources told Omroep Gelderland that the man suddenly took a different path while cycling and disappeared out of sight. The same sources say that the Pompekliniek is very concerned that the man wants to harm someone. 

A parent of one of the victims told the broadcaster that he is very shocked. "If I come across him now, I don't now what I'll do", the father said.

He is 1.85 meters tall, with a slender build, and had fled his escort while wearing tight black biking pants, a black t-shirt, and white Asics sneakers.

Johannes Bernardus “Harry” van E.
Johannes Bernardus “Harry” van E. escaped custody on Sept. 12, 2019. Image supplied on Sept. 13, 2019. (Photo: Politie)
Johannes Bernardus “Harry” van E.
Johannes Bernardus “Harry” van E. escaped custody on Sept. 12, 2019. Image supplied on Sept. 13, 2019. (Photo: Politie)
Mountain bike
Cube mountain bike in black with red lettering. ()

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