Fugitive caught in Dominican Republic faces Miami-Dade judge

Fugitive faces child sex crimes charges in Miami-Dade after 10 years of hiding in Dominican Republic

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 54-year-old fugitive caught in the Dominican Republic after 10 years on the run faced a Miami-Dade County judge on Friday.

The U.S. Marshals escorted Joan Humberto Marcelino as he was extradited from the Dominican Republic on a Thursday afternoon flight to the Miami International Airport.

“Sir, you were arrested on a warrant from 2011 on serious charges against children,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer said during his bond hearing.

Detectives accused Marcelino of sexually abusing teenage boys in Miami-Dade County in 2011 and in Lake County in 2010.

The licensed psychiatrist preyed on Westland Hialeah Senior High School students at a neighboring gym, according to the arrest warrant.

Authorities from the Dominican Republic arrested Joan Humberto Marcelino to be extradited to the U.S. to face charges in Miami-Dade and Lake counties. (Handout)

According to Miami-Dade Schools Detective John Messenger, Marcelino was out on bond for child sex crimes in Lake County when he molested a 15-year-old boy and was involved in sexual activity with a 17-year-old boy in Miami-Dade.

Marcelino started up conversations with the students at the gym next to the school, exposed himself in the locker room, and offered them rides in his car where he committed some of the crimes, police said.

Clermont Police Department detectives identified Marcelino as an employee of a mental health facility who met two Hialeah teenage boys at a gym and at a park basketball court and brought them from Hialeah to his house in Lake County to abuse them, according to the arrest form.

Joan Humberto Marcelino was booked to Miami-Dade County jail on Thursday to face child sex abuse charges.

Lake County revoked Marcelino’s bond on Sept. 20, 2011. A treaty between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic didn’t allow his extradition when he fled.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office legal and extradition unit requested a status review in 2020. Authorities in the Dominican Republic arrested him on July 21st in Villa Altagracia.

In Miami-Dade County, Marcelino is facing charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child 12 to 16, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, indecent exposure, and two counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition on a child under 16.

In Lake County, Marcelino is facing charges of possession of child pornography, two counts of traveling to meet a minor for illegal sexual conduct, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Glazer decided to hold Marcelino at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. His next hearing is on Tuesday.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.